The Power of a Weekly Review

Have you ever gone to work on Monday and felt like you were still carrying last week’s weight on your shoulders? Thoughts of what you have to do, should do, and want to do take up all of your mental RAM. Stress levels begin to rise and you wish you had some way of tying up loose ends beginning your week ahead of the game.

by Jimmy Brown via Flickr Creative Commons

by Jimmy Brown via Flickr Creative Commons

I’m about to share with you the single greatest strategy that keeps me ahead of the game from week to week. It keeps me fresh. It keeps me prepared. It keeps me in control of my time. Interested? Then keep reading.

Welcome to the power of a Weekly Review. This concept isn’t original to me. I discovered it through Michael Hyatt, one of the greatest blogging authorities on leadership around. Here’s how it works…

I usually being sometime around 6pm on Sunday Night. This has allowed me to recharge my batteries most of the weekend. Now, it’s time to start thinking about the work week again. Here are the steps I follow during the Weekly Review:

  1. Gather all loose papers, receipts, etc. and process them. I empty out my briefcase, padfolio, and wallet, put it all in one pile and begin to go through it piece by piece. As David Allen suggests for each piece, you can either trash it, act on it, or file it.
  2. Make a decision on all papers that require an action. If it’s something that takes only two minutes, I do it right then. If it will take longer than that, I can either defer it (add it to my calendar so that I have to deal with it) or delegate it (hand it off to someone better equipped to handle it and add it to my @WaitingOn list so I remember who I gave it to and can follow up later).
  3. Process my notes from the previous week. I use Evernote to house all of my papers electronically. Everything I think I may need to keep goes here. It’s a great way if you want to eliminate the clutter of paper.
  4. Review the upcoming calendar. You don’t want to be caught off guard by deadlines, meetings, ball games, or special date nights with your spouse. Look ahead and see if you need to prepare for anything. I use Google Calendar
  5. Review my to-do list. I also use Things as my task manager (to-do list). I’m not 100% thrilled with it, but I haven’t found anything better at this point.
  6. Review my @WaitingOn list. This is a list I use for anything I’ve delegated to someone else that was better suited for the task. In Things, I tag it with @WaitingOn so I can track who was responsible for it and a date for when I should follow up with that person.
  7. Review my project list. When an action includes many subactions, it goes onto the project list. Some projects have deadlines. Others may not, and these are the ones that usually are placed on the back burner repeatedly. If you want to start finishing projects, track them on a list and review it weekly.
  8. Review my someday/maybe list. These are the fleeting thoughts you have several times throughout the day…places you’d like to visit, books you’d like to write, conferences you may want to attend, etc. Look at this list regularly and commit to do one of them every so often.

For more information on the Weekly Review, please check out this article by Michael Hyatt.

Question: What do you do to prepare for the week? Would you do anything differently? Please let me know by leaving a comment.

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