10 Tips After 1,000 GTD Weekly Reviews
10 Tips After 1,000 GTD Weekly Reviews

10 Tips After 1,000 GTD Weekly Reviews

04/17/2024 by Jason M. Atwood (he/him)
Improve your work and your GTD practice with these tips and takeaways from hundreds of weeks of weekly reviews.

Thanks to Amazon, I know exactly when I purchased Getting Things Done by David Allen. But knowing exactly when I first did a weekly review consistently was a bit of a guess. I gave myself a few months and picked a date of Saturday, January 15th, 2005. That made Saturday, March 16th, 2024 my 1,000th weekly review. 

While I shared 8 tips after 800, I figured that 4 years later, let’s come up with a few new ones and a few repeats.

1. Be consistent

Setting a consistent time to do your weekly review is important. Most people I coach throw it in their calendar and have it repeating in their trusted system. Like any good habit to build, if you can get it to be consistently done at the same time every week, it will feel strange when you miss one.

2. Bring a buddy

GTD is a very lonely habit. It is only you and your productivity and at times it can feel like you are doing things in a vacuum. Find a GTD pal or a Weekly Review Buddy and nudge them for influence or tips. We at Arkus sometimes do our Weekly Reviews together. 

3. Socialize it

If buddy isn’t working, shout it out to the world. Post it on social media or internal groups. I tweet my Weekly Review every week as well as post it internally in our GTD Slack Channel. 

4. Do it at the end

While some coaches I have met say that the time of the week doesn’t matter, I would beg to differ. Doing it at the end of the week gives you space to review things while they are not still coming at you. Picking a time where the rest of the work world slows down helps you from getting distracted or pulled into something that isn’t your review. 

5. Customize it

You should start with David Allen’s list but customize it for yourself by adding in your own inboxes, your own things to look at, and review. My GTD Weekly Review in OmniFocus is fully customized for my life and changes as my roles and responsibilities change. 

6. Break it up

Getting a few hours of space to focus on anything is tough in the modern world, so it is ok to break it up into smaller chunks over a few days. Mine is set to start on Thursday afternoon and due Saturday morning so I can snack on my Weekly Review over a few days if needed. 

7. Create a chain

This tip comes from Jerry Seinfeld in his calendar chain for writing a new joke every day. Keep a journal or spreadsheet of your weekly reviews and don’t break the chain. Don’t miss one week. As the chain grows so will the pain of breaking it.

8. Reward yourself

Straight from Charles Duhigg’s Power of Habit is giving yourself a reward for creating a new habit. He uses chocolate, I use a warm cup of coffee and some great music as my motivator. While I might change a lot of things, for the last few years Paul Simon’s Graceland has been my go-to Weekly Review Music. 

9. Change locations 

A new space can bring new energy, so finding someplace other than your desk to do your weekly review can be a motivator. Go to a coffee shop, a church, an empty conference room, or your backyard. While I mostly do it from my desk in my office at home where I have lived for over 20 years, I never turn down the opportunity to do it from a plane, by the lake in Maine, or in a foreign country. 

10. Get coached

Have legal issues? Hire a lawyer. A leak in the kitchen? You get a plumber. Having productivity issues or your Weekly Review isn’t flowing like it should? Get a GTD Coach. Some are for hire, some you can just tweet at like me and get some free advice. Find a good forum or start up a channel at work to collaborate and share. 

Above and beyond all these tips is the simple advice and saying that even a bad GTD Weekly Review is better than no review at all. So be like Nike and “Just Do It”.

Feel free to hit me up @JasonMAtwood or over on LinkedIn.

Happy Weekly Review!