It’s almost the semester’s end – and you’ll get your long awaited and deserved two weeks of vacation, woohoo! But if you look at it in another way, it’s time to summarize how you have succeeded in the past four months, and to plan a strategy for your next term.
The new semester seems to be exciting: you’ll have your new notebooks ready, new folders created on your laptop, work schedule adjusted to your school timetable, and just a generally a “ready-to-go” attitude. However, after some time off, you probably won’t be realizing the volume of a hard work that is ahead, and you will most likely not be morally ready to dive into that right away, being lazy at times while transferring to the study mood.
There are some good ways how you can keep yourself together during that, honestly, tough period of time, but remember: neither of them will work unless YOU yourself want to be productive and stay motivated.
A habit, which is great to adopt, that I will discuss here will help you:
a) Keep your daily organizational systems up, such as having a calendar or a notification app,
b) Assess your productivity and following with the schedule set for yourself,
c) Make corrections to the tactics that turn out to not work well efficiently as the assessment will be done upon a short period of time,
d) Keep your motivation level up.
Just like you look back and see what you have achieved over a certain course of time, it is a great habit to have a weekly action review in order to see what works, what doesn’t, and to take measures for its improvement.
WHY having a weekly action review?
Most of us do create a “to do” list before a new week begins, however let’s be honest, not all the points from that list appear to be accomplished by the end of the week. Now, some people create mini “to do” lists daily, and having them incomplete by the end of each day gets such people disappointed and discouraged. In this case, I suggest what personally works for me – leading a general list with set tasks for a week, without connectedness to specific days or time. This way, one would feel more free and would train prioritization skills more 😉 If even within such a liberal system, not all the reasonably set tasks are complete, it is a problem signaling that the current task management system does not function well and can no longer be trusted. In the end, we rely on our little blocknotes/task management apps and services heavily as on day-to-day assistants.
WHAT is a weekly action review?
1) Comparison of the planned & the completed
Looking at the last week’s plan and seeing what has actually been accomplished and to what extent. If you have all points crossed out, congrats – you’re a task management ninja! But if you don’t, it may be worth it to ask yourself “Was it realistic enough to set this many tasks for the week?” or “Are those tasks reasonably achievable over one week?”
2) Ongoing monitoring of the things done and to be done
As you move through the week, your events will be attended and your assignments will be finished, so it is important not to forget checkmark them on your “to do” list. Not only will it help you perform better organized activities, but also will give you the sense of progress and accomplishment as you will be noting less and less tasks remaining on the list.
3) Next week’s plan preparation with adjustments
This is where you need to analyze your progress and make small changes on the way to increasing your productivity and pursuing that “all complete” goal. Here, indeed redundant leisure-related things will be eliminated first – in case you’re the type of a person like me: work first, rest after. Or a schedule for daily things will be adapted so you can fit more important business in. This stage is particularly important as it gives you a chance to fix the way you perform based on the teachable points from your experience. It ensures your future course of actions leads to bettering you, not leaving things stagnant.
WHEN to do a weekly action review?
This is completely up to you as you may have certain days-off when it is most convenient for you to summarize your weekly performance, but I would say Sunday is an appropriate day for a weekly action review, as well as for planning for the next week. Maybe while lying on the bed after a pre-sleep shower 🙂
HOW to do a weekly action review?
Whether you are a person favouring a traditional pen & paper approach or a tech-savvy kid aware of newest technologies, this depends on your preferences. However, there are some cool sites and services that you better take advantage of. If you are even able to turn using them into a solid habit, they can really change your life to the better. I will be reviewing those in a separate post, so stay tuned!