The blog

Previous article

Next article

27 Jan

Fully updated at least once a week

Datum: 2010-01-27 09:53

One of the most valu­able com­po­nents of a struc­tured, effec­tive, per­son­al way of work­ing is the week­ly update.

If you in your every­day life com­plete and add tasks to your to-do-list, cre­at­ing a con­tin­u­ous in and out flow of tasks, it is in itself a good thing. But it often tends to result in a sit­u­a­tion where only the tasks of imme­di­ate impor­tance are com­plet­ed, for exam­ple the most recent­ly added tasks or those some­one recent­ly remind­ed you to do.

There may be tasks here and there in the to-do-list that you added a cou­ple of months ago, which are of vital impor­tance for your busi­ness, but which you couldn’t do any­thing about at the time. Now might be the right time to com­plete such a task and if you do not at reg­u­lar inter­vals go through your to-do-list, it can eas­i­ly get lost in the crowd.

This is where the week­ly run-through comes in. Decide upon a series of con­trol activ­i­ties that you set aside time to per­form every week. Cre­ate a sim­ple check­list you can fol­low so you won’t miss anything.

The run-through may for exam­ple con­tain the fol­low­ing activities:

The Vision

First, skim through the vision you are aim­ing at when it comes to your busi­ness and/​or your pri­vate life. If you are work­ing in a big orga­ni­za­tion it may be eas­i­er to check that every­thing is cor­re­spond­ing in accor­dance to the long term strate­gic goal relat­ed to your own department/​division/​section.

Reflect upon whether the work you have done the past week has been in the direc­tion of the vision. Would you like to focus on some­thing par­tic­u­lar in the com­ing week to put you on the right track again? Is the vision still attrac­tive to you or maybe you have gained new expe­ri­ences which have made you think twice about this long term goal? You might want to adjust the course slight­ly. Or, are you prac­ti­cal­ly there already and there­fore need to cre­ate a new vision? Adjust the vision if you think it is necessary.

What you have got to do

Pull out your to-do-list. Go through all the to-do-tasks and decide which of them that has to be actu­al­ized and there­fore has a high pri­or­i­ty, which ones that are already com­plet­ed, and which ones that has to be removed from the list. Also add new tasks you come to think of while doing this.

What you expect from others

Open your wait­ing for”-list. Go through all the notes on what oth­er peo­ple said they were going to get back to you with or what you have asked oth­ers to do. Con­sid­er if you have to do some­thing to remind them, for exam­ple call or send an email. Remove those notes were the oth­er part has done what was agreed.

Your ongo­ing projects

Go through your overview of your ongo­ing projects and add pos­si­ble to-do-tasks, that is, the next step in each project. Which projects have come to a stand-still, which are com­plet­ed and which ones have popped up with­out you hav­ing added them to your project-overview?

Some day” or maybe-things

Go through the list of tasks you might even­tu­al­ly do some day, but aren’t cer­tain you ever will get to. One exam­ple might be all those bril­liant ideas that you get now and then, but which have to fer­ment” before you can put them into action. Add, remove, check, actualize.

Your ref­er­ence material

Go through the part of your sys­tem con­sist­ing of ref­er­ence mate­r­i­al that stand in line to be looked over and throw away what has become out of date and irrel­e­vant. If you have got a sus­pen­sion fil­ing sys­tem, you can for exam­ple mark the upcom­ing fold­er with a piece of blu-tac which you move up one fold­er every week. If you are work­ing with ordi­nary binders, sort out one flap a week (of all the flaps you have got in total in your bookshelves).

Your net­work

Go through your con­tact list accord­ing to the sur­names that start with the let­ter that is next in line (that is, one let­ter each week) and con­sid­er if you need to define a task regard­ing keep­ing con­tact with each per­son at least one time every quar­ter, ter­tial or half a year (if you won’t meet sooner).

Your agen­da

Go through the month that passed in your agen­da and one month ahead, and add any pos­si­ble tasks you come to think of when brows­ing what you just did and what’s com­ing up, to the to-do-list.

But why?

The advan­tage of going through the entire to-do-sys­tem once a week is that you feel con­fi­dent that every­thing you need to remem­ber is on the list. You can also safe­ly add tasks you come to think of but don’t want to do right now, since you know you can trust that you will be remind­ed of them at least once a week so that you won’t miss the right oppor­tu­ni­ty to com­plete them.

To be in con­trol of every­thing all the time is a utopia, but to be ful­ly updat­ed at least once a week makes it pos­si­ble for you to focus on your long-term goals, con­fi­dent­ly know­ing that the short-term details are tak­en care of.

What suits you?

There are prob­a­bly more appro­pri­ate activ­i­ties to add to the week­ly run-through. Which ones would you like to have on your checklist? 

Please leave a com­ment below.