So far I have shared my Collect, Clarify and Organize steps in my GTD based productivity process. When I keep the discipline, as I “preach” about in my previous posts, this process works great for me. There is nothing more rewarding than getting to the end of the work day or week with all my tasks actioned.
But one of the most critical stages of any productivity system is to review your task list to ensure that that it is still up to date, achievable and a true reflection of what you need to do now and next. I have found the best approach is to identify a regular time each week, and a space where I won’t be disturbed for me to then review my projects and their individual tasks.
GTD will work best when you make smart decisions about your projects and tasks. So in my review sessions, I work to understand which are critical items that only I can do and if I am running out of time, I then make a plan to adjust my priorities. A failing plan is not much use to me.
Keeping a discipline to regularly review your projects and tasks is not easy, believe me. You tend to think that this type of review and planning is using time that you could actually be doing your tasks rather than working on your system. I have learnt that I have to be fully invested in this type of structured system for it to work and to really make a difference to my productivity.
Once again Omnifocus comes in to its own with a “review” mode which highlights which of your projects need this check in. This is a good way to take a focussed look at a project as a whole and to make sure that not only have I prioritized my tasks correctly and have understood the what, when and how I will do the work; but also this approach provides an opportunity for me to add anything new or missing.
This simple screencast shows how I use Omnifocus in the review process.
As before, you don’t need Omnifocus to be able to find a quiet time to check out where you are up to and what you next need to do. A notebook, a place to focus and a regular time would work great too. Success comes with the discipline of using the GTD system irrespective of the tools you choose to use.
As an Architect and a Business Leader, my professional life is forever changing with new projects and tasks, clients to respond to or shifting priorities. So my review process is really important for me to make sure that I have collected, clarified and organized the new things that come to me alongside my current workload.