Dear Crucial Skills,
I recently went through the GTD course and have started doing a weekly review. I learned in training that when I do a weekly review I should (1) Get Clear, (2) Get Current, and (3) Get Creative. Do you have any tips on this last point? I want to think about my to-do list more creatively, but not sure how to do so. Thanks.
Dear Craving Creativity,
In my experience of doing weekly reviews for thirty-five years, the “Get Creative” piece seems to happen spontaneously as I’m cleaning up and getting current. Invariably, reviewing the things on my calendar will trigger a new thought or idea, some notion of what I should do or want to do. Checking off items on my action and project lists also frees up some space to think more clearly about what’s going on in my world. And the process of identifying new tasks and commitments that have emerged in recent days, and then clarifying those into next actions, is in itself quite a creative experience.
“Get Creative” can probably be interpreted as plain old good thinking and decision-making. And that good old thinking is going to happen in spite of yourself if you’re thoroughly reviewing and reflecting on the operational aspects of your life. To get yourself and your system current is to utilize your intelligence and intuition, quite creatively.
That said, your weekly review can also be a ripe opportunity to go into new and different spaces. Practically speaking, reflecting on your Someday/Maybe list can be a good start. Are you ready to activate any of those ideas? Have you really captured all your “somedays” on that list? Just making that list current and complete can be extremely fun and creative. In the last few weeks I have purged a number of things on my Someday/Maybe list. I also revisited an idea that’s been on the list for years—“take a balloon ride”—and made it an active project. My wife and a good friend and I are now going to float over the hills of Chianti in Italy soon!
But you don’t need to wait for your weekly review to catalyze your creative processes. Writing, drawing, dancing, thanking people you love and respect, shopping for yourself and others, cooking—my, my, the list is endless. So, make a list of possible creative things to do and add it to your weekly review. If you reflect on it with sincerity, and make it a point to capture and do a few things you normally wouldn’t—wow, how much more creative could you be?