Set aside review time
One of the most productive things we can do each day is review what is going to happen, and later review what actually happened. I can’t tell you how useful this has been for me to make sure I don’t miss deadlines and keep on schedule.
Generally, I encourage people to review their tasks/projects on a daily basis, but to also have a general weekly review, which comes from the GDT method.
For my weekly review, I look back at the last seven days and I look ahead to the next seven to ten days. This allows me to keep ahead of schedule on projects/dead lines that I may not normally see by only looking seven days ahead, but are important for me to still get done this next week.
My weekly review, on average, only takes me a few minutes now because I’ve become very faithful in scheduling tasks in my task management app: Asana. Because the majority of tasks are already there each week, I only have four steps to take for my upcoming week:
- Make sure no individual day has too much to do, and move tasks around accordingly.
- Figure out when I will complete tasks that didn’t get done from the previous week
- Review my pending tasks to make sure some of them haven’t become more important than what I previously scheduled
- Fill in any additional gaps with tasks I’ve kept pending.
What’s amazing about this weekly review is that it can be done so quickly now that I’m in a rhythm, but it’s extremely valuable and I wouldn’t trade this weekly office habit for any other.
With the weekly review done, the daily ones become much more simple. Since every day should have been adjusted to have a workload appropriate for the day, I only have to make adjustments to my schedule if something comes up. When it does, I can either:
- Keep pressing on and hope time opens up later
- Figure out which tasks weren’t as necessary this week and bump them off till next week.
Usually I opt for number one, but occasionally I’ll just bump tasks to the following week if I really start to fall behind.
Odd work weeks
My work week, like many pastors, is broken up. I work Monday through Thursday, and then Saturday and Sunday (I do a lot of admin on Sunday afternoon and night). Because of this, I tend to do my major week review on Thursdays, and then a minor week review on Mondays. This has worked for me, and I hope you can find one that works with your odd schedule as well.
When things fall apart
This week has been a perfect example for me. I have been getting increasingly sick and last Tuesday it all came to a head when I had to go to the doctor because I couldn’t walk even a block that night. The rest of the week was extremely painful and very unproductive. So I opted for option two and I bumped as much as I could off until later and I focused on doing the necessary, and now that I’m feeling much better (not totally there, but better), I’m able to start adding back in more of my normal routine.
I hope this helps you think about what a weekly review could do for you, and how you could implement one into your routine. If you have any thoughts to add or questions, I’d love to hear them in the comments below!