Regarding Gtd

Don’t Do a GTD “Review” — Just “Get Yourself Up to Date”

Recorded on April 19th, 2016

Joe Buhlig talked on Mac Power Users #314 recently about how he runs his GTD weekly reviews. As long as I’ve been sporadically attempting some version of the review process, I’ve struggled with doing it regularly and thoroughly. I’m always open to one more person sharing their tricks. Buhlig said:

“Whenever you first start getting into Review, a lot of people start asking, ‘Well, what’s the point? Why would I do that?’ The thing that I always try to tell people is that it’s impossible for you to trust that system unless it’s fully up to date. And the only way to keep it up to date is to go through it and make sure it’s up to date.”

You may think, Well, duh. But it’s only deceptively obvious. You have to re-think what you call it. He continues:

“If you changed the name of it from ‘Review’ to ‘Get Myself Up to Date’… you’re usually more likely to do it.”

That was the a-ha moment. Maybe one of the reasons I resist doing the weekly review — other than the fact that I never prune projects like I should — is that the term sounds so weighty. Like something someone does while wearing a necktie in a 1980s office with a lot of paper and no computers: “Heah, I shall now commence upon The Weekly Review, in which I shall dust off ye olde Next Actions note-book, and thereby cross-reference it with the items on the Projects list, arriving at the eventual optimal outcomes of which we are here to determine, thank-you very much.”

Or, I could say, “I’m going to spend an hour getting each project’s very next few tasks up to date,” which would be way less overwhelming.