I can hear Mel Gibson in the movie Braveheart yelling at the top of his lungs, “FREE-DOM!” For me, that’s freedom from the nagging sensation that I’m forgetting something.
As a mom of twins, that nagging sensation can taunt me often if I’m not careful. I need assurance that it’s OK to not to be doing what I’m not doing. I found a system that gives me the freedom to do just that. I do what I want to do, when I want to do it.
In this series, I’m implementing David Allen’s Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity (GTD) method to my new mommy-life. This system was my lifesaver in my corporate life, now I’m taking these same principles to the home front. Check out these posts if you missed them:
photo credit: Alana Donavon
Your Goal is Freedom. This whole GTD method (1) grants you a system that captures everything in your head onto paper (or computer). And (2) gives you the freedom to do what you want, when you want. But this freedom has a cost. You’ll need to review your system on a regular basis to keep in control of your stuff.
Day 6: Weekly Review
Today we’re looking at the weekly review. You may decide to do this once a day. I prefer once a week.
People often ask me, “How much time do you spend looking at your system?” My answer is simply, “As much time as I need to to feel comfortable about what I’m doing.” David Allen(p. 182). Kindle Edition.
Take for instance your @calls list. You want to trust that your list of phone calls is always a complete list of your phone calls. The moment your brain knows you’re missing a call is the moment you cease trusting the system. Therefore, a regular review to collect and process all your to-do’s is required.
If you’ve been following along with this series, you’ve already been doing steps. Now you’re just making a regular “date” with yourself to ensure your system is current.
- Gather all loose papers, receipts, notes, mail and drop it in your inbox.
- Clean out your purse and wallet.
Get to Inbox Zero!
- Process completely all outstanding paper materials, voicemails, text messages, emails.
- Delete items on your computer desktop, email sent folders, phone voicemails.
Empty Your Head.
- Write onto paper any to-dos you have floating in your head.
- Add any new projects, action items, waiting-for’s, and some-day maybe’s.
- Want to plan a shower for your friend Mary? Go ahead and list it on your Project List.
Review Action Lists.
- Mark off anything you’ve already completed. Look at your lists to see if you can think of anything else you might need to add.
Review Previous Calendar Data.
- Glance at your calendar, there may be items you need to add to your Action Items or notes you may need to file for reference.
- You may recall that at your last Mommy-and-Me class you told your friend you would bring her a book the next time.
Review Your Upcoming Calendar.
- Anything you need to start getting ready for? Add those to-dos to your action lists.
- Review your Waiting For list, you may need to follow-up with someone on an action you delegated. Check off items you have received.
- Is it time to start planning your daughter’s birthday? Go ahead and add this to your Project List.
Review Project Lists.
- A project is any outcome that requires more than one Next Action. For example, “Plan Mary’s shower” would be a project. So you would list this project on your Project List.
- Review your Project List and make sure you have at least one current action item on each.
Review Any Relevant Checklists.
- Look through your lists to see if they’ll trigger any Next Actions.
- For instance, you may have a day care packing list and noticed there are a few items you need to pick up at the store.
Review Your Someday/Maybe List.
- Anything on these lists that you want to make current? If so, transfer it to your Project List and create your first Action Item for it.
- For instance, “Go Skydiving” might be one of your items. Now it’s time to make it an active project with your Next Action to be “convince your husband to let you go.” You’d place that on your @agenda list for your hubbie.
- Delete items that you no longer want to do.
Be Creative & Courageous.
- David Allen asks “are there any new, wonderful, hare-brained, creative, thought-provoking, risk-tasking ideas to add to your system? Now’s the time to add them.
WOO-HOO! After you’ve completed your Weekly Review, you can be assured that you are handling exactly what you want when you want. Freedom is here!
Resources: I use the web based app toodledo to organize my action lists. I can access it anytime on my phone as well.
For more on GTD, go to David Allen’s site. I strongly recommend reading his book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity. It’s the best resource on implementing this method.
Related posts: Getting Things Done for a New Mom
Day 1: The Tools You’ll Need
Day 2: Collection. Capturing All the Stuff in Your Head
Day 3: Process. The Work Flow
Day 4: Process. What’s the Next Action
Day 5: Organizing Your Buckets
Day 6: Weekly Review