We all want to be more productive. But with the distractions of modern life, it can feel impossible to stay focused and achieve our goals. That's why having a system for regular review is so important. The weekly review is a simple but powerful habit that can transform how you work.
What Is a Weekly Review?
A weekly review is taking time out each week to look back and look ahead. It's a chance to celebrate wins, course-correct where needed, and plan for the week ahead. The act of regularly reviewing keeps you focused on your bigger picture goals while also helping you prioritize and schedule the week to come.
Why You Need It
It’s easy to get caught up in reactive work and put your head down to push through your to-do list each day. But without regular review, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and what you really want to accomplish. A weekly review gives you perspective and the chance to intentionally steer your work and life.
When to Do Your Review
Pick a consistent time each week when you can think clearly without distractions or interruptions. Most people find Sunday afternoon or Monday morning works well as a reset point before the week gets rolling. But find whatever day and time suits your schedule best. The key is sticking to it consistently.
Make It Quick But Impactful
Your full weekly review should take between 30 to 60 minutes. Any longer and it risks becoming burdensome rather than energizing. Be focused to make the most of the time. The goal is to optimize, not scrutinize. Pare down any areas that don’t serve you.
10 Key Areas to Review
Here are 10 key areas to reflect on and refine during your weekly review:
1. Celebrate Your Wins
Start by looking back at the past week and calling out your wins and accomplishments, no matter how small. Recognizing progress gives positive reinforcement to keep driving forward.
2. Review Goals and Objectives
Reconnect to the big picture of what you want to accomplish, why it matters, and how you’re tracking against longer-term goals. This aligns your day-to-day with your desired destination.
3. Reflect on Energy Levels
Consider when your energy peaked and troughed. Look for any themes in when you struggled for focus. Reflect on how you might better align effort with energy.
4. Assess Opportunities for Improvement
Look objectively at the previous week for any patterns in frustration, delays, or time sinks. Identify what you could improve.
5. Check Up on Health Habits
How did sleep, nutrition, and activity levels go last week? Were you taking care of yourself or was anything lagging? Spot any needed tune-ups.
6. Review Your Schedule
Scan your calendar over the past week and future weeks. Look at upcoming appointments and obligations. Does anything need shifting based on your goals, energy levels, or other priorities?
7. Update To-Do Lists
Bring focus to your to-do list by weeding out any irrelevant tasks and prioritizing what remains based on your goals and any insights from the past week. Transfer key items to target daily tasks.
8. Check Up on Relationships
Look at the state of key relationships and connections. Who do you want to check in with in the week ahead? Make any needed notes to follow up or schedule time together.
9. Outline Top Goals for the Week
Based on your broader goals and the past week, define 2 to 3 most important things to accomplish in the week ahead. This steers your time to what matters most.
10. Schedule Intentionally
Plug your weekly goals, to-do list priorities, and calendar appointments into a schedule for the week ahead. Look to align energy and effort. Schedule time off the grid to focus on big priorities.
End with an Action Plan
Close your weekly review by summarizing the insights and actions you’re taking into the week ahead so they stick. Identify any first steps to take right away. You want to shift seamlessly from reviewing to doing.
While it’s ideal to do your review in a quiet space free of distractions, a quick review on the go is better than nothing. If you’re traveling or don’t have time for a full review, spend 10 minutes polling the key areas. Jot down some notes so you can come back to anything that requires more thought.
Make It Pleasant
Look for little ways to make your weekly review an enjoyable reset rather than a chore. Brew a nice cup of coffee or tea. Put on music. Do it from somewhere inspirational outdoors or a change of environment. When we associate positive feelings with the review, maintaining the habit becomes easier.
Review With Someone Else
If you tend to self-critique or get off track during solo reviews, try reviewing with a friend, mentor, or mastermind group for built-in accountability and objectivity. Verbalizing your insights from the past week and plans for the next often clarifies things even more.
Adapt the Areas Over Time
Customize your areas of focus based on what matters most for your life and work right now. You may find certain lenses like health or relationships become more or less important to check in on over time. Keep your review areas agile.
Choose Your Review Medium
Your weekly review can be as analog or digital as you like. Many people love pen and paper for the freeflow of ideas. Or use tools like Evernote for collecting digital notes over time. Simple templates help structure your thinking. The best medium is what you’ll actually use consistently.
Supernormal for AI-Powered Notes
Using Supernormal for AI-powered meeting notes helps you easily capture key insights to inform your weekly review. Simply record any 1:1s or team meetings and Supernormal will identify highlights, action items, decisions and more so they fuel weekly prioritization and task management.
Invest Time to Save Time
It’s easy to see a weekly review as time you don’t have. But the returns from getting intentional far outweigh the modest time invested to think more clearly. Use your review to optimize how you spend the rest of your hours. The compound effect over time is powerful.
Create Your Own Cadence
While a weekly check-in is the go-to for many, the ideal frequency depends on your needs. Monthly or quarterly reviews work for more strategic thinking. Daily reviews help some maintain laser focus on fewer priorities. Find the rhythm that complements your work style and goals.
Stick with It!
Like any habit, the weekly review requires consistency over time to realize the full benefits. Even if your first few reviews feel clumsy or less helpful, push through. As the insights accumulate and compound, you’ll gain clarity on how to make the process more meaningful and productive over time.
Weekly reviews help you celebrate wins, course correct where needed and steer each week intentionally. Make time for regular review, and you’ll be amazed at the productivity power it unlocks!