I wrote this post to show you how I transformed my weekly review in the GTD style. It saves me two hours total each month, which I can now devote to things I enjoy outside of work. Read on and try it yourself.
Standard weekly review
I currently have 134 projects in Nozbe. Some may think it’s not much – others will disagree. One thing remains a fact: such a long list must be kept in order – nothing can go wrong. However, with the number of projects on my list growing, an issue started to arise. And this issue was… my weekly review! To fully understand why it became a problem in my project management system, I need to tell you how I performed it. I simply browsed through all of my projects (of course, with the exception of standard tasks, such as inbox zero, etc.). In each of them, I reviewed:
- the project starting date,
- the project completion date, and
- whether all dates are correct (I’m very disorganized – while creating a project, I tend to confuse the month or forget about adding a task due date).
Suddenly, I noticed that my weekly review wasn’t in fact a weekly evaluation of all of my projects, nor was it a time of quietude and concentration, but rather a race towards completing yet another project and getting right into the tiniest details. I found myself in a situation where I was ready to go see a doctor and ask for sick leave at the mere thought of another weekly review. Only later I remembered that it would be pointless since I run my own business… I definitely needed to find a solution!
My advice: Examine how you perform your weekly review. Is it similar to mine? Would you like to save time each month for other activities?
What does your project list look like?
To help you understand how I tweaked my weekly review routine, let me show you what my list of projects looks like. I’m a YouTuber, business coach and student (by online delivery), and on my list, I have the following projects:
- 1st Group – Work-Related and Private Projects – open projects containing small tasks, which don’t require creating separate projects;
- 2nd Group – Current Business Projects;
- 3rd Group – Business and Private Trips;
- 4th Group – Recurring Tasks – private and work-related ones (e.g., efforts related to acquiring new customers, private projects containing tasks such as changing the tires /recurrence: every 6 months/ or learning French /recurrence: every day/, etc.);
- 5th Group – Episodes on YouTube – each episode is a different project;
- 6th Group – Studies - each subject is a separate project. Due to the fact that I study online, I need to find time for listening to lectures and completing assignments;
- 7th Group – Ideas - open projects, in which I save ideas for new YouTube episodes, Facebook and LinkedIn posts, blogposts, etc.;
- 8th Group – Clients (current and potential);
- 9th Group – Someday/Maybe - these are all of the projects that aren’t currently important to me, but I may take them up in the future.
My advice: Make sure your projects are organized into groups so that the list isn’t chaotic.
Which projects are important to me?
Next, I had to ask myself the following question: which projects are important to me? I have included in this group all of my income-generating projects, and these are the projects that take priority in my weekly review. They include all of my projects, excluding:
- episodes on YouTube (although YouTube constitutes a considerable source of my income, I found it unnecessary to review each episode week after week),
- projects from the “Studies” group,
- projects from the “Ideas” group, and
- projects from the “Someday/Maybe” group.
I realized that the world will not fall apart if I don’t review these projects on a week-by-week basis.
My advice: Ask yourself which projects are really important to you.
What did I do to improve my review process?
I divided my weekly review into two parts:
- 1st part – Standard Review
- 2nd part – Deep Review
For the Standard Review, I go through all of the projects that are important to me – i.e., those that generate income. I complete this review every week. Additionally, the review includes tasks such as inbox zero (e-mail, private messages, the Downloads folder, inbox) and an overview of the upcoming week and budget review.
A Deep Review is a thorough weekly review, which I carry out every other week. When performing this review, I go over all of my projects – not only those that I perceive as important.
My advice: Create two tasks in your Nozbe account: Standard Review and Deep Review. Next, list the projects from appropriate groups in these tasks (you can use a checklist option.)
How much time did I save?
For me, time is sacred. I follow the principle that the more time I save for pleasure, the better! The question therefore is: how much time did I manage to save in a month? In my case, a Standard Review takes about an hour. A Deep Review also takes me an hour. In the standard scheme, I spent two hours per week on a GTD weekly review, i.e., eight hours in a month.
Currently, I perform my weekly review with the following strategy: four weeks with a Standard Review (one hour every week) + a Deep Review (one hour every two weeks). In total, the process consumes six hours per month.
Not only have I managed to save two hours in a month, but I also experience much less stress and frustration, and I don’t have to run in a panic to the doctor to take a sick leave.
Author: Matt Olech - YouTuber, consultant and business coach. He cooperates with various brands – not only as a coach, but also on YouTube. His goal? To help clients achieve what they want. Seven years ago, he started his own entertainment channel on YouTube called Matt Olech. In total, his videos have been viewed over 15 million times. Through YouTube, he has worked with brands such as Tic Tac, Hoop Cola, Provident, and Lajt Mobile. As a business coach, he’s been working on the scene for two years. His workshops and training sessions have been attended by more than two thousand people. Among others, he has collaborated with the Higher School of Banking in Poznan and local Youth Councils.