Step 4 – Review

The REVIEW is the most important of the 5 phases of mastering workflow but it’s the one most people struggle to do.

However, it’s essential, once you’ve got all your open loops under control, that you keep them that way otherwise you’ll lapse back into your old ways and get completely out of shape!

How often you do a REVIEW is up to you but the oprimal frequency is weekly – it’s usually referred to as the WEEKLY REVIEW.

There are three parts to the REVIEW:

  1. Get CLEAR
  2. Get CURRENT

Get CLEAR means:

  • get all the loose papers, receipts, etc. that have accumulated since your last REVIEW into you in-basket ready to PROCESS (this is a mini-COLLECT!)
  • get anything that’s in your head out and written down an in your in-basket
  • PROCESS all outstanding items in your in-basket

Get CURRENT means:

  • review all your NEXT ACTION lists and cross off anything that’s done and add any new NEXT ACTIONs that this triggers
  • look back over your calendar since your last Weekly REVIEW for any remaining NEXT ACTIONs and add to your NEXT ACTIONs lists
  • look forward over your calendar for the next few weeks and capture any NEXT ACTIONs triggered by this
  • review your WAITING FOR list checking off completed items and look for any needed follow-up on these and other items and capture any NEXT ACTIONs on your lists
  • evaluate the status of all your PROJECTs making sure that you’ve at least one NEXT ACTION on each

Get CREATIVE means:

  • review your SOMEDAY/MAYBE list and transfer any PROJECTs that have now become active to your PROJECTS list and delete any SOMEDAY/MAYBE items that are no longer of interest
  • think of any new things you want to be doing that you can add to your GTD system

One of the key tricks with the REVIEW is finding the time and space to do it justice. Book a meeting with yourself or take all your lists to your favourite coffee shop and shut out the rest of the world whilst you put your world into order.

Next we’ll look at DO, the final phase of mastering workflow. Then we’ll go back to the beginning and look at some of the tips, tricks and tools for each phase and I’ll show you how I’ve implemented GTD. Don’t forget – you can get an overview of the Five Phases of Mastering Workflow from David Allen’s site for free!

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