Mastering Weekly Reviews: Your Ultimate Guide to Boosting Productivity and Success

Gautham Dinesh
4 min readApr 6, 2024
Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

Why do reviews?

I have played around with the concept of reviews but it never stuck. This year, I experimented by doing a structured weekly and quarterly review. Why do reviews? After I graduated from university last summer, I spent many weeks thinking about the direction of my life. With no deadlines, clear path or objective, I found myself lost and worried about the possibility that my life would pass me by or even worse: going with the flow. Most people live their lives this way and that’s completely fine but that is not what I want. I want to push myself every single day to become a better person, learning, growing stronger and surrounding myself with like-minded people. With no accountability after starting my life in London, I decided that reviews would be a good way to keep track of my weeks and months. This would let me have just enough introspection and analysis of my current lifestyle to know what needs to change and what I should keep doing.

I do reviews at the end of every week (usually Sunday evenings) and I did my first quarterly review last weekend. I have a template that I use for my reviews that you can find here in my Notion Life planner template. In the rest of this post, I will review my methodology behind weekly reviews and share some tips and tricks.

Understanding Reviews

As I mentioned before, reviews can offer a reflection of where your time and energy is focused throughout the day, or week. I prefer to do weekly rather than daily reviews since I have more free time on the weekends and my mind has had time to clear up from the weekday hustle.

Weekly reviews have had the following benefits on my life:

  • Increased productivity by identifying what I did well and what didn’t go so well. It allows me to reprioritize and iterate over my goals to ensure that I am focusing on what matters.
  • Improved time management by identifying time sinks. This hits home because I waste quite a lot of time scrolling through social media, and when I realize this during my review, it prompts me to be more mindful of my usage.
  • Goal tracking has improved since my Notion dashboard allows me to see my quarterly and yearly goals. During my weekly reviews, I view my progress towards my goals to know if I’m on track to achieving them and what changes I can make to ensure I achieve them.

Conducting Reviews

  1. Set up a fixed time to do your reviews. I do mine on Sunday evenings after any chores, meal prep and plans that I have. I get a nice cup of tea, put on some classical music and spend between 30 minutes to an hour reflecting my the previous week.
  2. I start by clearing out my inbox, notes and any missed messages and calls. I write down anything Ineed to revisit and create tasks in my to-do list for things I need to take action on.
  3. I reflect on my achievements in the previous week and things that did not go according to plan. This gives me an idea of what I could do better and what activities distracted me from my goals. I don’t take it too hard because life often gets in the way. The best thing you can do is acknowledge that some weeks don’t go according to plan but you can always pick yourself back up and keep going.
  4. I look at my goals again and plan the next week’s items in line with my calendar to outline what I will do after work and on the weekends.
  5. Finally, I wrap up by sitting back and reflecting on the bigger picture. Sometimes, I journal and let thoughts about my life flow freely. Other times, I let my mind run till my thoughts stop going through rabbit holes. This allows me to reset and clear my mind for the week ahead.

Challenges

It took me years to finally implement a review system. I tried doing daily and weekly reviews multiple times before but it never stuck. What helps me the most is seeing productivity gurus like Ali Abdaal and Tim Ferris implement simple yet effective reviews like the one in my template, ensuring reviews don’t feel like a chore but more of a game. It is something to look forward to at the end of the week so you can count your coins and losses.

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