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January 25, 2010

Posted 01-25-10 at 03:45 PM by Cacho
Weekly Review:
I just did a weekly review yesterday, and it reminded me how important these are and how difficult.

When I first sat down with my to do list, I looked it over to make sure I knew what was on there, and that I didn't want to change anything.

I wanted to try and figure out which tasks belonged to which projects. Projects are just goals that take more than one task to accomplish. This means that most tasks are part of projects.

Keeping track of which tasks belong in which projects is difficult for me. I try to write it into the task, but often during the week, things get updated multiple times and the connection between task and project weakens.

Additionally, sometimes there are projects that I want to be working on, but that I haven't made a task for yet. These, of course, don't show up in my to do list at all!

So, I got out my overall to do mind map. This mind map (I use FreeMind) has my long term goals, some of my important values, and projects.

When I first look at this thing, I always feel overwhelmed, but I just don't know how to track everything otherwise, and if I don't track everything I forget everything.

So, I waded into the projects, and tried to think of any new ones, or ones I could delete because they were done or I didn't want to do them anymore.

At first, the mind map just looked like a giant wall of text, and I felt frustrated, then I just started looking at my to do list, and I attached each task to the appropriate project.

After I went through my to do list. I looked at which projects on my mind map didn't have associated tasks. I either moved these projects to my "Maybe" area, or I figured out the first task to do with them. Then I wrote these tasks to my to do list.

By the end of the enterprise, which I think everyone would do slightly differently, I felt like I had a pretty clear idea of the things I was working on.

There's all sorts of ways to do weekly review, but I always find that at the beginning of the review I feel confused, and if I stick with it, then at the end I feel much more lucid.

Time Maps:
Here is how my time map stands now:
Red = wasted time
Blue = sleep
Green = not wasted time
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I definitely improved over last week. Here is a graph of the amount of time I'm wasting per day... looks like it's decreasing over time:
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But, I still haven't quite hit the two consecutive week days of wasting only 1 hour.

Summary:
  • Perusing your to do lists once per week is just as important as writing a to do list in the first place.
  • Still haven't hit 2 consecutive week days of wasting 1 hour or less, maybe this week.
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