2012-06-30, 04:09 PM
The most important function that you need in GTD is the review function.
The default review duration in OmniFocus is 1 week. So any newly created projects will have a 1 week review duration.
Not all projects need to be reviewed on a weekly basis. Some projects can be reviewed every 2 weeks, once a month, once a quarter, once every half year, etc.
Go through all of your projects and set them to different review schedules.Use the OmniFocus inspector to set a different date for each project.
Oftentimes, we're always in capture mode and capturing everything under the sun. Even the craziest ideas get captured. The trick is to keep your system refreshed by weeding and pruning every week with the weekly review.
The weekly review allows us to go through each project, determine its relevance:
Is the project still needed? Maybe it is no longer relevant and the time situation to perform this task has passed?
Can I delegate the project to someone else who has better resources (the
time available and/or the skills required to complete the job)?
Has this project stalled and I need to re-word this project or rethink the Next Actions needed?
Does this project align with my higher Horizons of Focus? If I complete this project, will it have enough rewards for the effort needed to put into this project? Will completing this project help me complete something significant on a Higher Horizon of Focus?
I disliked the weekly review because I could spend up to 2-4 hours every Sunday afternoon sorting through my projects to make sure things are going according to plan (well, at least as close to what I think it should look like).
Instead, I like to do a daily review. This lets me break up the weekly review into bite-sized chunks. I click on the Review perspective and look at all projects that need to be reviewed. All of my projects are sorted by Review Date.
I only need to look at anything that needs to be reviewed within the Last Week, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.
Sometimes I'll look at projects that need to be reviewed within the next week but that is a rare occurrence.
As I click and highlight each project, I can either look at the OmniFocus inspector and manually assign a review date to a point in the future after looking at the project.
I can also highlight a project and select "Mark as Reviewed" from the menu bar or type Command-Shift-R. You can also place a Mark as Reviewed button in the toolbar if you wish. When I mark a project as reviewed, it will automatically change the review date to the next review date based on your project's review duration.
I'll be confident to know that each project will show up in the Review perspective at different times. I don't need to look at all the projects every week.
For example, my "Prepare and Submit 1040 tax forms by April 15th" project is set for review on February 1, 2013. I don't need to review this project every day or every week. That just adds to the signal-noise clutter. But I'm confident that this project will show up in my review perspective on February 1st, 2013.
You do have to be vicious during your review. Look for projects that can be delegated to others. Look for projects that have stalled and can be deleted. Look for projects that may sound great when you first captured it but you realize it doesn't really give you any significant rewards or doesn't align with your personal or work-related goals.
If you don't weed or and prune your OmniFocus list, you'll keep getting more debris. You'll eventually have to perform some heavy-duty housecleaning to kill those wayward projects that don't really belong.
I'd also use Start dates more frequently. Set start dates on different projects. Some can start today. But you can schedule a project or task to become active to a different point in the future. It no longer becomes available to you in Context view until that date. That's a nice way to schedule things out over time.
I also set all new projects to "On Hold" status. This immediately becomes a Someday/Maybe project. During my review period, I'll see that there is a pause icon on the project indicating Someday/Maybe. Then I'll decide if I want to activate it this week or just keep it in Someday/Maybe (On Hold) until the next review date for this project.
I set all new projects to "Someday/Maybe" because I already have enough active projects on my plate that i want to finish. I don't need to add this new project to the active list unless it has muscled it way into the projects that I really need to get done in the next 7 days.