If you’ve been playing along, then you now have a MASSIVE list of next actions, tonnes of projects and a whole new understanding of your reference materials. No? Me neither. I find that over a few weeks, the volume builds up. I fully expected to have spent this morning constructing a new filing cabinet, but in considering my reference materials, it became apparent to me that the vast majority should be stored digitally. I pretty much got out of paper in 2015 when I sold my company. What little was left fell away in 2018 when I emigrated to Cyprus. Filling a new cabinet with dead trees felt wrong. So, instead, I’m revisiting my workflows and deciding on how I can best create and manage my electronic reference library. But I digress.
Everything thus far has been in preparation. Now, we need to work out what the hell we’re supposed to be doing. Enter the Weekly Review. In Mr Allen’s words;
“Get clear, get current and get creative.” I do mine on Friday afternoon. In fact, it’s the only thing I schedule for Friday afternoon.
- Make sure everything I need to be “In” is in. Is everything that I need to remember in my in-tray? I’ll whizz through my emails, my notebooks and notecards.
- I’ll process everything from in-tray to lists, projects, reference or the bin. The target is “Inbox Zero” - even if only for a few minutes.
- I go through each list and each project. Are things done, or perhaps no longer relevant? Do I need to update a project? What’s next for Projects A, B & C?
- Check my calendar. Did anything in the last week generate some actions that I need to capture? What’s coming this week? What am I up to?
- Review “Waiting for” list. Is there anything I need to chase up?
Invariably, I always find myself tying up some loose ends.
- What is my priority for next week? This emerges from the process above. When am I going to work on it?
- Timeblock. I make decisions about where actions go. Not all of them, by any means, but the most important things get slotted into the “high value” slots. (Tuesday and Thursday mornings).
- Someday/Maybe list. Is there something here that sparks? A thing for which the time is right?
I don’t get too prescriptive with the week planning, because most of it is already done. Things imports my upcoming calendar events, and has some recurring tasks. I add in priority items and some additional time blocks to batch administration tasks. It takes me about five minutes. I suspect that my subconscious then gets to work over the weekend. Certainly, come Monday morning, I have a week plan in place and am ready to go.
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