Be very sad, this is the last post of the How I Get Things Done series.
I am combining two parts into one post, because they are both fairly short. So, here is a recap:
We captured all the open loops
We processed the captured item
Into our organization system
The next piece is the Review process. The review process for me happens every week and once a month. Every Monday morning the first thing I do is run through my review checklist. I accomplish lots of stuff with this meeting. The main point of the review meeting is to check in with my systems, and make sure that everything is running smoothly and that things are updated:
Any unprocessed items get caught. I empty all my inboxes and capture tools completely, which can be hard to do in an ongoing way. I also have lots of tasks that reoccur every week that I add to my to-do list during this meeting. I review every project sheet, and decide which of the next actions for each needs to be worked on this week. I also plan out the week. Once I have all the tasks created that need to be done for the week, I assign them to a day when they can get done. The best examples of this are:
Things that need to be done every week, but I can change when they happen each week, based on what is going on that week.
I also do this process once a month. It is the same process, but at a different level. There are tasks that I only do once or twice a month and I schedule those out on the first Monday of each month.
After all this organization, it is time to DO.
The biggest benefit to an organization system like this is that, it allows you to forget what you have to do, so you can focus on doing. This phase is where the whole process comes together. David Allen says it best:
Capture everything that has your attention (Collect)
Make decisions about what it means and what you are going to do about it (Process)
Park those decisions in trusted places (Organize)
Step back to reflect on those choices from a clear, current, and creative place (Review)
So that you can make the best action choice (Do)
There are three types of work that we all do each day, and it is useful to mention them to get you thinking.
Doing Pre-defined Work
This is going to your to-do list, selecting the next item in line, and doing it.
Doing Work as it Appears
These are new things that show up. The most common is the things that take two minutes or less, so they never make it your system, because you just DO it when it happens.
This is working in your organizational system. Defining work is when you are capturing, organizing, or storing open loops.
I have said it before and I will say it again: Organization, and the subsequent productivity, is a mental process. The main idea I want you to understand about the DO phase is all about controlling your brain. All the cool apps, programs, and planners won’t do anything without the mental discipline to use them in a cohesive format.
I hope this has helped you, or at least made you start thinking about that, when you stop letting work control you and you start controlling it, AMAZING things can happen!