What Carpenters Teach us About Productivity (plus two new ways to see the Weekly Review)

Photo by Elkost

It's been several days since my last post, partly due to my reading of this post by Seth Godin.  Seth's point is simple: who is your audience in the blogosphere?  Is it the occasional reader who knows your stuff or the happenstance reader who has just discovered your material?  Your Aunt Helen who just got her first computer?

I've also been thinking lots about the GTD Weekly Review, a powerful habit that I believe pays off in spades once you commit to practicing it.  I've written about the weekly review before ('The Mystique of the Weekly Review' and 'The Power of the Weekly Review' )and continue to peel away the layers of the onion.  It's only now though, that I realize something new about the weekly review.

That's where doorways enter the discussion.

We had a carpenter to the house recently to give us an estimate on opening up our kitchen into an ajascent room.   His notes included labor and materials but he was most concerned with the flow from one room to the next.  "It should feel like two spaces that have one vibe" he said.   Sound like the weekly review?  You bet.

New Metaphors in Productivity
We all know that we should practice the weekly review but let's face it- we all fall off the wagon from time to time.   As I recently did a phone interview with friend and publisher Gene Monterastelli about time management, I stressed the importance of the weekly review.   I also mentioned:

  • Inbox: have one and teach those around you to funnel as much (or even better, as little!) as possible into the inbox.  Let it work for you and then work it in return.

  • Calendar: whether digital or old fashioned paper, a good calendar is an absolute must for a serious GTD practitioner.

Here are some other ways to look at the weekly review:

A doorway is a terrific way of looking at how we prep for any given week.  A smart and elegant doorway even makes you want to enter the home it occupies whereas a drab front door is almost telling you to get lost.  A stylish practice of the weekly review can serve this same purpose- it gets you excited about the week ahead.

A hinge is another way to see the weekly review.  No door frame is given credit for keeping those who pass through it safely.  The frame and accompanying hinges are essential to safe passage into the next room.  Likewise, a thorough, simple and fun weekly review is like a strong hinge- everything can rest on it.  The passage of the week is made better because of it.

Whether you are a doorway reviewer or prefer the hinge metaphor, a productive person knows that a consistent (ahem, weekly) review is vital to work-flow.  It builds momentum into the week and gives your life a common vibe, kind of like my kitchen remodel.

Person Gene Monterastelli

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GTDMike StPierre