As many of my friends and acquaintances know I am a big fan of Getting Things Done (see the blog’s GTD tag on this, and also the tag on Productivity). One of the GTD tenets is the “Weekly Review” and there are some great resources for this – from the GTD Times article The GTD Weekly Review to videos of David Allen on YouTube talking you through it in 2 minutes.

I was always rather apprehensive about starting the Weekly Review because it seemed like a potentially never ending task and completely absorbing. What has helped considerably, psychologically getting over that barrier to starting, is using one of two incredibly simple and rather obvious things – one, an Online Alarm Clock that you can set for 30 minutes (or however long you want to invest) and which goes off sounding like a bullfrog impersonating a police siren.

The other is using the Pomodoro Technique (a simple technique that involves a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato and 25 minutes chunks of your life). This helps you cut up the task into bitesize pieces, gives you a break in between and helps you plan exactly how much time you want to devote. You will get over the loud ticking (or find a cozy home for it under a chair in a far corner of the room).

Now I set my online clock, or wind up my tomato and get reviewing.

2 replies
  1. Stuart Reid
    Stuart Reid says:

    I discovered the Pomodoro technique earlier this year, and I use it quite often. I've found it really useful for those jobs where I've been procrastinating – usually writing reports or filling in application forms. A Pomodoro is usually enough to get me started, and once I'm started I can usually finish.

    And there's a nice little PomodoroLE app available for the iPhone, for the gadget lovers amongst us 😉

  2. Gillian Martin Mehers
    Gillian Martin Mehers says:

    Hi Stuart, Thanks so much for sharing your application of this technique! I just downloaded the iPhone app (the free one) and will enjoy playing around with it! Thanks again!

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