Working with a net: the Friday recap
Each week I do a Friday recap. Two weeks ago, I talked about how you can start doing a super-short version of this powerful weekly ritual. Today, we’re going to expand that version a little.
I can’t say enough about what a weekly recap brings to your work. And to your life. It’s like working with a net. You can move with greater ease through your week, because you know that on Friday—or whatever day you pick—you’ll catch anything you’ve missed.
The idea is straightforward: set aside 30 minutes to an hour to 1) look back over your week and 2) look ahead to the next one. Friday afternoon works great for me, but I know folks who like to start their week with a Monday morning recap. Whatever works.
No matter when you do yours, a good recap helps you process the past week and ensures you get the most out of the week to come.
Taking a look back over your week lets you take care of any loose ends, reschedule things you lost sight of, and clean up your calendar, to-do list, inbox, and desktop. And the brilliant thing about it? Once you can count on going over everything during your recap, you don’t have to worry about missing stuff the rest of the time. You know you’ll catch it on Friday. That’s incredibly liberating—it frees you up to focus on what matters.
My look back consists of the following:
Running through each item on my calendar and noting any thoughts or to-dos
Clearing my OmniFocus inbox
Checking on all current projects and any notes to self
Clearing out my downloads folder and computer desktop
Jotting down thoughts on my energy level this week
Going back through each entry on my calendar always brings new insight. Sometimes I realize I’m seeing lots of entries related to Project X and none for Project Y. And often I’m reminded of specific action items I still need to schedule or add to my to-do list.
This is where you take a moment to map out the week ahead. Here’s my checklist:
Go through my list of goals and decide what has priority
Check that my calendar’s up to date and reflects those priorities
Share my priorities with the team
Whenever you do your weekly recap, taking half an hour to organize your work and map out your week has a huge effect on what you can manage to do. So start small, get the ritual going, and build your review up one step at a time.
Have a good week,
PS If you find the recap in any way daunting, or if you get bogged down in some of these steps, skip them for now and stick to the super-doable version from 2 weeks ago. Do what it takes to get this ritual into your life. The benefits of even a very short Friday recap are so worth it, and you can always add steps later.