Tips for weekly reviews?
I am having a really hard time sticking to my weekly reviews. I travel extensively and don't 'really' have a home base (I just come home to my parents' house for 4 week vacations) or a set schedule.
Either way, I know that the weekly reviews are really important, but I don't know how to 'make' myself do them.
I am hoping that others can share what works for them. Thanks!
First, I'd recommend this free article from this site: http://www.davidco.com/store/catalog...ew-p-16165.php.
There is also a nice article from Meg Edwards here: http://www.davidco.com/coaches_corne...article30.html
Next, I'd suggest that you keep trying :) It takes a while to build the habit.
Have you tried blocking it on your calendar?
You could try blocking an hour, and tell yourself either you will do the review, or just sit there!
Splitting weekly review
While I am far from perfect with my weekly review, I feel like I am headed in the right direction with it becoming an effective habit.
On that note, I think it was Mike Williams in his interview with David where I picked up the useful idea to split the weekly review into pieces. I do my weekly calendar review Monday mornings and my next action and project review on Friday afternoons. During the week I regularly scan through my next action and project lists, which I built and maintenance via the GTD Outlook plug-in, when I have some down town on an airplane typically.
Also, I am encouraged to do a regular weekly review because I've found it to be a particularly creative time where I come up with some great ideas and get a little extra boost of motivation when I see what I am getting done.
FYI: My project list, which is just a categorized by project subset of my next action list, usually has between 70 and 80 projects, and my next action list usually has between 250 and 300 items. I have heard some people are overwhelmed by seeing this much information, but for me, I've found it helpful to see everything in front of me and out of my head. As long as I have it in my system, the weekly review process helps me keep the project and next action lists current and relevant.
There is no one-size-fits-all formula for developing a new habit. Often I will try one method, abandon it, and then try another.
You might set a goal. For example, perhaps you would be happy on June 30, 2008, knowing that you did 20 weekly reviews. It might help to list operational criteria to help you decide when you've done a weekly review. It might help to state that you are not permitted to count a weekly review as accomplished, if you have done a weekly review 5 or fewer days previously.
You could then create a log with the dates of each completed weekly review.
Some people are helped by announcing to other people their commitment. If you think this might help you, you could start a new thread with your commitment and your operational criteria. You could then create a new post each time you did your weekly review.
From your post, it doesn't sound like you are too busy to do your weekly review. Rather it sounds like (1) it is logistically difficult to do it, because of your extensive travel schedule; and (2) you don't feel like doing it.
Regarding (1), you might alter your tools or buy additional ones that will make it easier to do the review on planes, in airports, etc.
Regarding (2), I often have this problem. I tell myself that it is important for me to feel like doing my review before I do it. The fact is that I can do it even if I do not feel like doing it. Another fact is that once I start doing it, I begin to feel like doing it a little more. So, I try to alter my beliefs. I recognize that it's very good to start things, even if I will only spend 10 minutes on them. I can start things even if I don't feel like starting them, because I will only be doing them for 10 minutes. As others have pointed out, you might do your Weekly Review in smaller bite-sized pieces.
I often find my Review gets spread out over time. Before I can do my review, I have to get my in-box to zero. Sometimes, that takes a very long time.
Then I look at list of higher-altitude goals. That usually doesn't take long.
Then I go through my waiting-for folder. That usually doesn't take too long.
Then I go through my calendar for this week and next. Again, that doesn't take too long.
Lastly, I review my lists of Projects and NAs.
That latter step usually does not take a long time, but it can be emotionally difficult. I usually allow myself to spend a few minutes doing something fun, like visit this forum, after I've completed it.
Maybe you'll get to do something fun, like list another completed Weekly Review in your log.
The fact is that I can do it even if I do not feel like doing it.
I joined today because I am looking for advice much like the sentence you wrote. It was embedded within a large number of similar nuggets of wisdom, but it was just what I needed to read.
Because you were so detailed in your response to OP, you increased the chances of any one of the ideas or tricks resonating with someone looking for a better way. I hope that with every post I write, I can follow the example you set.
Thanks for your kind words. The sentence you quoted is a paraphrase of the masterful book, The Feeling Good Handbook by David D. Burns, M.D. I am in the process right now of rereading it.
Originally Posted by applecore
There are few books worth going over year after year. GTD is one and The Feeling Good Handbook is another. Burns, like Allen, lays out a simple, easy-to-follow algorithm. He takes you through it step by step. Allen shows you how to get organized and accomplish more. Burns shows you how, among many other things, to face your demons and overcome procrastination.
Thank you everyone for your advice and encouragement!
I think #2 is a big part of it. I just don't feel like doing it. I think it may be that I am a trying to force myself to use omnifocus. It's a great program but maybe I just need to keep looking for another system that works better for me. I forced myself to do the weekly review (and input my next actions in omnifocus) and I found myself really irritated with the program. Perhaps I'm not comfortable enough with it?
I'll stick to it and report back in the hopes that my mistakes/lessons learned will assist someone else.
Omnifocus or any other gadget / software wont help.
Its a habit, not a technology.
True, but a bad system can hurt by contributing to avoidance.
Originally Posted by Algernon
Okay, I spent the last 3 days streamlining, compiling, processing & inputting action items in Omnifocus.
I realize now that I wasn't using the system because I wasn't completely comfortable with it. I spent about 45 minutes to an hour, just figuring out some of the shortcuts - which helped. Initially, I decided to forget about omnifocus and try a new system but I decided against it because: 1) I think it would be another way to procrastinate and 2) I really like the set-up and the fact that I can organize it by context or project. finally, I only open up omnifocus once a day. I print out my to-do list and if I need to add anything, it goes directly on the sheet of paper. I don't know why that makes a difference but it does for me.
I also got rid of my numerous notebooks (for the capture tool) and just put the one that I enjoy using in my purse (similar to the Amish Hipster PDA). Having the pen attached to it makes a big difference for me.
I scheduled the next weekly review on Friday and plan to do it first thing in the morning. But I also plan to do evening 'processing of the information captured' throughout the week so it doesn't pile up completely. I also have set aside some plastic accordion file to use when I travel.
And for all of my fellow weekly review-strugglers, I feel SO much better now. I am back to taking photographs & writing again, I feel so much lighter.
Thanks again everyone. It will be a challenge to make this a habit...but I feel like I'm back on the wagon!