Weekly Reviews Can Amp Up Your Productivity & Motivation

By Chelsea Babin

You’re starting to lose some of your motivation at work and your productivity is slipping. Maybe it’s the itch to get outside and enjoy the warm weather or maybe you’re entrenched in the middle of a long project whose end is no where in sight. No matter what the cause is, implementing a weekly review can jumpstart your performance at work and reinvigorate your motivation.

Think about it, at the end of the year when you get your performance review (whether your boss gives you an annual review or you do one for yourself) the newly established goals and promise of things to come motivate you to do some of your best work of the year. Weekly reviews are like a miniature version of this that can help you start your week off right every time. If you’re ready have weekly reviews by your side to help motivate you and help you navigate your way to more productive workdays, you’ll need the following tips:

The Best Way to Do a Weekly Review

1. Sunday Night or Monday Morning: Annual reviews are often done in a retrospective manner. You reflect on the previous year at the end of the year and see what conclusions you can draw about where your performance excels and where it’s slipping. Weekly reviews are meant to do the exact opposite of this. They’re for preparation, motivation, and finding a way to increase your productivity. Because of this you should always try to do them on Monday mornings or Sunday evenings, depending on what works better for your schedule and work/life balance.

2. Clean Sweep: While it’s better to clean and organize your office on Friday before you leave, there sometimes isn’t enough time in the day to get it done and get out on time to meet your friends or family for your big Friday night plans. If you didn’t have time to purge your inbox of junk or file a stack of papers on your desk, take the first ten minutes of your weekly review to get clean and organized. It’s amazing how much clutter can negatively affect your productivity and this simple step makes sure you have a clear workspace free from distractions.

3. Calendar Update: Another task that takes little to no time but is often forgotten is keeping an up to date calendar of meetings, deadlines, and whatever smaller goals you’ve set for yourself along the way. A few minutes of your weekly review should be spent reviewing your calendar, making sure there are no conflicts in your upcoming week and that everything you have planned is present and accounted for. This will keep you from double booking, overcommitting, or being surprised by a deadline you’d forgotten about.

4. Action List: While you shouldn’t spend any of your weekly review time accomplishing tasks, you should spend it thinking of all of the tasks you need to accomplish. Rather than a checklist, an action list is meant to be a list of actionable things you need to accomplish through the week. Using words like “do”, “code”, “complete”, or “write” can trigger more action than simply writing the task itself. Your action list will be your guide through the week and let you know how much time you can dedicate to helping others with any projects that come up.

5. Brainstorm: No matter how technical your job is, there’s always room for presenting new ideas or coming up with new methods. However, there isn’t always time for it. Instead of waiting until your yearly review to brainstorm ideas on how you can improve your performance or how you can innovate, take a little time at the beginning of each week to have a brainstorming session. You can focus on your current projects, future projects, improvements to existing projects, your personal performance, or the workflow of your team. For best brainstorming results, change up what you focus on at least every other week so you have time to creatively approach every one of your workplace responsibilities or interests.

6. Last Week’s Score: A lot of people find that approaching goals and building new habits like a game helps motivate an improved performance. At the end of your weekly review you can have a mini-annual review where you assess your shortcomings or successes from the previous week. You’ve had the weekend to clear your head from work so it should be easier to realistically assess the work you’ve done. And you can leave it at that, or, you can come up with a fun scoring system that helps motivate you further! Either through an existing website like Habit RPG or through a game of your own creation, adding points and achievements can help add a weekly dose of fun into your workweek.

Keeping your productivity and motivation levels up can sometimes be challenging. Adding weekly reviews to your Sunday night or Monday morning schedule can help foster the perfect environment for ample productivity and increased motivation. Try adding them in and tell us what you think!