We make to-do lists all week, but do we ever stop to ask whether these tasks align with our goals? Every weekend, I take some time for a weekly review.

The weekly review is an opportunity for decision making and self-reflection. This concept was popularized by David Allen, the productivity king.

The weekly review will sharpen your intuitive focus on your important projects as you deal with the flood of new input and potential distractions coming at you the rest of the week. — David Allen

An Intentional Life

Checking off tasks on a daily list is not enough to make meaningful progress in life and work. Even though a weekly review seems like additional work, it is a great way to clarify your thinking and prevent "unproductive productivity."

Weekly reviews are not like traditional journaling, but the two activities can be combined. Journaling is mostly about addressing your thoughts and emotions, but the weekly review is about reflecting on what went well and what did not.

Weekly reviews do not have to be complicated. In fact, take a piece of paper and divide it into three columns. In the first column, write everything that went well during the week. In the second column, note everything that did not go as planned. Lastly, in the third column, plan for the following week. This method is fast, flexible, and future-focused.

If you want to take it a step further, ask yourself the following growth mindset questions:

  1. What do I want to learn by the end of this week?
  2. What am I struggling with right now?
  3. What is one thing I will try to get myself out of my comfort zone?

A Weekly Ritual

The hardest part of a useful activity is to turn it into a ritual, or a habit. Here are a few tips to help you integrate this practice into your life.

  • Pick a consistent day, time, and place. With any habit, consistency is key. Instead of repeatedly asking yourself when and where you should do your weekly review, use time blocking and schedule your sessions.
  • Improve your review process. If a particular weekly review template does not work for you, try a few different approaches. Is it too rigid? Add space for flexibility. Is it too long? Make it shorter.
  • Be kind to yourself. If you had a rough week, and did not achieve the goals you set for yourself, try not to beat yourself up. Instead of judging, try to understand what happened. How can you approach goals differently next week?

The weekly review is an opportunity to become more aware of your productivity and thought processes. It is a way to ensure you are working in the right direction.

Do you feel like you are reaching your goals? Let me know in the comments below!