What Is A Weekly Review And How Can You Get The Most Out Of It?

What Is A Weekly Review And How Can You Get The Most Out Of It?
Image: Shutterstock

If you’re familiar with David Allen’s Getting Things Done productivity system, you already know about the importance of the Weekly Review. If you aren’t, here’s a quick overview: Every week, you take time to review not only your upcoming commitments and outstanding to-dos, but also the ways in which those commitments and to-dos reflect your short, medium, and long-term goals.

Essentially, the Weekly Review forces you to consider what you’re currently doing, what you should be doing, what you want to be doing, and how closely those circles overlap. It’s kind of like a Venn diagram for your values. (Since the Weekly Review requires you to scan your calendar for upcoming action items, it’s also a very, very good way to make sure you don’t forget anybody’s birthday.)

I’ve been doing Weekly Reviews for well over 10 years at this point, and although I have occasionally rescheduled a review due to travel or other commitments, I don’t think I’ve ever missed one. At this point, my Weekly Review is an essential part of my productivity system, in terms of “making sure I don’t lose track of any important tasks,” but it’s lost some of its functionality as a values-tracking metric. I’ve been reflecting on what I’m currently doing and what I should be doing, but I haven’t been asking myself whether these actions and projects are what I want to be doing.

Which is why I was so excited to read Khe Hy’s list of high-impact questions to ask yourself during a Weekly Review. Hy, the creator of RadReads, developed a four-quadrant template designed to help you focus on the essential aspects of a true Weekly Review: How you’re spending your time, what you need to prioritise, how you feel about what you’re doing right now, and what you’d like to be doing in the future.

RadReads" loading="lazy" > Screenshot: Nicole Dieker, RadReads

As mentioned above, Hy also provided questions to help you clarify your thoughts as you spend time in each quadrant. When you’re reflecting on the past, for example, you might want to ask any or all of the following:

  • What worked well?

  • Where did I get stuck?

  • What did I learn?

  • Am I showing up for the key people in my life (spouse, kids, boss, direct reports)?

  • Did I make any meaningful connections?

  • Did I impact in anyone’s day or thinking?

  • What’s on my To Not-Do list?

  • When did I feel most energised?

Yes, this’ll make your Weekly Review run a little bit longer—especially if you take the time to seriously answer every question. But if you really want to align your life with your values, goals and priorities, it might be worth running through Hy’s full list of questions at least once per month, if not once per week.

Because the Weekly Review, when done right, can save you a lot of time and trouble in the future. (Like I said before: You’ll never forget anyone’s birthday again, not to mention that thing you told your boss you’d get done by Tuesday.) When your Weekly Review is done really, really right, it can help shape your future into whatever you’d like it to become.

Log in to comment on this story!