GTD Cafe: The Power of the Weekly Review

Each Wednesday The Daily Saint focuses on the Getting Things Done methodology as put forth by David Allen.

Today's guest post is from Stephen Smith from Hidden Dragon Biz Blog

The Weekly Review has real
power, the power to heal your mind and let you get your things done. As
David Allen writes:


"Everything that might potentially require action must
be reviewed on a frequent enough basis to keep your mind from taking
back the job of remembering and reminding."


~Getting Things Done, p.46

Left to its own devices, your lists of things to do in life and at
work come at you too fast for your overloaded mind to keep up. You will
find yourself overwhelmed, surrounded by “opportunities to excel“ (a
business-book euphemism for crises!).

When you are surrounded by things that need to get done, tasks to be
accomplished and e-mails to be returned, you can get the feeling that
you have nowhere to turn. Without a coherent plan you will have no way
to decide what choice to make, and then the feeling that any choice is the wrong one will
leave you paralyzed, only to submerge beneath the waves of tasks and

The weekly review is the time to get current

There are six basic steps to the Weekly Review:

  1. Gather and process all of your inputs

  2. Review the efficiency of your system

  3. Update your lists

  4. Clean out your in-boxes

  5. Clear off your workspace

  6. Archive your completed Next Actions and Projects

Followed regularly, the Weekly Review will give you the chance to
fix systems that are broken and catch things before they slip through
the cracks. Using (yes, really using) your collection tools such
as the In-box and Tickler file are essential to the success of your
Weekly Review, as these tools provide a central place for all of the
information that needs to be reviewed.


"The affairs of life embrace a multitude of interests,
and he who reasons in any one of them, without consulting the rest, is
a visionary unsuited to control the business world."


~James Fenimore Cooper

Resources for the Road

I have a set of Worksheets and guidance for the Weekly Review

David Allen has a
free article
on the Weekly Review at his business site

Using Microsoft Outlook to automate the Weekly Review