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What to do about items with due dates?

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  • What to do about items with due dates?

    I just finished reading GTD and am implementing it on my Palm. What I'm not sure about is how to handle items with due dates. As an example, I have a Chinese lesson every Saturday, and have a number of standard things to do before the lesson. I currently have them in the calendar on Saturday with a 5-day lead-in time, so I see it on the calendar each day until I do the homework. The book emphasizes that the calendar should only have that day's items, though. Since there is a due date I'm not sure that making the tasks actions works, though, because there won't be the deadline association. How is this best handled?

  • #2
    Re: Items with due dates


    I have 2 thoughts on the matter.

    1) If the system you have works for you, why mess with it?

    2) If you want to know some possible solutions that are "More GTD", read on.

    Without knowing what needs to be done for your homework (i.e. are they things that need to be done in order ... first, vocab list. second, text exercises, etc) You could come at this from two perspectives. Either commit to sceduling your homework on a specific day (untimed OR timed) OR make a project out of your class and keep homework on your Next Actions list. The former has less less flexibility, the latter assumes you are regularly reviewing your NA list and project list. Either way would be "by the book"

    Just a comment though ... the best system is the functional one. I am a firm believer in doing things by the book. I am the guy who will always spend time tweaking the system instead of using the system to get something done, so I am very commited to doing this the David Allen way. However, in this case, it seems that you have an elegant solution that WORKS. Certainly, do it right ... work your system ... make it happen ... but don't be afraid to make your own exceptions.



    • #3
      I can certainly identify with the reply!

      I have borrowed a lot from David's system and I agree that certain general things have become a canon so to speak. But then there are things that can always be tweaked or improved as you go. Ultimately, do what works best for YOU and is not hurting you in any way. We have all thought about this and similar issues and all have come to what suits us best.


      • #4

        Thanks for the replies. Before making my own adjustments to the plan I wanted to first make sure I understood what the officially recommended approach is. Now I know I hit a grey area, which is fine, so I'll act accordingly. I may try Krackeman's advice and schedule specific steps on specific nights.