Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Weekly Review Unraveled

As I mentioned in my post about the M.O.M. system, the weekly review is one of my favorite elements of the process. I recently went a week and a half without doing my review, and I felt like I was forgetting stuff all week. I think this is a great idea and something that anyone could implement and feel good about very quickly (even without doing the whole M.O.M. type of system). It's not as complicated as it sounds - here is what mine looks like:
Once a week, I do the following:

  1. I bring the following items to the couch: my bin of files and supplies, my planner, the drawer from the sofa table (the house "in box"), and the recycle bin. These are all within about a dozen feet of each other, so not a big deal. I take a minute to sweep the other places in the house where papers accumulate, including my wallet, the refrigerator, etc.

    The weekly review zone- laptop, planner, file box and recycling bin,
    and inbox of stuff to go through.  Snack optional. Especially this incredibly
    nutritious snack of kettle chips and a caffeine free Pepsi.  Mmmm.
  2. I "process" all of the papers. Coupons are cut and filed. Receipts are put in a folder so they are together when it's time to do finance stuff. Trash goes in the recycle bin. Things I need to do are entered into the correct list in my planner (if I need to do it this week, it goes in the Immediate Next Actions list. If not, it goes on one of the other ones.). If I need to keep a piece of paper it gets filed into the folder for the month in which it needs to be addressed (i.e., a wedding invitation for October goes in the October file; a bill due this month goes in this month's file, etc.). Some things will also be entered as events on my calendar (i.e., the wedding). Eventually the drawer is empty.

    *Important note: I don't actually take time to do any tasks unless it will take less than a couple minutes. This is key - you don't want to get bogged down in actually completing tasks. You just want to have a good list of what you need to do when you are done.
  3. I continue to "process" other inboxes, including my email, Facebook account, voicemail, etc. - anywhere that may have something that I need to do. This may be a difficult task if you haven't taken time to minimize the number of locations that you have coming at you. Figure out how you can create a "house inbox", even if it is literally a box on the kitchen counter.  
  4. I review the content of current month's folder to make sure that I'm not missing anything that needs to happen now.
  5. I update my Google calendar and print out two copies, one for my planner and one for the refrigerator. Lately I've also been printing out a weekly view too, just for readability sake, for the fridge.
In the end, I have the list of things that I need to do over the upcoming week and an accurate calendar. More importantly, I have a high confidence that all of the things I need to do have been uncovered. After you do this a couple times (the first time is obviously the worse, since you probably have crap sitting around everywhere), it doesn't take too long. I did this today in about 20 minutes, mostly because I didn't do it last week. I feel soooooo much better today now. Try it and see what you think.

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