Do you find yourself getting to your desk on Monday morning, only to realize you have no idea what to do next? Or even lack the motivation to get started? Then maybe it’s time to implement a weekly review.
A weekly review system is meant to help you stay productive and achieve your long terms goals. Instead of constantly being “busy”, I have found that a weekly review helps me to prioritize the important tasks for the week. Get more done in less time, that’s a big win in my books!
Honestly, if I didn’t have a review process in place, I don’t think I would have made half the progress toward my goals.
Still interested? Let’s get started.
What Is A Weekly Review?
A weekly review is as it sounds, a retrospective look at your week. It is a dedicated time each week for you to reflect on the past week. It’s also a good time to plan the next week. This ensures that your actions are in alignment with your goals and vision.
I’ve found that this is also a good opportunity to “clear the decks” with my physical and digital workspace as well. More on this topic below.
A Weekly Assessment Of Your Life
Personally, I like to answer these three questions – what went well, what could have been done better, and what are the key lessons learned?
This is also a good opportunity to look at your next steps. What are the top 3-5 tasks that I need to get done that help to move the needle?
Essentially, the weekly review act like guard rails. It forces you to align what you’re currently working on and what you want to be working on. Think about it as a regular checkpoint so you don’t go too far off track!
When Should You Do You Do A Weekly Review?
I like to set aside Sunday morning to do this. It’s quiet at home and there’s usually nothing on the agenda. I grab a cup of coffee and spend 30-45 minutes reflecting on the week, planning the next week, and clearing my workspace.
It doesn’t have to be Sunday and it doesn’t need to be a very long exercise. Some people can get it done within 10 minutes on Monday morning! Just try to find a consistent time each week so you can get into a routine.
You can even try to schedule a brain dump at the same time each week.
Clearing The Physical And Digital Workspace
I’m a bit of a neat freak so I find this step helpful. Clear workspace, clear mind.
I give my physical workspace a bit of a light dusting and ensure all bits of paper are filed or binned. My desk is “reset” every week. That way, on Monday morning, I’m not procrastinating and “cleaning” instead of diving into my first task.
Next is my digital workspace, here’s a template checklist that I use in Notion every week.
Again, your mileage may vary depending on your working habits. There are some people I know that have 1,000s of unread emails and they’re just as productive.
When I check my Calendar and process my task inbox, this goes hand in hand with my weekly planning. Pick out the top tasks and make sure they’re prioritized and you block out time to do those tasks. These are then front and center of what I need to get done in the coming week.
Again, this gives me the feeling of a clean slate on my desktop on Monday morning.
What Are The Benefits Of A Weekly Review?
I’m sure there are plenty of other benefits of a weekly review, but here are three off the top of my head.
Long-Term Goal Alignment
As mentioned earlier, a weekly review can help ensure you’re on track with your goals. I used to get so bogged down with tasks that weren’t even relevant to what I wanted to achieve.
The weekly review is a crucial step because it’s a regular reminder of these goals, and it also helps you break down your tasks into daily actions to help you move closer to the finish line.
From my personal experience, if I don’t check on my written goals every once in a while, I somewhat forget about them. There’s no point in writing down those New Year’s resolutions and never checking in on them!
Objectives and key results (OKRs) is a goal-setting framework that tech giants like Intel and Google use.
In its simplest form, ask yourself “What am I trying to achieve here?”. Then you’ll need to have some metrics to measure your progress.
For example, I have a powerlifting goal of deadlifting 500lbs. Just last week, I was able to hit 475lbs (key result). If you’re a data nerd like me, you’ll find this is a really great way of keeping yourself motivated (barring any injuries!). I can then tinker with my training program for more reps, weights, or add in a de-load week.
Identify Ways To Improve Your Work And Performance
Once you start completing weekly reviews on a regular basis – you’ll notice trends in how you work. If you answer questions like:
- What went well?
- What could have been done better?
- What are the key lessons learned?
- What are my biggest constraints now?
By picking up on these patterns, you can optimize your habits to maximize your chances of achieving your goals. Design your environment to help you succeed! Use a habit tracker to help keep track of your progress.
How To Get Started With A Weekly Review
As with any new habit, I suggest starting with the minimum effort.
Next Sunday morning, find 10-15 minutes when you won’t be disturbed. Grab a pen and some paper. Using some of the examples I provided above, create a short review checklist and plan what your next week will look like.
As you sit there, you’ll come up with other questions and ideas you’d like to implement into your review. Jot them down for next week. Rinse and repeat.
If you are interested in implementing a digital weekly planner, check out this post on How To Make A Weekly Planner In Notion.
Hope you found this helpful and that it improves your productivity!
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