Monday mornings are horrible. Most of us dread those early morning hours when we have to start a new work week, while trying to get organized and figure out just how much we have to do before we can celebrate another weekend. An easy way to make these Monday mornings a little easier is with a Weekly Review. Save yourself some time at the end of every week to get yourself organized for the week ahead. It will make you more organized and ultimately boost your productivity.
There are three objectives of the Weekly Review. First, clean your workspace and clear your inbox. Review what you have completed in the last week and get caught up on the status of on-going projects. This will help you figure out what you want accomplished in the following week. Organize your to-do list by urgency and deadlines so you don't have to worry about it during the week. The second objective is to get caught up. Take a look at your calendar and see what important meetings or milestones you have coming up. Take into account these meetings and allocate time to get prepared with research, getting input from colleagues or simply calling a client about a schedule change. Lastly, the Weekly Review allows you to get creative. What are the projects that keep slipping through the cracks? Perhaps you want to redesign your website or update your online profile. If you have time in your week's schedule, allocate time to get some of these personal projects done.
Schedule your Weekly Review at the same time and day each week (Friday late afternoons/evenings work best). Give yourself at least two hours, because it will often take that long to get organized. Over time and with practice, you can cut that time down to less than an hour. Then, create a checklist for yourself about what you want to accomplish during each review. Include items like emptying out your inbox, organizing all the papers on your desk, and reviewing items like your calendar and to-do list. This checklist should be totally customized to your own work week and can be changed as you see fit.
Don't forget to think of your Weekly Review as something to celebrate. Once this is done, your week is over and you get to go home and enjoy your weekend! And, thanks to your review, you can give your brain a break and not have to worry about remembering to email that one client or send that memo to accounting.