Now that I have two children at school and one at kindergarten there seems to be a lot more paper coming into the house! There are notes about school trips, events for parents to attend, sports days, lunches to buy and a whole heap more. It’s hard to keep track off. Taking the time to have a weekly review really helps me to stay on top of things and be more intentional about my week. Here’s how a weekly review makes you more productive.
What is a weekly review?
A weekly review is a time set aside each week to go through your tasks and appointments for the week. It is more than just glancing at your calendar and planner. It involves going through all your paperwork and digital planners and inboxes to make sure that all your bases are covered. Another key component is reviewing how you are getting on with long-term goals and projects. A weekly review is recommended by Dave Allen, the productivity expert from Getting Things Done. Check out the website for great tips on doing a weekly review.
How I structure my weekly planning session
First thing I do is get out my planner. I started using The Organized Life Planner from Intentional Moms about 3 months ago and I love it! It really works well with a Weekly Review as I have my calendar, to do list, projects and goals all set out before me. I use the notes section on the ‘Look Back’ page for my Weekly Review Checklist.
Prayer is an important first step when doing my Weekly Review (or any kind of planning) although I am still working on remembering to use this discipline! I ask God to help me to remember anything that I may not have written down and to guide me as I plan any next steps with projects and goals.
I then spend a few minutes searching my brain for anything I might still be storing in there instead of writing it down. Writing things down instead of trying to remember them is a great practice – but I’m still working on that too! A quick brain dump usually only takes a few minutes as I think through my week, but I might come up with one or two things that I quickly jot down.
Review previous week – what needs to be rescheduled?
Next step is to review the previous week. I start by looking at my calendar and to do lists in my planner and the post-it notes on my Adjustable Weekly Planner. These planners make it easy for me to see how I got on with what I had planned to do in the previous week. I can then reschedule anything that didn’t get done or wasn’t completed.
Check calendars for this week
Now it is time to check my calendar for the coming week. I check my google calendar and the monthly spread on The Organized Life Planner.
Quick Tip: I fold some washi tape over the end of the calendar page in my planner so I can easily access it.
I copy events from my calendar into the daily sections in my planner and write on post-it notes for my Adjustable Weekly Planner.
Go through paperwork and inboxes
Now it is time to tackle the inboxes! This is the stage that requires the most work but is also the most satisfying as you feel more on top of things and ready to tackle your week when it is completed.
I start with all the paperwork and do a quick tidy of my desk before I empty my inbox. I keep an inbox on my desk where all letters, bills and notes go and my children know that any notes from school are to go straight into this box.
I plan to go into this stage more in an upcoming post. But for now. let’s just say that I deal with anything that can be done quickly, and add details to my calendar and to do list. I have clear plastic files in my inbox for anything that needs to be actioned or requires a response.
I use the same process to sort through my digital inboxes – email, asana, OneNote, comments and notifications.
You can also read more about using this method on the Getting Things Done website.
Review weekly schedule, habits, projects and goals
The final stage is to do a quick review of how I am getting on with any habits, projects and goals I have set myself. These are all set out in my Organized Life Planner and my Project Board, so they are easy to review. Any next actions I want to work on this week are written down on post-it notes to add to my Adjustable Weekly Planner.
This is when I finally place all the post-it notes on my planner and construct my week.
I’m now armed and ready to hit the week!
How to set up your own weekly review
The first thing you need to do is decide on a time each week to conduct your weekly review. You need to schedule this into your calendar so that it gets done and becomes part of your weekly routine.
Next, you will want to have a checklist to work through. Use the form below to download my checksheet and then adapt it to your needs.
Get your week organized
Download the FREE Weekly Review Check sheet.
Your first couple of reviews will probably take a while as you learn the process and have a lot to catch up on and organise. But, after a while, the process becomes routine and doesn’t take long.
So, how does the Weekly Review help me to be more productive?
- I am less overwhelmed at the start of the week as I know that I have gone through all the paperwork and my plans.
- I don’t (well, I’m less likely) to forget things and then have to spend more time catching up.
- I don’t have to waste time making decisions about what to do as my week has been planned out.
- I am way more productive with habits, projects and goals as I dedicate time each week to working on these areas.
Do you do a weekly review? How have you found it beneficial?