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David Allen has described the weekly review as key to GTD, but it's been the hardest part for me to adopt. When things get really busy, I am usually able to keep up with a minimum amount of collecting, processing, tickling, and doing -- but the weekly review often falls by the wayside. As a result, I'm practicing good hygiene, but not gaining traction on some long-term goals.

What I've tried:

  • Schedule a specific, dedicated time for it. (Often blown away by unexpected incoming priorities).
  • Move the scheduled time to one that's easier to stick to. (It's hard to find a timeslot that is consistently both free, and that I will arrive at with enough energy to actually do the reviewing.)
  • Just commit to "doing it some time on Sunday." (I'm too likely to never have done it by the time the day is over.)
  • Try to remember how great I felt when I did the last one. (This actually helps for a while, but when something else pre-empts a review, it's very hard to get back into the groove the next week.)
  • Tie it to another habit. (like leaving a note in my lunch bag, etc.)

But I keep falling off of the wagon.

What else can I do to increase the chances that I'll do it regularly?

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Do or do not…there is no try - Yoda – hellectronic Dec 20 '11 at 8:26
Been there, done that. None of it helped. I'm curious for some ideas. – xmjx Dec 20 '11 at 9:32
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You could schedule the weekly review for a time outside official office hours to avoid interruptions. If coming in one hour early doesn't work for you energy-wise, maybe it works if you develop the habit of coming in one hour early every day (and going to bed one hour earlier). Or two hours early and you spend the first half hour getting to a caffeine level you're are viable at.

Then there are Saturdays. Maybe it's easier coming in on a Saturday morning. You could do your review and then go for your usual shopping spree or hit a café to read stuff from your backlog. If your employer is fine with this you could leave earlier on Friday to compensate for the lack of quality time with your family.

Anyway, I'd think that scheduling a fixed time for the weekly review is key. Now, that I'm thinking about it, I think I will move my weekly review from Fridays 4 pm (which rarely works for me) to Friday 8 am when the office is empty and the coffee machine is mine.

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Find a friend who is also practicing GTD and then make it a practice to tell/inquire each other about the progress.

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Make weekly review the first task in the morning if you cannot do it at the end of the day. Try to avoid interruptions and do it as fast as you can. Note down in you calendar when you have done you reviews so that you get the habit. Priority tasks should wait 20min, for example. Is that possible?

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jrosell, this was also helpful to me - thanks. +1. – Royce Williams Jan 4 '12 at 7:22

Make it brief. I rarely spend more than 15 minutes on it, which makes it much easier to find time for it.

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I give myself 1 pomodoro worth of time on Thursday morning for my weekly review. I find that weekends are hard because we have lots going on, and Fridays tend to involve a lot of scrambling to finish off work scheduled for the week (plus vacation days etc.).

Unless the universe is on fire (huge emergency) I'll inform any interrupters of my review that I'll come talk to them within 25 minutes (ie: pomodoro completed). They are usually fine with this compromise, as long as you actually follow-up as promised.

The biggest motivation I've had to continuing to do them is that if I don't then the backlog of things to review becomes so huge that it's intimidating to even get started. Also, since I'm always doing it, there's no problems with not being able to be done within a single pomodoro (and usually with time to spare).

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Wally, I found this insightful as well - thanks for the answer. +1. – Royce Williams Jan 4 '12 at 7:22

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