The Weekly Stocktake: Why you can't afford not to do this

I’m guessing that you didn’t decide to get involved in Yorkshire Accord and with coaching because you were short of things to do. You may have systems to help you manage all those commitments that you make to yourself and others, but however you try to stay on top of things, I want to commend a practice that will help you keep focused and sane as you try to juggle everything that life throws at you.

In his book, Getting Things Done, The Art of Stress Free Productivity, David Allen talks about the importance of what he calls the weekly review. I prefer to talk about the weekly stocktake but labels aside, it is one habit that will return the time invested many times over. I will go so far as to say that if you do not set aside time for this, as part of a weekly routine, you will never have total control of all the stuff you are trying to manage.

What is it, and what is it for?

The first thing to stress is that this is not where the work gets done. It is not where you catch up on emails and make phone calls; this is where you review your commitments, stuff you’ve taken on, stuff you have completed, what’s coming up. This is where you plan when the work is going to get done. It is how life, work, and everything else doesn’t catch you by surprise. The aim of the weekly stocktake for me is simple:

  • I want to clear the decks

  • I want to be clear about what I have on my plate

  • I want to move on, not worrying about what I am not doing so I can concentrate on what I should be doing

What does it look like?