This is the last installment of the 6 Fundamentals of every great organization system. In prior weeks, we covered the other 5 fundamentals:
• Task List
• Intake System
• Reference System
The Final and Greatest Key
If someone told you this is the key, the main thing, the essential ingredient – would you pay attention? If so, sit up and take notice! This is the key ingredient for every great organization system. It is the 6th Fundamental and it is the weekly and daily review.
I promise you if you don’t hardwire this habit and the associated tools with this fundamental into your organization system it is not going to work. And not only is it not going to work, you will have a tendency to develop workarounds for the system and become frustrated and think the organization system does not work for you, when nothing could be further from the truth. Everyone can become more organized and, most importantly, live life more purposefully, but only with a great organization system to provide support to do so.
What is the Weekly Review?
So, what exactly is the weekly review? This is a time that you hardwire every week. Personally, for many years, I did it Sunday evening. I recently changed this habit to Friday mornings to free more of my weekend up. Whenever you choose to do it, make sure it is prior to 9:00 a.m. on Monday, because after 9:00 a.m. you will be well into your week and knee-deep in emails, phone calls, meetings, and other to-do items.
Here is a suggested checklist for a successful weekly review as well as some tools to assist:
• Get everything out of your intake system, including your emails. Put these items in your task list or reference system. If the task is two minutes or less, go ahead and do it then.
• Review your calendar. How far out you review will vary from person to person. I like to review 4 to 6 weeks out in order to look for things coming up in the next several weeks that now require a Big Rock for me for this coming week. The time frame for you will vary on the broad level responsibility for your position.
• Review your Big Rocks/to-do list from last week looking for any items remaining undone that need to be forwarded into this week’s Big Rocks/to-do list.
• Then review your Big Rocks/to-do list for this week. It is helpful to have a folder in OneNote, or your intake system, where you can list upcoming Big Rocks or to-do items that do not pertain to that week. You can pull from this list when creating your current list. Just choose the time frame increment that works for you. Personally, I have every week of the year setup in advance in One Note. I have seen some people utilize a monthly sheet and I have seen others utilize a 90-day sheet. Just choose the increment that works for you. Again, personally I find the weekly helps me be hyper-focused and proactive.
• Using these tools, nail down and create your Big Rocks/to-do list for the coming week. This allows you to have a solid plan before you hit the ground running Monday morning.
• The daily review is an expedited version of what you do with the weekly review. Each day at a specified time, scan your emails for ones marked as high importance, look at your intake for anything that came in as urgent that you flagged, and then review your Big Rocks for the week, and your calendar for the next day. Then you are ready with your Big Rocks for the coming day.
The Intentionality of Review
The weekly and daily review enable all the fundamentals to work well so that you can trust your system and truly focus on that which is at-hand and most important. Your Big Rocks/to-do list allow you to be free from worry about all the other things on your large task list because they are the ones you have decided to focus on this week.
Something amazing happens when you can trust your system: you become more creative and more passionate about your cause and purpose. Instead of reacting to things, you are setting intention and accomplishing what matters most. And because you are not holding everything in your mind, you are using your brain for what it was intended for: solving problems and creating solutions rather than trying to remember what you are supposed to do next.
Bringing it All Together
Each element of a great organization system holds significance and importance, but perhaps none as much as the weekly and daily review. A great organization system is made to function as each part is reviewed in a timely and intentional manner.
Thank you for reading this series on the fundamentals of every great organization system. We hope it was helpful to your everyday work life and we encourage you to review each part consistently to ensure your system is functioning at its full potential. Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know how the 6 Fundamentals are working for you. I also love to learn tips and strategies you invented to make your system more effective. So, here’s to living more purposefully and being more organized.
Chris Comeaux, President / CEO of Teleios Collaborative Network
Teleios University (TU)
Program Launch: January 20-21, 2020
An organizational model that allows not-for-profit hospices (Members) to leverage best practices, achieve economies of scale and collaborate in ways that better prepare each agency to participate in emerging alternative payment models and advance their charitable missions.
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The calendar the 1st fundamental of a great organization system.
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