May 26, 2022
Weekly reviews keep me organized, productive, and ultimately sane…
If you’re not organized, and you have open loops lingering, then you’re less present, more stressed, and less productive.
What does it mean to be organized?
- Having things in both the digital and physical world placed in a way that you can easily access — You know where things are.
- No open loops.
What are Open Loops?
This is a concept I learned from Getting Things Done by David Allen:
- The Zeigarnik Effect - The brain naturally remembers and holds on to anything that is interrupted or incomplete
- The brain naturally seeks closure, or completion
- These open loops can, if not dealt with, build up and cause overload, which leads to stress and anxiety - they can reappear at any time, which can cause distraction
When you move things from your head to an organized place (physical or digital), your mind can relax because it no longer needs to make sure you don’t forget.
Unfortunately, capturing alone is not sufficient…
If you capture a thought, idea, or task into a place that you’re not regularly checking, your brain will know and it will remain an open loop because it is not guaranteed that you will be reminded.
This is where weekly reviews are great…
What is a Weekly Review?
It’s simply a checklist of things to review, once per week.
One of those things are your capture buckets — Places where you capture things throughout the week knowingly that you’ll review and clarify them later. Open loops are closed when they’re captured AND scheduled to be reviewed.
Otherwise you’re just throwing thoughts from one abyss to another…
Examples of my Capture Buckets:
- iCloud Photos — I often take photos of things or receipts to process later
- iCloud Notes
- Physical notebook
- Desktop files
- Office desk
Your weekly review is not only useful to review capture buckets — It can be actionable as well. If there is something that you need to do weekly, add it.
Other items on my weekly review include:
- Review calendar: 2 months away, 2 weeks back
- To learn more about how I optimize my calendar, read here
- Queue weekly social media posts
The beautiful thing about a weekly review is that it gets updated as your responsibilities (personal or professional) change over time.
Are you the one responsible for vacuuming the home? Add it in.
Your weekly review can also be introspective, and not just actionable…
For example, maybe there are a few questions that you want to regularly ask yourself and possibly journal, such as “what is annoying me and what will I do about it?”.
I also have monthly, quarterly and annual reviews. Recurring reviews let me focus on the present and be productive, because I know that anything that has to get done or reviewed will happen at the right cadence.
Go ahead and try it — Unload your brain:
- Create a checklist of things that have to get done on a weekly basis
- Identify your capture buckets and add them to your weekly review
- Capture things into your buckets, and eliminate open loops!
See you all next Thursday 👋
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