Weekly Review

The Weekly Review process is simple, and the rewards are well worth the effort. It is the first and most important discipline to adopt with regards to your Integrated Management System. It enables you to constantly evaluate your Meaningful Objectives and Strategic Next Actions, which helps improve your productivity.

I’ve been utilizing this process for years now, this is a good process to use with your Executive as well.  Keep you and your Executive accountable.

  • What do I want to be doing/experiencing differently?
  • Not stressing over feeling like I might have to work on the weekend.
  • I want to feel like I have had a productive week.
  • I want to feel good about maybe kicking off early today because I know I have myself organized and will not drop any balls. What am I willing to do differently to get what I want?
  • I am willing to change some of my current beliefs that are hindering my ability to be productive.
  • I am willing to accept that I cannot get everything done.

Stick to the 5 Ds in processing email:

  1. Do It – Reply to the message or simply deal with the task at hand
  2. Delegate – Assign task or responsibility over to somebody else
  3. Delete – Delete it if it is junk or doesn’t require follow-up or archiving
  4. Defer – Set a reminder to review or follow up on it at a later time
  5. Distribute – Move the Email to a different channel, such as to an appointment, task, or social media

The Weekly Review has two purposes:

  1. It ensures that your Integrated Management System in Outlook is up to date, reflecting your current status.
  2. It provides a process for regularly prioritizing and planning your calendar items.

This weekly, one-hour appointment is designed to support you in staying proactive and strategic.

Follow the steps below to complete a comprehensive Weekly Review:

  1. Collect all loose papers.
    • Gather all loose papers, business cards, sticky notes, receipts, etc. and place those items in your paper inbox for processing.
  2. Empty your head.
    • Sitting in front of your Task Pad, clear your mind by creating a task for each action item that you are carrying around in your head.
  3. Empty and organize all collection points.
    • Process and organize all collection points, e.g. contents of your paper inbox, portable inbox, email inbox, notebooks, and voicemails.
    • All actions should be captured as tasks, reference items should be filed, and everything else discarded.
  • Review the previous week on your calendar.
  • Acknowledge completions, reprioritize items that were not completed, and renegotiate anything else that may have fallen through the cracks. 1. Review upcoming weeks on your calendar.
  • Review upcoming calendar events, both long and short-term.
  • Capture any new action items in the Task Pad. 1. Review your baseline calendar structure
  • Review recurring appointments (e-mail processing time, meeting prep time, travel, exercise, lunch, etc.)
  • Assess how these appointments are working for you and adjust as necessary.
  1. Review each Meaningful Objective and Supporting Project for the following:
    • Where does it stand today?
    • Where does it need to be?
    • What Strategic Next Actions need to be completed in the next five to seven days to keep your Meaningful Objectives moving forward?
    • Capture these tasks and categorize appropriately.
  2. Review 1:1 Categories:
    • Acknowledge completions.
    • Review each of your Meaningful Objectives and Supporting Projects for status, then plan and prioritize discussion points.
  3. Prioritize Strategic Next Action Categories:
    • Review and prioritize the items in each of your Strategic Next Action Categories by expanding and reviewing the contents of each category.
    • Acknowledge completions.
    • Establish priorities using either a due date or another form of prioritization, and then schedule work time on your calendar to complete all priority items.
  4. Ask yourself the following questions:
    • Have I budgeted my time on my calendar realistically?
    • Have I looked for items to delegate appropriately?
    • Are the actions and meetings scheduled on my calendar, support completing my objectives?
    • Am I creating the appropriate amount of focus on each objective?
    • What story is my calendar telling me in terms of my work/life balance?

Other useful examples of managing your day to day,  prioritizing effectively and being a thoughtfully ruthless leader are found in the book Thoughtfully Ruthless by Valerie Wright.  

This book is targeted towards Executives, BUT there are terrific nuggets of information that are useful to Executive Support Professionals, PLUS it’s important to read up on what your Exec’s are reading, stay relevant and learn how to help them be the best Leaders they can be.

I hope you ended your week with great feelings of accomplishments! Enjoy the weekend!

Stay Savvy!


  1. This is a really great post. I have certainly learned a thing or two from reading this and how to put a system in place to stay organised!

  2. What a great post on helping to keep us organized! We are always scrambling to get so much done in such a little amount of time, so organization is key.

  3. What a great post! I love your tips and advice. This is what I need. Thank you for the reminder. I really like what you said: “reprioritize items that were not completed”. This is so important.

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