In business, people who truly get things done measure and iterate their process to be more efficient. But in our daily lives, it’s easy to just blow through daily checklists… and forget about strategy and long-term goals. (Ever finished a hectic week and landed right back where you started? We have 🙋♀️).
Enter the “weekly review”—a strategy coined by productivity consultant David Allen, as part of his Getting Things Done methodology. Useful as a standalone technique, the weekly review only takes an hour, and can seriously boost your efficiency. With time set aside to reflect and strategically plan, you can avoid stress and finish each week a bit closer to your goals. Here’s how to do it:
1. Reflect (20 minutes)
Boost self awareness, and understand how you spent your time.
- 🧹 Declutter your space and mind: Start with something easy—tidy up your desk, and make a list of any tasks or notes floating around in your mind. Now instead of worrying about those lingering to-do’s, you’ve freed up brainspace to tackle some self-reflection.
- 💭 Reflect on the past week: Review what you’ve accomplished this past week. Take a look at your calendar, notes, and goals—did you stick to your plan? What went well, what didn’t, and why? Next up, you’ll use these learnings to plan and improve your approach.
In this step, it’s critical to stay objective about where your time went. Check out Woven’s Analytics feature, which breaks down your week into categories like focused time, travel time, and time spent on calls.
2. Track (15 minutes)
Get current, and identify what needs to be done next.
- ✅ Measure your progress: Take a look at what you’ve accomplished, and how far you moved toward your top priorities last week.
- 🔎 Identify next steps: Jot down what still needs doing, and whether any of your finished tasks require follow-ups.
- ✏️ Update your list: Now that you know where you stand, take a look at your to-do list. Are there any items you should remove or add? Any deadlines to update, or goals to tweak?
If you use Woven, you can identify which event types you use most often and create templates to save time later on.
3. Plan (25 minutes)
Be proactive and spend time where it matters
- 🧐 Plan the week ahead: Write down the most important tasks and events, and concrete steps to tackle them. That way, you can block off the time you need and schedule with your priorities in mind. In other words, say goodbye to reactive mode!
- 🔮 Think bigger: Brainstorm ways to improve your work and personal life. What are your larger goals? What things are you stoked about right now? What do you want to learn?
Use your pre-made Woven templates to block off time for top priorities next week. Create tags for your different goals.
Make it sustainable:
To reap the benefits of a weekly review, you must stay consistent. Here’s how to keep at it, month after month.
- Schedule it: Set aside at least an hour for your review—ideally at the same time each week. (Woven users: this is another good time to flex your template skills).
- Decide on a system: Whether you choose to plan through Woven, with another digital platform, or on plain paper, pick a medium through which you’re going to keep track each week.
- Be kind: If you didn’t stay on track, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, brainstorm concrete strategies to do better next week.
Using tags and templates helps you focus on the most important parts of your weekly review—planning and analyzing how you spent— or would like to spend— your time to focus on what matters to you.
Try it today— and watch your productivity grow.