How To Complete A Highly Effective Weekly Review

It is so easy to let life pass by without intentionally choosing what we want to experience or create each day. Just keeping up with our day-to-day demands leaves us with so little time to reflect on what matters most to us.

The only time we tend to give thought to things that are important to us is usually at the start of a year, when we tend to set New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, studies have shown that more than 80% of people either abandon or forget about their resolutions within the first two months of the year.

As a result, our days, weeks and months go by, and we often feel like we are not making progress and our life is not getting better. Have you ever felt that way?

The danger with that is it can affect us in so many ways, from our motivation levels, to our attitude, to our relationships — both personal and professional, and in extreme cases, it can have an adverse effect on our health.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In order to prevent these negative consequences, we must give ourselves the opportunity to stop what we’re doing on a consistent basis and reflect on where we are, where we are heading, what’s currently working for us, what’s currently not working for us, and what we are committed to doing in order to get to where we want to be.

One of the most effective ways to do that on a consistent basis is to complete a weekly review.

The benefits of completing a weekly review include:

  • It helps us identify our priorities for the following week.
  • It keeps our short term and long term priorities front of mind.
  • It gives us the opportunity to reflect on our successes during the week, which shows we are making progress.
  • It allows us to reflect on what we could have done better during the week in order to get to where we want to be.
  • We learn valuable lessons we otherwise may not have learned had we not given ourselves the time to reflect on things.
  • We can receive new insights or ideas to help us achieve our goals and objectives.

A weekly review can take anywhere between 10 minutes to an hour, depending on how much detail we want to go into. My weekly reviews, which I typically do every Sunday evening, generally take about 15 minutes, and I believe it is one of the most important things I do each week.

A weekly review is simply answering a set of questions each week, with the aim of getting more clarity, solidifying our commitment, boosting our confidence and having the courage to take the actions required to achieve the results we want.

Here are the questions I reflect on and answer each week, which I capture in a new note in Evernote.

  1. What were my wins this week?
  2. Which goals did I achieve during the week? Why?
  3. Which goals didn’t I achieve during the week? Why?
  4. What could I have done better or differently this week?
  5. What were my Ah-HAs this week?
  6. What did I learn this week, in terms of personal development and skill improvement?
  7. What are my top three goals for the month?
  8. What are my top three goals for the week?
  9. What personal development material will I commit to studying this week?
  10. What skills will I develop and practice this week?

While answering 10 questions each week may seem like a lot to do, once you start doing this consistently, the time required will start reducing because you will know how to answer them more efficiently. When I first started doing my weekly review, it used to take me 30 minutes but now, it takes me no more than 15 minutes.

One additional thing I do straight after my weekly review is to do a review of all my goals for the year, which takes me an additional 10 minutes. Giving yourself 30 minutes of reflection time each week is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your performance, productivity and overall sanity.

Action Step: Copy the above questions into a journal or electronic notebook like Evernote and set aside about 30 minutes every weekend to reflect on your previous week by answering those questions.

Question: Why will completing a weekly review be beneficial to you?

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  • Jane Ransom

    Taking your suggestion would mean 30 minutes well spent indeed. Thanks, Neel!

    • Neel Raman

      This is one of the most important things I do at the end of each week, typically on Sunday evenings. I find it helps me narrow my focus for the following week. Thanks again Jane! 🙂