GSD 4 — Reviewing

Posted on Fri 27 December 2013 in Productivity

So the final process I use to help me get shit done is reviewing. Each week I do a fairly lengthy review of the last week. I see what habits have been successful and which have been a struggle to maintain. I look to see if there are appropriate alterations I can use to help improve. Here's a list of the things I tend to analyse while reviewing, and the questions I've asked.

  • RescueTime - What have I procrastinated on this week? What peak times do I tend to be productive on my computer and when are the troughs? Can I replace this behavior with something slightly more useful?
  • Habit Streak - This one I find very important. What habits have I maintained and what have failed? I ask myself in a gentle self-analytical way why I couldn't maintain certain habits and what conditions I can change to improve my chances. Maybe the habits are simply not maintainable? Do I need to stop others and make specific time for new ones? Should I change my schedule? Reviewing is key to maintaining habits like these and the app I use is really straight-forward, exactly what I need.
  • Sleep as Android— Am I still maintaining a good sleep habit? Sometimes I try alterations to my routine and work out if there's a positive or negative effect to my day.
  • Todo List -I just use a notepad and sometimes just dump ideas into Evernote. At the end of the week I collect them up and add them to a todo list or ditch them. Saying no and not indulging ideas you simply don't have time for it key to this.
  • Instapaper - I do some gardening to my reading list and dump anything I felt may have been a valuable read at the time but on reflection isn't. I have a tendency to throw everything and the kitchen sink at my reading list, so purging this down is essential.
  • Gratefulness - I add in the things that I'm grateful for from the last week. Typically I try write these moments down during the week. It helps to re-affirm the things you find important and appreciate. By doing it and keeping the things you're grateful for in your mind it helps the review become a more decisive and straightforward process, especially when you have a tendency to hang on to those ideas or wandering thoughts that really have no value.
  • Projects - What progress have I made in the last week? How has it stacked up compared to other weeks? Did I have a fluid week or was there blockers, how can I approach these if they occur again?
  • Contacts - Are there contacts or people I've met recently that I wish to catch up or meet again?

Generally this is a rough list of what I look at and I've found the process very revealing and incredibly useful. It provides me with a framework that has kept me focused on my longer-term goals but also on my general health and how I can potentially make systematic improvements in smaller ways on a regular basis. These improvements will accrue and the benefits over time can be phenomenal.