Weekly Review

Last time I talked about my practice for starting the week off right. I have a mirror event for wrapping up the week: my Weekly Review.

I do this review at the end of the day on Friday. My team has a great practice of getting together and showing off what we’ve built that week, so I make the time right after. The Weekly Review serves several vital purposes: capture, reflection, and shut down.

I start by looking over the week’s notes in my notebook. Are there todos I captured but haven’t yet filed into OmniFocus? Hopefully, this is a “belt and suspenders” type of review, and I don’t need to do anything. But on those crazy weeks, you never know, and I don’t want anything falling through the cracks.

The larger piece is the review. Continuing to look at my notebook—and perhaps back at my calendar—I consider: what happened this week? What kept me busy, and what did I accomplish? And crucially, how well do my accomplishments line up with the goals for the week I defined on Monday? Now is a great time to think about what I can improve about my processes.

The Weekly Review serves several vital purposes: capture, reflection, and shut down.

I’ll also look over my project list in OmniFocus. Are there important projects I’ve neglected this week? What have I added to my list since Monday? Then projecting forward to the upcoming Monday morning, do I have a sense of what next week’s areas of focus will be?

The final purpose is tied less to specific actions but instead accomplished by this entire ritual. In Deep Work Cal Newport talks about the importance of a “shut down” procedure. It’s a way to tell your brain, we are going through the airlock now. I’ve finished what I’m going to, I’ve captured everything I need, and now I’m done with the workweek. Brain, you can leave that all behind for the next two days. Let’s do family things, friend things, house things, get some rest, and not actively think about work any longer. It’ll be there waiting for us on Monday, and the downtime will help refresh me so that I’m ready to tackle it when we get there.