Zen To Done and me – Part 3

This is the third (and last) part of my review on the Zen to Done (ZTD) productivity system, where I write about what it means to me and how I think I can make the most out of it. Expect to find a mix of both the original ZTD habits and my experience applying them. You should read part one and part two before proceeding.

7. Review

On each week you should do a Weekly Review. This is a good time to reflect a little bit and to go over your weekly, monthly and yearly goals and see if you made any progress on them.

The author also ask you to write down your life goals, but I had a hard time trying to figure out what are exactly my life goals. If picking yearly goals is already difficult, think about life goals. I ended up with a rather abstract list that has things like read more, do more physical exercises, spend less time working, practice meditation and so on. A more appropriate name for my list would be Guidelines for Living. However, writing them down and reviewing them every week seems like a great idea!

After reviewing your goals, take some time to organize all the notes you did during the week, to review your calendar, to review your lists and finally, to set the Big Rocks and the Most Important Tasks of the days for the next week. You can find on page 80 a small checklist to help you in your Weekly Review.

Personally, I find this habit very nice. After working and studying during the whole week, spending a small amount of time to review and organize all my tasks feels great. I am trying to wake up early on the Saturdays, take a walk at the beach, take a shower, put some nice music and do my Weekly Review.

8. Simplify

Always try to simplify and minimize your to-do lists. Cross out old tasks, delegate some of them when it is possible and keep only what is essential.

Learn to say no in order to reduce your commitments and remember that you can’t do everything you want at the same time. End your current projects before entering in new ones.

I have to admit that saying no is very hard to me, but it is something that I am getting better. Better saying no at the very beginning than being not able to honor your commitments later.

9. Set Routines

This habit is about writing down small tasks that you have to do every day or week, like dishwashing, taking the dog out for a walk, go to the gym, do your Weekly Review, tide your room, etc. Try to have a routine list for your work, for your studies and for your personal life.

In my case, the improvement comes from writing down the tasks. Everything that frees my mind is welcome.

10. Find Your Passion

Do what you love. Period. This video may inspire you (All Work and All Play).

If you study something that you dislike or have a job that you hate, it’s time to rethink. Working (and studying) in the field that I love has always seemed very natural to me, so I have not much to add beside what is written in the ZTD book.


That’s it. In the ZTD book you can still find 3 more chapters: A Day with Zen to Done, the ZTD FAQ and Resources. I recommend you reading them.

I’ve written this series to share my experience with the ZTD methodology, so other people get to know it and to make a personal “long-term memory”, so when I forget something I can come back to my posts instead of having to read the whole book again. Moreover, writing down these habits and sharing them stimulates me even more into following it.

Hopefully this can be to other people as useful as it was to me. Feel free to share your productivity tips on the comments.

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