The Weekly Review

Hey all!!! Jess here! As many of you know, Will is always working behind the scenes of our business to improve the processes that keep us running efficiently - which is HUGELY important when you work a full time day job on top of your small business! In this new series (Workflows with Will), Will will be sharing our workflow & process secrets! AND he is kick starting it with the Weekly Review!! Ok, ok enough from me! :) Let's hear from Will...

If you’re like me, when you get to the end of your work week, you are fried.  Your physical and mental energy is running low, and you are thinking about getting home, your weekend plans, and everything EXCEPT all of the important work you’ve accomplished over the past week.  I’d like to share with you one simple process that you can add to your routine that will save you time and help you get more done….The Weekly Review!

The Weekly Review is a process I picked up from reading David Allen’s Getting Things Done.  The Weekly Review is 45 minutes on my calendar on Friday afternoons dedicated to clearing my head, taking note of my accomplishments, and setting my actions for the next week.  We all have mental notes bouncing around our minds at the end of the week.  Maybe you have a computer monitor covered with actual post-it notes -  ‘Call Jamie about the video’…’Prepare the agenda for Monday’s meeting’…’RSVP to dinner next week’.  The Weekly Review is your chance get it all out of your head and into your trusted system (Ellebook PlannerSimplified Planner or Day Designer, anyone?) so that when you clock out and head home, you can truly relax and be ready for whenever you get back to work.  Here are three ways that incorporating the Weekly Review into your routine TODAY will get a little bit of control back into your life.

1.  Staying on track with projects

Almost everyone in the creative industry (or any industry) works on dozens of projects at various stages of completion.  When you are contacting new clients, scheduling logistics for your next wedding, and sending out a final wedding album, it is easy to lose track of what comes next!  The Weekly Review helps you track progress on projects and make sure you’re moving forward on what’s important.

2.  Identify New Projects, and Celebrate Completed Ones!

Chances are you have more projects going on today than you did on Monday.  Maybe you signed on a new client this week and have a product to deliver, or maybe you have a personal project that you’re excited about.  This is normal! But, it can be overwhelming if you don’t stay on top of your commitments.  The Weekly Review lets you have a clear picture of everything on your plate.

3.  Control Your Priorities

We all have priorities in life.  Some priorities may be negotiable (Have a Star Wars Marathon), while others may not be (Pay. The. Mortgage!).  As new projects come in to your life, you are constantly and subconsciously renegotiating your priorities as you go though your daily life. The Weekly Review brings that renegotiation out of the shadows and back into your hands!  This is you chance to highlight the critical priorities and take note of what you may be able to put off until next month.

Jess will be the first to tell you how much I love various tools and programs (sidenote:  I will be sharing some of my favorites like Trello, Asana, and Evernote in the future), but the only tools you need for your weekly review is a favorite writing instrument and a few quiet minutes!  There is no required format for the Weekly Review, and I usually use nothing more than a blank piece of paper or a pen.  If you’re looking for a place to start, here are a few questions to get your thoughts flowing.

  • My accomplishments this week were:
  • These are some important things that I didn’t get done:
  • These are meetings/calls/appointments I have for next week:
  • The first thing I’m going to do on Monday is:

I want to encourage each of you to try adding The Weekly Review to your workflow TODAY!  I block off 45 minutes on my calendar to do this each week, but you can do it in less!  I think that you will find yourself going into your weekend with a clear head, a sense of accomplishment with respect to all you've done this week, and a starting place for when you get back to work on Monday.  If you do this once a week for the next month, you will have a greater sense of your priorities and more control over your work...instead of your work controlling you!