Welcome to Day 20 of Getting Things Done (GTD). Today, we’ll go over Chapter 8 in its entirety, which is about Reviewing: Keeping Your System Functional. Bear with me. We are almost finished with this hard read of a book. It is chock full of very helpful tools and information and I’ve seen a change in me as well as my home office, so I’m better for having read it, thus far. Here we go . . .
Mr. Allen explains that the purpose to this method of workflow management is not to let our brains go to mush, but rather to train them to move toward more productive activity. I get that and I’m all for it. Free the brain.
Do you feel, at times (or maybe all the time), that your brain is full? Your computer (brain) is full and cannot take any more data? I do, ALL the time.
Well, that’s a lie. Lately, since I started this book, got laid off from work, and have made (or have been gifted) the time (and yes, free time is a gift, no matter how it comes about) to organize my office and my brain, I admit to feeling a bit more relaxed. I took the whole getting laid off thing rather well (which is sooo unlike me as I tend to usually overreact). I am sort of ok with it, because I feel God has a better/different plan for me. I have no idea what it is. I know what I’d like for it to be, but I don’t know what his plans are. I’m open.
Perhaps he wants me to have this time to get my house under control before the next thing. I mean, you can’t really be productive in your life if your house is completely out of control. You can pretend, but the truth is, when your home is out of control, so are you. I admit, I was out of control, but now, I’m gaining some. Goody for me. I hope all of you are gaining better control, as well. 😉
To gain some freedom for your brain, you must consistently keep up with all your commitments, activities and projects, and keeping it up-to-date. Reviewing daily (certain things) and weekly is how you gain freedom. Daily is for your pending or tickler file, viewing your calendar, clearing out that inbox, planning all you need to accomplish that particular day. Weekly is for all the other stuff you don’t have time to review daily, such as:
- Loose Papers – notes, memos, receipts, etc. that need to be inboxed
- Process Your Notes – Review meeting or other miscellaneous notes, list action items, projects, waiting-fors, calendar events, and someday/maybes, as appropriate. File reference notes and materials. Stage “Read/Review” material.
- Previous Calendar Data – Review past calendar dates in detail for remaining action items, reference info. When you archive last week’s calendar, be sure nothing is left uncaptured.
- Upcoming Calendar – Capture actions about arrangements and preparations for any upcoming events (long-term and short-term).
- Empty Your Head – Sort (in writing) new projects, action items, etc.
- Review “Projects” (and Larger Outcome) Lists – Evaluate status of all projects, goals and outcomes, ensuring at least one current kick-start action for each is in system.
- Review “Next Actions” Lists – Mark off completed actions. Review reminders of further action steps.
- Review “Waiting For” List – Check off any received items and review actions for follow-up needed.
- Review Any Relevant Checklists – Anything you haven’t done that you need to do?
- Review “Someday/Maybe” List – Check for projects that may have become active and transfer to “Projects.” Delete items no longer of interest.
- Review “Pending” and Support Files – Browse through work-in-progress support material to trigger new actions, completions, and waiting-fors.
- Be Creative and Courageous – Any new creative or thought-provoking, risk-taking ideas you can add to your system? Go for it!!! The way I see it is YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE! That doesn’t mean go out and break the law. It means if you have a dream or something different and fun you want to try such as learning how to paint, put it on your list and make plans to do it. Take action! You are not gonna live forever. Don’t wait for someday. Make plans to do it sooner, rather than later. You might find out that you have a talent and people may want to purchase your paintings. If not, you may find that you have a new hobby that you LOVE!
Do this Reviewing part of the plan at least once a week. You’ll need to set aside the time to do it. Mr. Allen suggests a couple of hours every Friday afternoon, or if you are too busy of a business person, schedule a couple of hours on a weekend day or Friday after-hours.
“Bigger Picture” Reviews
At some point, you need to clarify those “long-term goals, the visions and principles that ultimately drive and test your decisions.”
What are your key goals and objectives? What should you have in place in a year or in three years? “How is your career going? Is this the life-style that is most fulfilling to you? Are you doing what you really want or need to do, from a deeper and longer-term perspective?”
“You need to assess your life and work at the appropriate horizons, making the appropriate decisions, at the appropriate intervals, in order to really come clean.” He’s right, ya know?
“Which brings us to the ultimate point and challenge of all this personal collecting, processing, organizing, and reviewing methodology: It’s 9:22 A.M. Wednesday morning — what do you do?” Actually, I have 9:15 A.M. Friday morning, but same difference.
And Chapter 9 will be tomorrow – Doing: Making the Best Action Choices.
Make it the most awesomist Friday ever! Even if it rains, it’s gonna be a great day. Love yooze guys! *big bear hug*