How to orginize a task or project with deadline?


As I understand, only tasks that are time/day specific goes to my Calendar.
But some time you have a task that should be completed with deadline to specific future date but can be done as soon as possible:
- You can't put it on that future date on your calendar because it might take more than one day to complete, and also if it takes only 30 minutes work, you better do it some days before so you don't wait for the last day then you have more pressure (maybe this day is very busy one and so on).
- You also cannot put in under action list, because the deadline can passed and you didn't notice that you have to complete the task until that day.
I had an idea for solution to make the action list supports deadlines, so if you looking on actions to do right now when you at your office, actions with deadline will be shown at top, so you can be more focus dealing with them first.
1. What is the best practice to my question?

Now, more complex question with same problem issue. In case you have a project of 5 steps to be done, and you have a dead line to the project. how do you manage the first next action of the project? if you write on the task level the deadline of the project itself (as the solution I suggest on the first question), you might do it on the last day, then surprised that you have 4 more tasks to complete (because the project is 5 steps to complete)! And if you don't put deadline on the task, it might go beyond the deadline.
2. What is the best practice to my second question?



I do that in my weekly review to be honest.

I take a look at my entire list of commitments - both projects and actions ... including the ones that have a true deadline, and I figure out whether I am overcommitted or not. I do factor in the three-fold nature of work. There is hardly ever a week where I work from only my action lists!, so I make sure that I have 'margin' for work as it appears and for defining work.

If I am overcommitted, I immediately inactivate the less priority projects. That way they are not in my view at all. I could leave them in because if I have excess capacity I could 'snack' on those next actions or projects. But mostly, I prefer to limit my active projects to what I really want to get done in the next 2-4 weeks.

Once I am not overcommitted, I know that my list is going to serve me ... at the appropriate time, what my week's buffet of next actions are. I've just built that trust for the Engage phase with my lists. I know that once I am done with step 1, the dependent steps will show up, and when those are done, the next ones will show up and so forth.

Now, I'm not a gambler. I pride myself on getting things done ... especially when it's the unpleasant project you've just got to accomplish. So if that project with 5 actions is one that I know there is a chance my energy could help me avoid the entire week ;), then I time-block on my calendar for it. My time blocks are 90 minutes long so if I set aside 1 or 2 for an unpleasant project, I make sure I've got a treat or reward afterwards. I also put the blocks where my energy is likely the most positive and least resistant. Often that's early in the morning ... before I have truly woken up and realized with horror what I'm doing! lol.

My point though is that I avoid scheduling tasks ... next actions. I first make sure that I have clean and clear lists, then I make sure they are not overwhelming ... which includes that they should not be overcommitted. Once I do that, the lists pretty much get done because I am snacking from them during the professional 'workday' and personal 'workday'. If I know I am going to have a natural resistance to a next action or project, ... and I have gone through the procrastination checklist and solved all the other sources of resistance ... then I hack it. That means I time-block for it.

If I'm time-blocking often for a whole bunch of projects... it's time for a life change because I'm simply not enjoying that 'work' any longer.