As you good humans know, I’ve been trying out a new (to me) productivity system – David Allen’s Getting Things Done system. I shared my illustrated notes about it here, my new inbox system here and my first attempt at processing my new physical inbox here.
Next up: I need to undertake my “Weekly Review”. I think the tricky part about these weekly reviews is that there is no one set way to do it. Everyone modifies it to suit their own workflow and priorities. Which is great that it’s so customisable… but as a brand new beginner starting out, I’m fretting about how to do it right, and what I should be including.
I feel like a foal wobbling about on new legs. Trying out a new productivity system? Adapting to new habits? It’s exciting and anxiety-inducing all at once.
Anyways, I thought the only way I can get past this beginner anxiety is to share it publicly. That way I’ll feel less alone and less freaked out by trying something new. And If it’s useful, I might end up always blogging my weekly review. Or it might just be a once-off public share just to get me started and feel slightly less wobbly.
I need to remind myself that I don’t need to do it “perfectly” the first time. That the only way I can learn what works for me is by actually DOING the fucking thing. And that a shitty first draft is exactly the thing to aim for.
Righto! Here’s the references I’ll be working off:
Above checklist from todoist.com.
Following checklist from the Getting Things Done website:
Like… holy smokes. It’s a lot right? It can feel very overwhelming!
Reminder to self: one piece at a time. Just do a shitty first draft. I don’t have to do everything. Just start.
STEP 1: GET CLEAR
Process physical inbox
Already did a couple of days ago because it was so enormous. Photos & thoughts here.
Live update: I know the checklist above specifies doing a Weekly Review all in one block with timed segments. That kind of shit gives me anxiety. I’m not some straight white bro who is locked away in an office by himself. I’m a mama with Autism & ADHD who is doing this review on a laptop on the couch while life happens around them. Interruptions happen. I get distracted. And that’s fine. I’ve already stopped to let our tutor in and have a chat. Then I had a great idea to make some feta & spinach muffins for morning tea. Then my biggest kid wanted to try making Vegemite & Cheese pastry bites, so I helped her make that. And now I’m back here. For the next five minutes at least.
Process email inbox
I did a big clear-through of my inbox last night, so there are only 16 emails in my inbox.
Must remember to follow the GTD protocol which is to:
- Action an item if it takes 2 minutes or less to do
- Add an item to your to do list if it takes more than 2 minutes to do.
Oooh! Great success:
A clean inbox! This is a one in three year event!
I created a “HOLD” tag for emails I need to action later (and have been added to my to do list).
Process text messages and voicemails
I often ignore these for months on end. Took 30 seconds to review! DONE!
Process Facebook inbox
Good to do a quick review to see if there were any I’d not replied back to! All good! DONE!
Move all tasks from Asana to Google Keep
This is not something I’ll need to do going forward… this is a likely one-off while I consolidate all my tasks into one central repository.
Live update: It’s a few hours later. I’ve made smoothie bowls for my family for lunch. We’ve also just had a snap 3 day lockdown announced that starts tonight, so we had a brainstorm if we needed to do anything to prepare.
Empty your head
Don’t know what this means! Don’t care! Maybe I’ll work it out later! Onwards!
STEP 2: GET CURRENT
Review previous calendar to see if any actionables.
I don’t usually do this! What a great idea!
Just checked, and had an email to send to a tradie about an incomplete job.
Create calendar in bullet journal
I have my Google Calendar, but I like to replicate it in my bullet-ish journal as well. It helps me remember it more.
Live update: It’s now 1:30pm. I started this at 8:30am, with many starts, stops and breaks. I’m starting to hate my life. Must remind myself it won’t usually take this long – I’m just getting through the backlog of having no system before this AND I am a complete novice! Of course this is going to take longer than it usually would!
Review incompletion trigger list for any forgotten projects:
(Again, from GettingThingsDone.com.)
I don’t think I’ve got anything from there to add. Also, fuck this and fuck everything by this point.
Set up weekly to do list & set 3 MITs (Most Important Things) for the upcoming week
I’m fucking toast by this point. I already have my weekly to do list. I think I’ll leave this for the moment. I know I’ll get it done at some point. Just need to remember to prioritise them properly.
STEP 3 :: GET CREATIVE
Again, and I can’t empathise this enough: fuck this and fuck everything by this point.
I’m calling it a day and crawling into bed with a book. This has been a VERY big project for my ADHD brain this week.
All in all, I definitely feel more organised and on top of things than I did before. I’m especially finding the physical inbox system really handy. And I’m glad I’m doing this. And it’s definitely forming new synapses in my brain because this is hard & I am learning things!
Next time I do this weekly review:
- It should take MUCH less time with all my backlog cleared & my tasks & reminders in a central location
- I don’t think I’ll blog it again – it takes too much time
- It would probably be more useful to have a printed weekly checklist for me to tick off as I go.
Now I’m going to crawl into bed with a book and be like a sloth!