Every Thursday, I’m sharing a new Personal Productivity Tip to help you get more done. Each Productivity Tip is a remarkably simple tool or concept that can be quickly implemented to make a real difference in your personal productivity. When you apply many of them together, they’ll make a big difference in improving productivity, achieving accountability and staying focused on the things that matter the most in your life.
You may want to check out some of the posts in this Productivity series, including the the value of checklists; the importance of getting rid of the crappy stuff; the nightmare of the cluttered mind; and that feeling of being buried all the time. You can also leverage your resources and apply the lessons of the ARCI chart and the S.M.A.R.T. goals to boost the accountability of your entire organization. One more thing. When in doubt, write it down.
Is there something more delectable than sitting down to a home-cooked meal … fresh, hot with flavors wafting through the air? Some of you may be chefs who prefer to cook it yourself, but I suspect that the vast majority of us savor a meal where our only job is to sit down to enjoy it. Maybe we’ve exerted a little energy to open the Cabernet to go with it, but not much more.
That’s the same feeling we need to create when we sit down to contemplate our Action Dashboard to begin the day. Ready to Savor (it’s all actionable). Fresh (it’s all up-to-date). Hot (it’s ready to eat as soon as you sit down).
Even if you don’t love to cook, you’ll still need to help with the food prep that takes place in the Weekly Review. That’s where all the chopping, cutting, shaving … preparation gets done so the meal can be enjoyed. To create a powerful personal productivity system, you need to love the kitchen … relish the instruments, love the organized chaos as you sift through the cupboards and refrigerator to find just the right ingredients.
That’s what happens in chapters 5-7 in the Getting Things Done book by David Allen. You can check out the weekly review process in Chapter 8 for some of the nitty-gritty. In short, it’s about recalibrating, refocusing and re-adjusting to evaluate what’s happened during the last week … and what needs to be done NEXT.
You’ve just concluded another week and I hope, got a lot done. But new things have surfaced, the tsunami in your inbox has continued unabated and with all of the meetings and phone calls you completed, more issues have arisen.
The key to the Weekly Review is returning to your master recipe book and using those fresh ingredients to update your menu. Like any great chef, you’re going to use what’s in season (what’s going on NOW) and make sure you’ve updated your menu to take those into account.
As a result of clear decisions during the weekly review, you’ve now got the “next physical actions” that you can undertake RIGHT NOW. No indecision, no uncertainty remains. The menu is finished, the food’s ready to bring out just as you like it and now it’s time to polish off each morsel knowing that it’s timed perfectly for your consumption.
Only when that’s done can you sit down to enjoy that scrumptious meal.
Are you doing everything you can to be able to sit down to savor that meal and hit the ground running next week? What is the most important part of your Weekly Review and how does it prepare you for the coming days?