Use a Weekly Review to Manage Your Time and Get More Done
Anyone else have a little too much on their plate right now?
If your calendar looks like a losing game of Tetris…
If “working hours” has become synonymous with “hours I’m not sleeping”...
If you tend to put off the most important (read: harder) tasks for last…
…this post is for you.
Our company mission is to help entrepreneurs and their teams live their ideal lives.
To do that, you might need some help. Because even if you’re an incredible delegator, you probably still have too much to do.
So what stays and what goes? How can you reclaim your time and still keep the most important items moving forward?
Here’s a simple framework put together by one of our business consultants, Andrew Krebs-Smith. It’s called the Weekly Review, and the objective is to help you do more of the right stuff (and happily decide to leave some other things behind).
Weekly Review for Business Leaders
Note: We highly recommend you go through your Weekly Review with somebody else if possible. If you have an accountability partner or assistant to help facilitate this process, everything about it becomes easier.
Step 1: Set a consistent day/time for the review
Put a recurring meeting in your calendar and treat it as sacred. It doesn’t get moved for client calls, internal meetings, or anything except vacations.
Step 2: Identify the most important things to get done this week
Review your email, calendar, task management system, post-it notes scattered all over your desk…compile everything and write down the things that absolutely must get done this week.
As you generate your list, you might naturally filter out some things that aren’t vital for this week. That’s fine, but you’ll also have a chance to refine this list later in the process.
Step 3: Force rank your to-dos
This step is the most difficult one—for everybody. I know, everything has to get done. But also, everything on your list probably won’t get done. So what really needs to get done?
Rank all your to-dos in order. Ties are explicitly not allowed.
Step 4: Add to-dos to your calendar
Here’s where you reconcile what you think needs to get done with the reality of doing it.
In between the team meetings and the client calls, you need to block off time for each activity on your prioritized list—starting with #1.
Add each task into your calendar, and overestimate the amount of time you think it will take by at least 25%.
Make tasks specific, so “do the presentation” becomes “research and write presentation outline.”
Step 5: Identify what won’t get done
The benefit of adding to-dos into your calendar is that you’ll know right away when the week is full. There’s no more time, and you circumvent the magical thinking mindset that “it will all get done somehow.”
It won’t, but that’s okay.
Cross-check what’s left on your list and consider what will happen if these items don’t get done in the coming week. If you find that an item left on this list is a must-do, then you need to adjust your ranking order, and your calendar, accordingly.
The Power of a Weekly Review
At first, it can be demoralizing to see how much you won’t get done this week. Over time, it will be liberating. You can stop worrying about all the stuff you were never going to get done anyway.
Some of the “very important” items that never seem to get done will eventually fall off your list. In time, you’ll get more discerning about what items to add in the first place.
As mentioned earlier, having someone to help facilitate this process with you is extremely powerful, so try to partner up for extra accountability.
Wishing you the peace that comes with knowing exactly what you need to do this week—and what you don’t.
P.S. An overwhelming calendar is often a sign that you aren’t living in your unique zone of genius. And THAT’s often a sign that you need to revisit the structure of your company. Contact us to see how our business consultants can help.