During a recent Train the Trainer Level 2 Seminar, we each exchanged our own personal best practices that make us advanced GTD-ers.

As we all know, the GTD Weekly Review® is the one area where participants don’t get an instant reward, and therefore don’t always see the crucial necessity to consistently review their system.

When they Collect their ‘loose items’, they feel relieved because all their stuff is out of their head and they can officially relax, safe in the knowledge that they won’t forget about it.

When they Clarify, they get a kick out of discovering that the very first next action to move that thing forward isn’t actually that bad – really only a phone call to make or some Google research to begin with. Having a clear picture of what the finished project will look like ushers them on their way.

Nobody leaves the seminar without realising how unproductive it was to “hide” next actions within their company projects and having to dig around for what they could possibly do with the extra 20 minutes wait time or during their commute on the tube. Organising is revolutionary to most of our participants and gets adopted as soon as the lists start to be populated. 

And this is when we start talking about the Weekly Review. The why and the how is a permanent source of discussion and disagreement. Should it be done on a Monday morning to start the week with a very clear plan? But what happens when Monday morning disaster hits? Friday afternoon in order to go home with a clear mind for the weekend? Excellent idea, unless your boss calls an emergency meeting or a client needs something urgent to be sorted out before the weekend. 

By sharing our own experiences, those of our past participants, and other GTD practitioners, we realise that we have each come up with our own hack to plan and do that crucial phase of the methodology in order to keep our GTD systems current, clean, and ultimately, trustworthy.

A colleague of ours goes to Starbucks every Saturday morning. He loves his coffee, enjoys decent WIFI, and there are no kids, dogs or partner around to interrupt him. It’s his routine. Others need a buddy – just like going to the gym, for example. Sitting in the same room together for 30 minutes and concentrating on their respective systems gives enough moral support to pull the activity through from week to week.

I usually cheekily announce that I don’t do WEEKLY Reviews. After a stunned silence I add : “I do AIRPLANE” reviews !

I am usually on a plane each week. My trigger for my Weekly Review is cruising altitude. I settle into my seat, wait until we hit cruising altitude, pull out my computer, review my system and by the time the folding table in front of me needs to be stowed away, I can close my computer with a feeling of being on top of my system.

When I announced my “Airplane Review” Todd Brown, our Master Trainer, mused on how much he actually gets done when he flies back home to the US. So many uninterrupted hours of concentrated work time to dive into larger and deeper actions ! (We suggested that he should fly more often to the US, which obviously isn’t any good for the carbon footprint.) 

Todd concluded that he didn’t have to pollute the planet. He could simply book himself an “Airplane Day” in his calendar, cut himself from everybody – as well as from internet connection – and work away, or “engage” as we call the fifth phase of the GTD methodology.

Whatever your life hack is to pull your Weekly Reveiw through, or to get work done, the choice is yours.

Leave us a comment about your favourite hacks and inspire other GTD users!

Share This