The Weekly Review – how it is done, and why it is by far the most rewarding activity of your week. Period.

and why it is by far the most rewarding activity of your week. Period.
wrote this on January 6, 2013
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Those of you who practice GTD® ambitiously and enthusiastically probably know that the weekly review is the least easy GTD habit to adopt. Not only for the fact that it is done only once a week, obviously. It is just too easy to do another one of your juicy bite size actions instead, ticking it off and feeling satisfied. I’ve met many GTD practitioners in fact, who say collecting, processing and organizing are all sorted, doing goes smoothly, but the weekly review is something difficult, because you need disciplined focus. True! And the reward is priceless. So here’s some suggestions and inspiration to boost your appetite for the review and make it worthwhile

A weekly activity like the weekly review, performed at the same day and time every week helps you into a routine, however, the review is a delicate thing, so allow yourself to adjust time (and space) when you feel like it, in order to be more effective. Prepare for your review by emptying your inboxes; all of them! You could make it part of the review, of course, but from my own experience I can clearly say I procrastinate on the review when I know I am not ‘clear’. I tend to stick quite close to David Allen’s instructions for the review, and like getting ‘clear’ (processing stuff), ‘current’ (reviewing lists) and ‘creative’ (allowing new ideas to pop up), I have a similar approach I’d like to share with y’all:

Weekly Review Step 1: Completing the past:

  • Review your waiting for list, process and organize any actionables (like sending reminders).
  • Review your actions list, prioritize and process and organize any changes.
  • Scroll back in your calendar and let the items you find trigger any loose ends and open loops (like meetings that got cancelled and need rescheduling).

Weekly Review Step 2: Kick starting the present:

  • Scroll forward in your calendar for the next week or two and see if anything needs action or preparation beforehand.
  • Review projects, reflect on your commitment and decide on priorities. Every prioritized project should have at least one action on your actions list.
  • Review your tickler file for actions to be taken, process and organize.
  • Review your someday list for actions to be taken and projects to be started, process and organize.
  • Review your 20,000 ft horizon (responsibilities and area’s of focus), decide on actionables, process and organize.

Weekly review on IQTELL's Productivity Apps

Weekly Review Step 3: Designing the future:

  • Allow yourself some moments of silence and see what ideas, even science fiction pops up from your subconscious. Trust me, when you’ve done the past and present, your brain will serve you with awesome bulbs, waves and sparks for the future.
  • Look at your higher horizons. I review 30,000 ft goals every 6 weeks or so, 40,000 ft vision every 3-6 months and 50,000 ft purpose at least once a year, but I look at them every week. My life purpose gives me peace of mind, my vision inspires me, and my goals increase my ambition.

After the review, take some time for a break and mindfully enjoy the feeling of being in total control of yourself and your do-abouts. The review isn’t so much that compulsory bit of GTD you don’t like; it gives you a tasty appetite for your next week’s actions! The weekly review is the pumping heart of your GTD practice. It is the oxygen and fuel for the fire within to get your things done in alignment with your purpose.

Happy reviewing!


Guest Blog by Aukje Johanna Jansen-Olthuis aka JohannaTime.

* GTD® is a registered trademark of the David Allen Company. IQTELL is not affiliated with the David Allen Company.

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