My latest video on our YouTube channel is a simple guide to conducting your own weekly review. Looking back on our week allows us to ‘bank’ what went well, consider what didn’t and identify practical changes we’re going to make the following week.
When coaching my clients, they’re often put off by the work implied by reviewing their week – so I created a simple mnemonic to remind them there are just five areas to look back on. Take a few moments at the end of your week to make some notes in response to these questions so you can draw a line under one week before launching into the next.
It’s so tempting to launch ourselves into the weekend as soon as we can, putting work behind us and getting into relaxation mode. But if we drop everything, we lose a valuable opportunity to identify some learning points before they evaporate in the mists of time. Conducting your own weekly review gives you the chance to highlight how the week went and make some useful commitments to do things even better next week.
So what do you need to cover?
Self-care: I put it at the top of the list as it’s so easy to neglect in the face of ‘important tasks’. My basic reminder is this: self-care is what enables you to be your best, most productive self at work. It’s not ‘cheating’ or being lazy. It’s refuelling your batteries and is an absolute must.
Wins: What went well? What did you accomplish? No matter how small, it’s beneficial to look for highlights in your week, as each represents a potential learning point. Especially if your self-talk in advance was negative or doom-laden. Really importantly, think about how you made it a win.
Issues: No week is free from hassles, so identify what went wrong or what was challenging. It’s useful to expand on this and consider whether these things were external forces, or the result of something you did. Your train being late is one thing, but you forgetting to set your alarm to catch a train is a different thing. Both represent potential learning points about planning and organising yourself.
Pivots: Considering the self-care, the wins and the issues, how can you translate your reflections and learning points into actual changes for next week? Think small, think practical. What will you start to do, stop doing or adjust in order to ensure you have more wins and fewer issues. And don’t forget the self-care!
Enlightenment: What have you learnt this week? It’s so important to note our learning and not assume we’ll remember it all. It could be knowledge about a topic, or development of a skill. It could be learning about your organinsation or the world at large. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, it could be self-awareness – what you’ve learnt about yourself this week.
It doesn’t really matter when you do this, more that you actually take the time to sit down an do it. Let me know in the comments how you get on and what other points or themes you like to cover in your weekly review.