On the practice of a weekly review

A weekly review is an excellent idea. Here are some of the reasons why I do it:

  1. Track and celebrate accomplishments. Ever wondered where your days went? Tracking your accomplishments lets you get a handle on what you’ve done. Celebrating what you’ve finished encourages you to do more, too.
  2. Deliberately plan the next week. Instead of just reacting to the tasks and interruptions that come up during the week, sit down and plan a few things that you want to do.
  3. Follow up on priorities. If a priority task needs more work, having it on your list makes it easy to follow up (or see where you’re procrastinating!).
  4. Keep people up to date. If you make it easy for family, friends, and coworkers to keep up with what you’re doing, they’ll know more about interests, resources and opportunities that can help you.
  5. Make it easy to review the year. Having a record of your accomplishments and tasks makes those yearly reviews so much easier.
  6. Reflect on what worked and what can be better. Reviewing your week and planning the next one nudges you to think about how things can be better.

It doesn’t take a lot of time, and the benefits are tremendous. I can usually do my weekly review in 15-30 minutes.

Here’s what I’ve learned from doing so:

  • Bullet lists keep things short and simple. You don’t need to document everything – just enough to help you remember.
  • Categories help you keep things balanced. There are lots of different category systems you can use, and you can make up your own. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People recommends thinking in terms of your different roles. Getting Things Done has lots of good pointers for weekly reviews. Play around with the idea.
  • There are lots of ways to do a weekly review, so experiment to find what works for you. Some people like asking a set of questions instead. Others like using spreadsheets. Find out what works for you!

If you’re new to blogging, a weekly review helps you ease into the habit of publishing, and it can help you improve your productivity habits too. Give it a try!

Books:

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Stephen R. Covey

 

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
David Allen

(Disclosure: Links above are Amazon affiliate links. That said, I recommend checking out your local library. I got these books from the Toronto Public Library, yay!)


Thanks to Kay for the nudge to write about this!

I’ll be away from Dec 30, 2009 to Jan 5, 2009. See you when I get back!

One Pingback/Trackback

  • http://janalonzo.info Jan Alonzo

    Care to share more deets how you’re tracking your activities/accomplishments? How do you streamline it and make the analysis task easier?

    Thanks.

  • http://higginsbass.wordpress.com/ Matt Higgins

    Very cool Sacha, I think doing something like this would definitely help me (and others) manage time and plan their weeks better!

  • http://sachachua.com Sacha Chua

    Jan: I jot quick notes down on my iPod touch or refer to the completed items on my task list. =) It’s only a week, so it’s easy to remember.

    Matt: It’s a very useful practice. For more notes on this, you can check out David Allen’s book “Getting Things Done.” Have fun!

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