Talking about productivity, reviews are critical.
I found out this a long time ago.
I used to let myself be carried away by the river of the urgent.
It’s easy to do so. Nobody’s without anything to do nowadays.
Urgent is the perfect excuse to procrastinate, delay all those things we don’t really want to do and say that we’re doing our best, even though we don’t achieve any of our goals.
That’s real life, and that’s how we, human beings, work and operate.
I didn’t feel well about myself. I felt guilty, thinking I should do and pursue those items that give sense to my life.
I had to do something, and reviews were the answer.
I manage 4 different types of reviews, based on the period length I’m analyzing and studying.
All of them are important and focus on different aspects of my life, both personal and professional (because you only have one life, without divisions).
1. ANNUAL REVIEW
It’s a high-level look at my life.
I analyze feelings, emotions, mood, motivation, big goals, big challenges, how this year was, and how I hope the next year will be… that kind of stuff.
After doing it, you will have defined your existential principles.
What really matters to you.
What is IMPORTANT to you.
2. QUARTERLY REVIEW
This review will allow you to see:
- what you have achieved,
- what worked,
- what didn’t,
- how close you are to your goals,
- and how your projects and tasks are evolving.
Here you can create or define new goals and tasks.
3. MONTHLY REVIEW
As you can see, the smaller the period you’re reviewing, the more you focus on operational issues. I love it!
- Each month, I review accomplishments and failures.
- I see how my effectiveness has been.
- How my performance is going.
- How many tasks have I done?
- How many goals have I achieved?
- How’s my performance working?
- How can I improve it?
4. WEEKLY REVIEW
Finally, every Friday, I do my weekly review, which is, for me, the most important one.
It is so because it’s totally operational:
- I pay attention to my “do’s”,
- the tasks I’ve done,
- pushing myself to be each week better talking about performance.
Here, things are clear. Goals are very tangible. There’s no space for excuses. Goals are just doing that task. There’s no way out.
Here is where you can see if you’re committed to yourself or you’re lying to yourself.
I love it when a year ends because I have the sensation of being born again, with all counters set to zero. Everything begins again.
I wanted to move that sensation to a weekly basis… and it worked!
- Every week I set goals.
- Those goals have to be done, without any excuse, without procrastination.
- They’re very well defined, limited, with an exact deadline, and an outcome anyone could understand.
- Every week, in my review, I check if I’ve achieved or not those goals.
This iteration between setting goals and review them every week is what makes me move forward, step by step, little by little, but without stopping.
During my weekly review, I do all these simple things too:
- I leave my e-mail inbox to zero.
- I clean my desktop.
- I leave everything in its place.
- I decide all the tasks I will do the next week… AND SCHEDULE THEM!
As I said, it’s like starting over. Counters to zero. Everything’s ready to start again on Monday. Battle won this week.
When you won a battle each week is when you understand life’s not a fight. You’re not in a war. You’re inside a fabulous journey of fulfillment, common sense, progress, and evolution.
This weekly review only takes me an hour, but it’s refreshing and one of the best hours I invest in my life.
Whenever you enter this productivity loop, you will never want to leave it.
Reviews will give you a lot of joy.
Here I synthesize just a few:
- Analysis. We don’t dedicate time to think, pause, draw conclusions, concerns, points to improve, strengths, and weaknesses… Reviews allow you to do so.
- Motivation. You see progress. Goal achieving. You perceive how you evolve. This is the fuel you need for your life.
- Organization. You set which goals you want to accomplish. Improvisation starts to disappear. Your river of URGENCY becomes a river of IMPORTANCE.
- Planning. You don’t only set goals. You decide the tasks you will do… and schedule them!
- Cleaning. You clean your inbox, your desktop, your mind. Everything’s crystal clear to focus on the most crucial thing: DOING.