I have somewhat of a dilemma with my GTD system. Lately I started outlining schedules in my application of choice (CC Things). The idea was to create explicit repeating tasks for major activities aside the actual tasks of that activities. For example: Hour of French every two days or Daily Reading and such. The problem is that my daily task count and stress levels skyrocketed with that workflow. I'm also concerned, that this workflow defeats the purpose of GTD. It's too strict, I end up doing ineffective hour of French just to check it off. But this workflow is good for pushing yourself. It feels almost like back to school.
Second workflow is to keep a doable amount of actual tasks (without timebox/scheduling tasks) and trying to pick up the new task every time I'm done or fed up with the previous task — it could ensure effort distribution to some extent, but I'm still afraid some of the tasks could be constantly left out. As a attempt to improve on that, I could add due dates, depending on the horizon of the task. If, for example, the French studies lessons (book) are on a weekly horizon, add due date to the end of the week. They will be still showing in Today, but with a due in ... days box. It could ensure the crucial stuff is done.
I know these rumblings are a bit subjective and smell OCD, but I'm very concerned with finding the most effective workflow with minimal stress trade off. For now I'm trying out the second workflow without due dates, the canonical GTD some would say. So, what are your ideas on that?
Just to clarify. With my French example, with both approaches there would be actual tasks Learn this poem by heart, Exercise 22, etc. With the first approach, however, there is additional Hour of French every two days, that implies, that I'm obliged to do 1 hour of French-related tasks these days. With the second approach I would do French tasks if their priority, energy, my mood and other parameters permit.
To clarify: my question is, whether one of these methods is more canon and, perhaps, more effective. Maybe you have other means to keep up with the stuff, that needs to be done more or less regularly, without forcing yourself to do it in strict schedule.
To use the same hypothetical example from above: I need to make sure I'm still working on my French more or less methodically, without rigid scheduling. Let's imagine I also have some creative project, blog and other stuff. I need to split my spare time among these activities (evenly or according to priorities) so that every one of them have progress, but there is no schedule (which D.A. disapproves of) because these activities shouldn't have fixed time associated to them. It shouldn't look like: *Mon - French, Tue - blog, etc. Situation, when I work on my French two days in a row and then I would do three days of some other project if needed — is more natural.