‘We run this company on questions, not answers’
Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google
Pretty much all of the task management and productivity courses and apps out there right now recommend some kind of ‘weekly review’. This is a time during your week when you sit down and reflect on your work. It’s also a time when you’re supposed to track progress on your goals as well.
The only problem with the weekly review is that it can be unwieldy. Some systems encourage you to carry notebooks with sticky notes. Some suggest charts, actual charts that you carry around with you. And before you ask, even phone apps that cover a weekly review do so in an incredibly complicated way. Before you know it, the weekly review has become just another task. And an arduous one at that.
However, I don’t believe in making life difficult.
I’ve taken a look at the whole weekly review thing and I’ve put together what I feel are some great questions that will get your brain fired up immediately. These questions will indeed allow you to review your week and think about the next seven days, but the big difference is that it isn’t hard work.
Take a look at them, and then try to answer them right now. Hopefully, you’ll see that they instantly help to organize your thinking around your work and your progress.
And the best news is they can be written down in five minutes. This means you don’t need sticky notes or a fancy app. And you definitely don’t need charts for this.
The best news? I’ve cut my weekly review questions down to nine.
- What do I need to get done in the next few days?
- Are there any new projects I could get started on?
- What went wrong last week and what could I learn from what went wrong?
- What went well last week and what could I do to build on that?
- How well am I meeting my obligations? My duties?
- What is the biggest challenge in the week ahead?
- Can I get help to solve that challenge?
- What did I do last week that helped towards meeting my goals?
- What goals do I have for the next seven days?
The best thing about questions when it comes to reviewing your week or your progress is that they encourage specificity.
A question asks you to focus. It makes you think about something carefully and thus comes back with clarity.
I don’t doubt that it’s important to review our progress on a weekly basis. Some of the most successful innovators do it. In the world of investing, if you don’t review your week, you’re heading for disaster.
While I agree with reviewing, it should never be complicated or long-winded. It needs to be sharp, quick and precise.
And questions are sharp, quick and precise. These nine questions help you review your week, focus on lessons to be learned, and look ahead to the next seven days.
Oh, and you don’t need sticky notes.