GTD Notes: Chapter 08 – The Weekly Review

This is a series of posts with reading notes of the book “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” by David Allen.

My notes on Chapter 08: Reflecting: Keeping It All Fresh and Functional

The GTD methodology aims to have information organized in a such a way that we see all the actions we NEED to see, WHEN we need to see them.

Recommendations on What to Look at Daily:

  1. Look at the Calendar first: check all the day and time specific commitments

  2. Look at the Action Lists: review the lists so that we feel confident we are not missing anything critical

But these lists can become a nuisance if they are not kept up to date. So this chapter dives deep into the famous “Weekly Review”.

Very simply, the Weekly Review is whatever you need to do to get your head empty again and get oriented for the next couple of weeks. — David Allen

The Weekly Review has 3 parts:

For reference there is a checklist available here.

When and where to do a Weekly Review

For a typical 5-day work week, David Allen recommends blocking off 2 hours on the last workday for the review.

This is something I realized I have not been doing well in my work routine. Because I have my personal weekly review on the weekend, I kinda neglect the review at work, thinking “Oh, I will do it with my personal one at home”. And that never happens. When I'm doing my personal review I'm in another mode, a different mood, and I don't really want to look into work related stuff.

That being said, I now blocked off my Calendar on Fridays, from 3:30pm to 5pm to dedicate exclusively on my work weekly review. My personal review will continue to be on Sunday mornings.

Until then, do whatever you need to, once a week, to trick yourself into backing away from the daily grind for a couple of hours—not to zone out, but to rise up at least to the horizon of all your projects and their statuses, and to catch up with everything else that relates to what’s pulling on your attention. — David Allen

For people with non-typical 9 to 5 jobs or different lifestyles, the review can be done on long plane or train trips, in a favourite coffee shop, during their children's weekend activity (like choir practice), etc.

At the end of this chapter David Allen mentions that it probably takes 2 years of implementing the GTD methodology to get to a point where we are confident about all our horizons (including visions, values and objectives). This might seem daunting, but it really is a long term practice because GTD has the potential to touch all levels of our lives, if we want to.

The next chapter is about “Engaging” and I'm curious to know what have I missed about it when I read it before. I can say that deciding what to do every day is one of my biggest challenges nowadays.

Post 42/100 of 100DaysToOffload challenge! #100DaysToOffload #100Days #productivity #GTD #GTDnotes

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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.