Get Current–review Next Actions List (mark off completed items and review for reminders of further action steps), review previous calendar data (look for action items, reference, etc), review upcoming calendar (does this trigger any to dos? Add it to your braindump), review waiting for list (anything to follow up on?), review projects lists (evaluate status of each project, is at least 1 item on next actions list for each project?), and review any relevant checklists.
Get Creative–see if there is anything that sparks your interest and add it to the correct category
I also do a “Monthly Review” the last week of each month. Here is where I look at my Someday/Maybe List (move any projects to the current projects list as needed, remove any that are no longer applicable, and add new projects), think about what’s working, what’s not, and make changes as needed, review my habit tracker and monthly goals to see how they went and if I need to change anything, and decide on the next month’s goals and habits.
Doing this consistent overview of my system allows me to make sure I’m getting things done and to hold myself accountable to the goals I determined to work on, which leads into the final step of ENGAGE. For me personally while easy to explain, this can be the hardest part to actually get done. I love the planning process and sometimes the execution isn’t as fun or easy to motivate myself to complete. There are 4 criteria that Allen suggests you use when deciding what to do: context, time available, energy available, and priority. This first one to look at is context, what can you do, where you are, with what you have available? Once you have decided what you are able to do, think about the time you have to do it. Review your actions list and see what items are able to be completed in that time frame. Then think about your energy level. What do you have the energy to get done? Finally think about the priority of each item. Once you have narrowed down the items you are able to get done with the energy you have, pick the most important one and knock it out! And keep going and crushing your list!
I can tell you from my personal experience that this book really changed the way I view my daily tasks. Shout out to my mom for introducing me to it. I’m not always bogged down trying to remember everything that I need to do, balance my husband’s travel schedule, and remember all the boy’s appointments, and I’ve found myself much more productive. There are definitely still days where I don’t get a bunch done, but overall I feel like I’m more in control of running my household, putting together fun and educational activities for my oldest, and getting me time.