Think once a week

Dear David Allen: You mention you only “think once a week”.  Does that mean you have a script rule about planning out your weeks as opposed to day-to-day? Could you explain that a little more?

David: When I say I only think once a week, I’m making an exaggerated point that doing a thorough GTD Weekly Review sufficiently sets up my sense of priorities so that I don’t have to do a lot of re-thinking or over-structuring, as I go day to day.  Usually we don’t have the time in the busy pace we work to stop and do “forest management instead of tree-hugging”.  Because most people don’t build in that reflection time–regarding actions, projects, and commitments–they’re constantly thinking that they should be thinking about their priorities, but they never really do.

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  1. Yes, yes, and for me, summer is the time I have to really give myself permission to think and rethink projects, more than I do in a weekly (or daily) review. I get to jump up to those higher levels of horizons of focus –mind you they are always there, under the surface of my conscious mind, but being able to make the big picture explicit is a gift I get in July and August. Seeing changes in the horizons of focus is yet another reminder that always, everything changes. The GTD system makes room for that basic principle, everything is always changing, moment to moment.

    And thanks for reminding us of the power of the weekly review.


  2. One of the main things that I love about GTD is the fact that when the day is coming at me fast and furious, and I have a moment of time with nothing planned, I can pull up a list and knock off a few things. I guess that’s because I’ve pre-thought the task through. It seems so simple now that it’s habit, but it required a huge shift in my thinking and doing when I first implemented it. Thanks GTD for your on-going encouragement via this blog and GTD Connect!

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