The most important practice that I recommend everyone adopt for their personal productivity is a Weekly Review – a regular reflection on their priorities and goals designed to give them a sense of clarity for the upcoming week.

Whether you adopt the Getting Things Done method or something else isn’t important. It doesn’t matter whether you do it every single week at the same time, or only occasionally as needed. It can be more philosophical and introspective, or detailed and specific. It’s up to you.

But this brings up the question of design. How do you choose what kind of review you should perform? How do you perform it? What are the steps? How do you know when you’re done?

These are all process design questions, and very few people are prepared to take them on. But without this practice, you’re never going to level up your productivity. In the same way you can’t level up your finances without regularly reviewing your budget.

The first step in designing a process is to decide what it’s for: what results or outcomes do you want the process to produce? Here are the intended outcomes I’ve decided on for my three reviews:

  • My Weekly Review is designed to give me just enough situational awareness to take effective action
  • My Monthly Review is designed to translate my long-term goals into current projects
  • My Annual Review is designed to redirect my time, effort, and attention toward a future of my own creation

In the previous articles in the Reviews series, I explained how I do my weekly, monthly, and annual reviews as examples. In this article, I’ll examine the fundamental design of each one and show how they are integrated across time to produce the results I want.

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