Fear of the Weekly Review

Oct 10, 2016
Joe Buhlig
~1 min

I’m all about reviews. I think their value greatly outweighs the time involved and energy expended. Most of the time it’s easy for me to initiate a review and step through its checklist, but there are days when I see a weekly review coming up on the calendar and start dreading it immediately.

It’s simple really. My dread is rooted in fear, which is a bit odd to say at first. There is a large group of GTDers who find no value in a weekly review and they often cite their hatred for the practice and the amount of time necessary to complete it. Or they do a smaller, broken up version of a weekly review on a daily basis because it’s overwhelming to do it all it once. But if you look at all of these cases through the lens of fear, you can see surprising similarities.

When I start to fear the weekly review, it’s often because I fell short of my goals for the week, feel overloaded, have to say “no” to projects I love, or haven’t done my due diligence to empty my mind. Doing a weekly review will force me to do un-fun work and make decisions I don’t want to make. But when I’ve achieved my weekly goals and faithfully captured my ideas, I look forward to the review because I know it will validate my success.

When GTDers (myself included) choose to put off the weekly review, it’s often due to fear of what we’ll learn as opposed to time constraints. If it’s valuable, we’ll make time for it. I would even argue that the weekly review is what allows you to trust your system and the foundation of its successful use.

If you’ve sworn off the weekly review or broken it down into smaller daily pieces, why is that? Is there a fear of what you’ll see? Can you trust the system if you don’t regularly validate its accuracy? When do you step back and look at the overall picture of your commitments?

If you’re like me, the times when you fear the weekly review are the times it’s the most important to complete.