This is part five of a six-part series on the Getting Things Done (GTD) productivity system created by David Allen. It’s sometimes called GTD.
Please note that the David Allen company does not endorse this series. Please check out David Allen’s original book and Audiobook, Getting things Done. It changed my life for the better, and it will give you much more than I can. But I hope to provide you with enough to give you a solid start.
This episode is a walk-through a critical part of the GTD system the Regular Review. You need to review all your next action lists, project lists and calendar at least once a week.
The Regular Review will be your time to think. And to reassess priorities. Measure success and make sure you are working towards your goals and life mission.
Step 1 is to Get Clear – capture all the stuff that’s hanging around that you haven’t had a chance to put in your inbox.
Do a physical collection of papers, emails, voice mails, scraps of paper, business cards, etc.
Step 2. Empty your head of uncaptured new projects, action items, outstanding items, new ideas, promises you’ve made.
If step one and two take more than 20 minutes, then try blocking off time to complete this before your regular review.
Step 4. Get Current by reviewing Next Action Lists, tick off completed actions and review reminders.
Step 5. Review previous calendar events and capture things you may have forgotten, promises you made, follow up meetings etc.
Step 6. Review your future calendar and see how what is going to take your attention and energy. See how you can batch things more efficiently. What can you dismiss or move? What could you re-prioritize?
Step 7. Now go over your waiting for list. Tick off things you have received and set new reminders for late things. Cross off things you don’t need anymore. Delegate as much as you can. But also take the time so see where or who are causes of bottlenecks. Or even sources of high efficiency that you can exploit (or express gratitude for) later. Remember to thank people who serve you well – they are like gold dust.
Step 8. Review your project lists. Make sure projects are clearly defined with action verbs, successful outcomes and next actions.
Try and take a strategic overview of projects as they fit your larger personal and professional missions. Are they working towards those missions? Do you need to quit some of them? Do you need help or advice? Are the metrics appropriate? Are you on time?
Step 9. Review or create checklists.
Step 10. Review your Someday/Maybe list – are you still committed to the items on this list. If not get rid of them. Otherwise, are there some items that it’s time to take action?