Mario Villalobos

The Weekly Review

When I first started to seriously delve into improving myself and my life back in 2009, the first book I read that seriously helped me was Getting Things Done by David Allen. David Allen created an entire system that just made sense to me. The whole system consists of just five steps: Collect, Process, Organize, Review, and Do. The collection phase is where you dump everything that’s on your mind down, wiping it of any nagging little things that have been bothering you. These items are next processed in the second stage. If it takes less than two minutes, do it right then and there. Delegate those tasks you can’t do to other people. The rest of the tasks you will organize into lists. How you do this is up to you. Once everything’s organized, you review your lists. You may have put something into one of your lists six months ago, but without reviewing them, you completely forgot you had that item in there. Finally, you do everything that’s on your lists. Obviously, what’s the point of a todo list if you’re not getting anything done? That’s the GTD system in a nutshell. If you’re curious to learn more, I highly recommend picking up a copy of the book.

The weekly review is something David Allen talks about in depth in the book. Every week, you sit down with your todo list and review it. You process all your inboxes, you dump your head into your lists, you process, you organize, you do. This ensures you trust the system and that it becomes a part of your day-to-day life. For the most part, it has been for mine. I try to do mine every Sunday, but life does get in the way, and I don’t always get the chance to do it. But I just completed my first Weekly Review on the new OmniFocus app for the iPad, and holy shit, the process was so frictionless and fun that I’m definitely reviewing using my iPad from now on. There were items in there I completed days and weeks ago, and I either forgot to cross them off or forgot they were even in there. Most importantly, the weekly review reminds me of what I consider to be priorities in my life.

I briefly talked about the three pillars of what I consider to be a complete human being in day 12: mind, body, and spirit. That is how I have my todo list organized, and that’s how I try to live my days. Now, to be frank, in the past week I haven’t worked out, I didn’t eat healthy on a consistent basis, I haven’t finished reading a book in weeks, and I’ve neglected to meditate on a regular basis. I have written 300+ words every morning for the past fourteen days, I have updated my blog and examined myself as deeply as I can, and I did start a new job that has excited me for my future that no other job ever has. I’ve talked about perfection and how I could be too hard on myself sometimes. A consistent weekly review reminds me to focus on the essentials, to help me hone back into the three pillars, and to help me get back on the path if it seems like I’ve strayed.

I feel like I’ve strayed, and now I need to get back on track.