I rarely do the the weekly review in the GTD process, but can see its importance to get a handle on the upcoming week. Here’s a process I heard on David Allen’s podcast.
- Collect Loose Paper and Materials. Find all papers, receipts and other things and put them all in one place. Actually, you should be doing that all week.
- Empty your head. The other place clutter collects is in your mental to-do list. Except that requires constant attention to keep it from vanishing until it is written down.
Process and Organize
- Get “In to Zero.” Completely process all outstanding paper materials, notes, voicemails, emails, everything. To process means whenever you come in contact with the item, you do one of four things:
- Do (especially if it takes less than 2 minutes to complete)
- Defer (put in a to-do list)
- Review Action lists. Mark off all completed actions and review for any further action steps needed to be done.
- Review the past week’s calendar. There may be remaining action items, reference data or other items that you need to do something about or archive. I need to send out those meeting minutes from last week. Let me put that in my Inbox To Do.
- Review the upcoming week’s calendar. Look at both the week and month ahead and capture any actions looking at this may trigger. I have a report due in 2 weeks. I should email people to get the info I need. Let me put that report and email reminder in my to do list.
- Review waiting for list. Are there any items that require nudging of people to get things done?
- Review Project Lists. Evaluate the projects, goals and outcomes, one-by-one, ensuring that there is at least one next-action on each.
- Review any relevant checklists. use this as a trigger for any new actions.
- Review the Someday/Maybe list. There may be some projects that can now be active. Anything that is no longer interesting can be deleted.
- Be creative and courageous. Any new hare-brained, thought-provoking, risk-taking ideas to add to the system?
It may be helpful to do this in a creative spot, like Starbucks. Reward yourself with a coffee so that this can become an enjoyable habit.