04/26/2015 07:15 am ET Updated Jun 26, 2015

6 Eye-Opening Steps to Create Your Best Work Week Ever


Working with you is frustrating because you are always so busy.

You neglect and overlook important items and have become the bottleneck on every project. More importantly, because of your busy schedule, you are frustrating customers and team members.

But what can you do? How do you resolve this chronic issue? The solution is rather simple -- the weekly review. This is an opportunity to take an inventory of how you are spending your time and resources.

David Allen Is Getting Things Done

Over the past year, I have obsessed with habits that will improve my personal and entrepreneurial life. I ran across David Allen's book, Getting Things Done a few months ago. And the following text represents the importance of the weekly review:

We book ourselves in back to back meetings all day, go to after-hours events and generate ideas and commitments we need to deal with, and get embroiled in engagements and projects that have the potential to spin our creative intelligence into cosmic orbits.

The whirlwind of activity is precisely what makes the Weekly Review so valuable. It builds in some capturing, reevaluation, and reprocessing time to keep you in balance. There is simply no way to do this necessary regrouping while you're trying to get everyday work done.

The Weekly Review, a Blueprint in Action

I was skeptical about implementing the weekly review.

I did not believe that a reevaluation of my time could add value to my busy schedule. But after using the process for the last few months, I am making considerable progress. I'm creating more control over my time and resources. As a result, I am more productive.

As my productivity increases, so does my margin. And the opportunity to say "no" to projects that are not in line with my annual goals.

So, what does my weekly review look like? This is my agenda based off of Allen's book:

1. Gather all loose paper and process. I take all the receipts, notes on scrap paper and interesting magazine articles. I then filter the loose paper through this list:

  1. Trash it -- since there is nothing of value.
  2. Add it to my Wunderlist Someday/Maybe list -- for future follow-up.
  3. Add it to my Wunderlist Reference list -- if it's something I need as a resource.
  4. Will it take two minutes? -- I will then do it immediately.
  5. Will it take longer than two minutes -- I will add it as a project to Wunderlist.
  6. Can it be delegated -- I will add it to Wunderlist under my @WaitingFor list.

2. Process all my notes.

I used the Evernote Smart Notebook, but it frustrated me. I did not see the benefit of writing notes only to scan them into Evernote. So, I decided to stop using the notebook and just type the notes into Evernote.

Once in Evernote, I organize the notes into notebooks and tags. My system is in constant beta, but Michael Hyatt has a system that works well.

3. Review the previous calendar.

This is an important step. It allows me to see how busy or how productive I have been. I have found that if I attend too many meetings, I become less productive.

So I keep my meeting quota to a minimum. If I do attend a meeting, I will ask that the meeting be no longer than 30 minutes and that there be an agenda.

If I am calling the meeting, I will implement the same process.

4. Review the upcoming calendar.

I am taking an inventory of what project items I am responsible for. More importantly, I am checking my @WaitingFor list so that I know who to follow up with during the week.

I also take this time to review my project lists and I schedule all tasks in Wunderlist.

5. Review Someday/Maybe list.

In all honesty, this is my bucket list of crazy ideas.

I scan this list and look for any ideas that are in-line with my annual goals. If there is a match and it adds value to my goals, I will turn the idea into a project for the current calendar year.

6. Review my annual goals.

At the end of every fiscal year, I set my annual goals for the next year. The review keeps me on track.

I get the opportunity to course correct a project so it re-aligns itself with my goals. Or in some cases, I find that I will need to change the goal because of a project.

Question: Do you have a weekly review process? If yes, then what works for you or what does not work for you?

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