Weekly Review: Key to GTD and achieving goals

By Leo Babauta

David Allen says that if you are not doing your weekly review, you are not doing GTD. I agree completely, and I’d like to add to that: if you are not reviewing your goals weekly, you are not focused on achieving your goals.

Every GTDer has put off the weekly review, sometimes for several weeks at a time. Every GTDer has felt the guilt of not doing the weekly review. Every GTDer, to live up to that title, needs to get back on the wagon and do the weekly review!

It is the key to the system. Here’s why:

A weekly review doesn’t have to take long if you do three things:

  1. process your inboxes on a daily basis, so you don’t have a huge pile of stuff waiting for you;
  2. set aside time dedicated to the weekly review, and clear aside all distractions; and
  3. really focus on getting the review done quickly and completely.

Here are the basic steps to a weekly review:

Note the last step: review your goals. This is the key to keeping your goals on track — you have to review them regularly. First you have to set your goals, of course, but then you have to review them (preferably daily, but at least weekly). If you’re not, then you’ll forget about them, and when you remember them, you’ll do some things towards your goals, and then forget again. You have to have a regular review of your goals on a weekly basis in order to keep that focus.

Here’s my best tip for doing the weekly review: make an appointment, either on Monday morning or Friday morning, with yourself to do the weekly review. I suggest the mornings because by afternoon time, you are way too busy with other stuff that comes up to keep this appointment. If you do it first thing in the morning, you can get it out of the way and move on to the rest of your chaotic day. Stick to this appointment — keep it sacred — or your system will begin to fall apart.