Daily review taking longer than it should?

My morning daily reviews are taking more than 5 minutes. I'm starting to feel overwhelmed. What am I doing wrong?


  • When your Total, Relaxed Organization (TRO) daily review takes longer than 5 minutes, a simple change in your process will usually put you back on track. Make sure you avoid these common pitfalls:

    1)   DON’T process before your daily review. Just do the review first based on what has already been processed. Once you have visibility on your day, you can process more effectively later.

    2)   DON’T over-use "hard" dates (Do On Date).
    Give every task a Loose Goal date, Only give tasks a "hard" date if there is a date on which bad things will happen if the task/step has not been started.

    3)   DON’T try to move your Loose Goal dates forward.
    Leave them where you set them in the first place. Trog (or whatever software you are using with your TRO approach) will prioritize tasks based on that first decision by looking at all the loose goal dates as a group. The date itself isn't important, it's just a measure of the overall importance+urgency of a task. You will look at all your Loose Goal-only tasks once a week during weekly review to make sure none of them are heating up and need a "hard" date.

    4)   Use Someday/Maybe (Low Priority) for any tasks that you probably won't get to in the next couple of months. You will look at them once a month during monthly review to see if it is time to do them.

    If this doesn't help, get some coach time to get firmly on track. It usually doesn't take long. A coach will look at your task lists, make recommendations, and can even add extra days to your 21-day follow-up to help you establish your new habits.
  • I’m guilty of both (1) and (2). I have been processing first thing in the morning before my daily review and I guess my long daily review is due to this (so in fact it’s really more like processing + daily review and not just a daily review).

    From now on my daily review will be the very first thing in the morning (after quick triaging)

    Also I will stop over-using hard dates (I was already aware of this but it’s time to break the habit *now*)
  • Good, BUT...

    Don't even do a "quick triaging" before your daily review. Do the review first. Trust me on this. Triage afterwards...
  • Thanks for you reply. I’m definitely willing to trust you and give it a go but I am curious about the reason for this…

    Often there will be something unprocessed in my inbox which needs attention today. Shouldn’t this influence my plan of the day?

    Maybe the risk of triaging, possibly turning into full processing, possibly turning into doing before the daily review outweighs this?
  • There are a few advantages to holding back on triaging and processing until AFTER your Daily Review.
    1.   Once you have visibility on what you've already committed to for the day (via your Daily Review), it is easy to make smart decisions about whether or not something should be added to you Do Today list.

    2.   It also moves you into "action" (planned response) mode instead of "reaction" mode.

    3.   Finally, it short-circuits the temptation to constantly go to email. Email is valuable, but it is also addictive and a waste of energy if not properly managed. (If you get regular client emails that need prompt responses, schedule a regular block of time to handle them instead. You'll feel far less stress.)
  • Thanks, this makes sense!
    Email is indeed addictive, scheduling email checks is something I am going do as well, I hate the reactive mode…
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