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Next Action and Date Due

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  • Next Action and Date Due

    Is there a preferred way of dealing with NAs that are due at a specific date but could be done anytime?

    Since scheduling is discouraged I think about using a color scheme for time sensitive actions and putting a reminder in my tickler file, but I'm still building my skillset with GTD so it would be great to hear some ideas / proven techniques on this.

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Scheduling fan.

    I like to schedule everything and I do not think it is forbidden in GTD. It simply works for me.


    • #3
      I use a Palm-centric system and use the Due Date field only if things have to be done ON that particlar date. I see this as part of my hard landscape.

      I add a due date in the subject of the next action. For example, if I have to produce web site statistics before November 30th the next action will read as "Post web site stats B4 11/30". Adding a "B4" (or "before") date allows me to objectively evaluate those things with due dates against everything else I have to do without actually having to have those items on my hard landscape.

      It will seem scary at first, but it also forces you to review your lists several times a day and objectively choose the item that you most need to work on at any given time. It gives you incredible freedom as well and will greatly assist you in developing trust in your system.


      • #4
        I put the hard and fast due date on my calendar and use the advance notice function to trigger when I want to add the next action to my context lists or simply to tickle the item to my attention. I also use the due date function of the task list as an electronic tickler. For next actions that may require a larger block of time than the average next action, I may schedule a particular time to work on them. Otherwise, I scan my lists regularly and evaluate next actions based on context, time, priority and energy. If you are scanning your lists multiple times a day, then you will eventually get comfortable with working straight off your lists without missing an upcoming deadline. If you have the option to color code, then you may find that to be helpful. But I have to be careful to review all of my next actions, not just the ones with tickled dates. In the same vein, you would have to be careful not to just focus on the colored-coded next actions. Otherwise, you will find that non-urgent but important tasks eventually become urgent due to lack of attention.


        • #5
          Its really enjoyable seeing how each of you tweaks the system in a creative way. Thanks a lot!


          • #6
            Another way mentioned in the FAST cd's is to add date specific information to your calendar e.g. if you are very worried that you will miss a due date on a next action then put a note in your calendar on the day before " <important action> due tomorrow". This is belt and braces but as long as it is off your mind but still in your system then you're OK.
            A bit like trying to watch a film on an old TV that buzzes intermittantly, tap the TV then listen and if the buzzing stops you feel great (it's off your mind)