Free up your time: Weekly Checklist Pt 2

15/4/2013 |

Just joined us? Check out Weekly Checklist Pt 1 first!  

Keep-calm-and-weekly-review transNow you’ve set up your Weekly Checklist, it’s time to use it. I liken this next part to deep-sea diving. It’s like diving into the depths of your second brain, your own mind and your soul. You check what your second brain says is on your plate and make sure it’s accurate. This is about listening to yourself.  Are there any ‘unconscious projects’ that you haven’t named and recorded? Any that you’ve been thinking about or contemplating whether to do, but haven’t started consciously managing in your system? For your lists to truly become part of your second brain, you need to trust they have everything covered.

During stages 2 and 3 of your Weekly Checklist, the thinking you do here is crucial to your entire week. It’s the time when your main lists interact with each other:

  • Projects List
  • Master Actions List
  • Waiting List
  • Calendar

Each of these four components are fine on their own, but it’s the bringing it all together that generates the confidence, trust and control. Doing this thinking well now allows you to almost forget about everything other than just your Master Actions List and Calendar for the next seven days.

Everything you need is on your Master Actions List for you to look at each day and your Calendar provides the guide to any time-specific things you need to think about. Here are the suggested elements for getting your second brain up to date. Again, you can choose all, some or just a few of these.


  • Go through each appointment in my calendar for the last two weeks – are there any follow-ups I need to do?
  • Go through the next three weeks of my calendar – any new actions here?
  • If I have a paper-based calendar, make sure it has all the same appointments in it as my Outlook calendar!
  • If there’s also a wall planner for the team in the office, do the same with this. Think further ahead in the diary and look for initial conversations, or where I need to make advanced travel plans like booking flights, booking rail tickets in advance, and so on.

Master Actions List:

  • Check for completed items and cross them off.
  • Read and ensure I have clarity about each action listed.

Waiting For List:

  • Are there any items on here that I’m no longer waiting for and can remove?
  • Do the quick 1- to -2 minute emails to chase up any items that are now becoming urgent.
  • Add anything that is going to take longer to chase to my Master Actions List.

Projects List:

  • Any projects that are finished or simply no longer need to happen?
  • Any new projects to add?
  • Do I have any additional projects kept somewhere else such as a team project plan? (If so, add these to your Projects List so that you have everything in one place.)

Watch out for Pt 3, coming soon!


Like this? Try these

Book one of our How to Get Things Done workshops to sort out your time management 

Download our Weekly Checklist template

The Weekly Checklist: The key to ninja productivity – Think Productive UK 

Time-management tips from extremely busy people – The Guardian 



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