You're Probably Thinking About Your Work Too Much

If you're not doing some kind of weekly review you're probably thinking too hard about all the work you have to do. A bold statement, perhaps. Maybe even counterintuitive. How could setting aside an hour or two every Sunday to explicitly think about my work result in me thinking about my work less?

I think less about my work and spend more time actually doing it because of the time I set aside every Sunday. Instead of figuring out what my work is every day or every time I look at my to-do list, I think about it all ahead of time. Every Sunday I look at everything I have going on -- all the projects, areas of responsibility, and ongoing commitments I have -- and decide what "done" looks like. I make sure to think about the concrete steps it takes to get to that vision of done and I write them down in a place I trust. Monday through Friday I can focus on doing the work I gave myself on Sunday instead of constantly renegotiating with myself.

Everyone's weekly review looks different and there are lots of guides available online. I work through a checklist I'm constantly tweaking to reflect the way I work. You can see it here (but remember, it's highly specific to the way I work and the tools I use so it may not make the most sense to you).

It's a great feeling to know I've thought carefully about the work I've committed to doing and have already fleshed out what I need to do to reach a state of completion. On the flipside, it's also great to know that I'm 7 or less days away from stepping back from the grind of the work, reassessing what I have going on, and making smart decisions about moving forward. Separating these two tasks, the DECIDING and the DOING means I do both much, much better than I could otherwise.