I try to stay reasonably productive at work and at home with a variation on the GTD system. Several aspects of that system work quite well, but one thing I have been really terrible at doing is the regular review of my projects.
That is a problem, because reviewing projects is an essential part of any productivity system. Without a review, your list of projects becomes out of control, you lose grip on what is current and what is not, and that is likely to become a weight on your mind and to make you lose trust in your system.
Years ago, I figured that I would do my GTD review once a week, on the weekend. It’s been years that it hasn’t worked at all. Yet I keep getting an automatic reminder by email that I need to do my weekly review, and I am now fully numb to it.
Last week, talking about this with @avernet, who also has issues doing regular GTD reviews, we decided to try an experiment. We figured that if it easier to go to the gym with a buddy than alone, the same idea could apply here. So we have decided to try for a while to be “GTD review buddies”.
The concrete implementation of the idea is as follows:
- We both have a recurring alarm on our phones set to Monday at 10 PM (when our respective kids are supposed to be asleep!).
- When that alarm rings, we send a message to each other with a reminder that it is GTD review time.
- We then work on our own review separately, as we are in different locations and of course have completely different projects. But the idea is to do the review at the same time.
- We are free to work on the review as long as we want.
Tonight was the first time that we tried this and it worked pretty well. At this rate it will take weeks if not months to get our projects in order, but it should become easier as time goes. We’ll see if the habit sticks!