Tip 7: Embrace the Review & Preview Process

by Annie

in Fall Into Productivity

Two leaves floating on reflective water with a text overlay reading "#7 - take time to reflect"

This is a post in Pajama Productivity’s first (hopefully) annual “Fall Into Productivity” month. (Clever wordplay, right? The llamas came up with that.) All month long in October 2016, we’ll be publishing lovely autumnal graphics with a fresh productivity tip each and every day. You can catch all the fall fun right here on the PJP blog, on our PJP Facebook page, or on Twitter @pjproductivity – use the #FallIntoProductivity hashtag to find all posts.

Fall Into Productivity month continues with day 7 and since it’s the end of the first week, today’s tip is especially relevant: The power of the preview/review process.

So much of challenged productivity relates to feeling/being reactive instead of proactive. The preview/review process is built to address this very human tendency.

Here’s how it works: At the start of the relevant time period — I do it on a daily and a weekly basis, but you can also do it on a monthly or quarterly basis, too — preview what’s ahead of you.

Include deadlines, appointments, and things you want to work on. Just glance over it all, and familiarize yourself with it. Schedule actual time to do your creative work. Block out space for breaks and personal activities, too. Lastly, pick out the three top “MISTs” – your “Most Important … er, Stuff Today.”

Then when the day/week is over, go back and review. How’d you do? What got done? What didn’t? Why didn’t that thing get done? (That last bit’s crucial, guys.) Debrief yourself. Figure out a plan to repair whatever gaps your tasks fell through.

Making the preview/review process a habit is probably the single most effective change you can make to your own systems if you want to be more effective and productive.

So much of our failure to get stuff done comes down to other things simply occupying the front-of-mind space instead of our passion projects and creative work. Forcing yourself to start and end each day and week by reminding yourself what’s most important helps keep that stuff in the forefront.

For more on MISTs, check this post out.

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