“The Weekly Review is the critical success factor for marrying your larger commitments to your day-to-day activities.”
David Allen, Getting Things Done
Instead of waiting for January 1 to reset and reflect on our goals or even ask “what was I doing all this time” …
A weekly review gives us 52 rituals to improve on the previous week, to learn more about ourselves, how we live and how we work, to direct our life with intention.
We can start to fix / eliminate/ improve what is not serving us, and do more of what is working.
It is a dedicated time to think about the past week, reflect on what went well and what didn’t, and plan for the week ahead. To ensure that the what we do daily is helping us reach our goals.
End of Week Review
Choose your weekly review day, time, and place.
- Try to do your weekly review at the same time and day (e.g. Friday end afternoon, Sunday evening, Monday morning) + in the same place (e.g. your comfy sofa in your house or even your neighbourhood coffee shop). Consistency will help with building the ritual.
- Clean up your desk and workspace (e.g. tidy random items, computer screen).
- Get to “inbox zero”: answer or file what needs to be answered (e.g. email, text messages).
- File away electronic items (e.g. any screenshots, images, and documents that you might have saved on your computer desktop).
- Add any uncaptured personal and professional tasks or ideas to your master plan list.
1. Overall feeling
- What is your overall feeling? What did you manage to do and be that matters to you, your values and goals?
- Intended weekly goals vs. what was actually completed. Review priorities, calendar items, meetings, and notes from the past week.
2. Energy and focus
- What unexpectedly arose that blocked your productivity and take-away lessons. e.g. “I was derailed in my writing this week by several unexpected meetings. I will assess / ask how I can minimize these so I can focus.”
- Why you might have been more efficient than usual and take-away lessons. e.g. “I got more done than ever this week by delegating work to […]. I might hire […] in a full-time capacity / delegate more to[…].”
- Whether you staid energized – present and focused as you wanted and recharged throughout the days.
- Whether you avoided distractions – respecting your boundaries and the time blocks you had planned.
3. Resilience and growth mindset
- How you dealt with your emotions and responded to life challenges. e.g. fears, stress, anger.
- Whether you took actions with courage despite uncertainty or risk.
- Whether you identified something to learn or improve.
- Whether you were intentional about how you acted and the feelings you wanted to generate – setting intention at the start of the day and when transitioning activities. Review this article for more.
5. Authentic interactions
- Whether you shared your real self, thoughts and feelings with others.
- Whether you demonstrated care and compassion to others.
- Whether you inspired others as a leader.
Take the pulse on your goals and life areas
- See if this week helped to progress your overall personal and professional goals and key metrics for these.
- Revise any tasks that might have fallen behind schedule or circumstances that have changed.
- Where relevant, consider reflecting on the life areas in your “Holistic Life & Work Assessment” and assessing whether you want to adjust any of your goals.
- Identify your top 5 goals for the week ahead and for each, breakdown, from beginning to completion, the sub-tasks that you can complete in a few hours maximum. Make each step as specific and actionable as possible (where, what, when) to save you time puzzling over it later (e.g. “read” vs. “read chapter 5 of book x to prepare for presentation on date y”; “work on project X” vs. “do research about […] using […] to start X”).
- Based on your list of goals, sub-tasks and time estimate, plan your your days ahead (in the end of the week for the following week, and in the end of the day for any adjustments to the following day).
- Put actions in your calendar or project management tool. What is not scheduled does not get done 🙂 Include anything relevant – e.g. time blocks (up to 120 minutes) and transitions (10-15 minutes) to sustain your energy and focus, morning rituals, your fitness and wellness routine, your business priorities, your creative work, your social and your recreation time.
- Invite flexibility within your plan. Sometimes we put things in an order, but then they are created in a different order that makes even more sense – or life happens and they get done later. Allow yourself to be informed by reality. It is not about procrastinating, but allowing yourself to be a human being, beyond the planning and the doing!