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9

Scheduling tasks that do not really have a particular target time would just create an overhead in your system, where you'd have to keep rescheduling them whenever you didn't get them finished that day or even have rather worked on other things. Since they're all non-urgent, though they sure may be important and even critical for your personal goals, I ...


5

If there is no penalty - it's not a deadline. That's the headline - but if we look a little bit deeper we might find that there are a lot of in-built penalties: Project is delayed - you set the deadline for a reason, and you also set it when you had a nice global big-picture view of where you wanted to be. If a project that you want to be successful is ...


4

While I don't strictly use GTD, I do run into similar issues. I'll have my to-do list...mainly to make sure that I'm blocking off sufficient time and not forgetting anything, but I often get into the flow of things and don't mark things off as I go. Like you experience, sometimes the task can be so engrossing and the next steps so self-evident that your GTD ...


4

Without strict deadlines, you're able to devalue the current time's importance for spending it on your project. It is natural procrastination. The remedy for this is to force yourself to be accountable for progress within deadlines; some work every day, a component every week, etc. It is up to you to decide how you want to benchmark your progress; what is ...


4

In GTD terms, you want to restart with a mindsweep and weekly review. This is a common problem, falling off the wagon of your personal management system for whatever reason, and needing to restart. Whether the issue is vacation, urgent deadline on must-have project, health emergency, or whatever, the GTD solution is the same - allocate time to get things ...


4

I simply schedule an email sometime in the future to remind me to do something. I guess I would call it a tickler email. Since email is one of my inboxes for actionable items, I can trust that I'll see it in time to complete a task. Combined with constant processing, its unlikely a task would be overlooked.


4

The due date is simply a meta property of your task, just like time and energy estimation. In NirvanaHQ, for example, you can set the due date so it shows a grey box at the end if it's still to happen and a red box if it's past the due date. And it also allows you to sort the current view by due dates. In the current version, it also has the option to ...


4

If it will become a mini-disaster a month later, the task was apparently not exactly "unimportant". Maybe "not urgent". In "Eat that frog" the advice is given to label tasks with A, B and C priorities. A being super-important as defined by your work contract. A means a disaster if not done. A done well might advance your career. B is also bad but for other ...


3

I think formal commitment devices are the way to go for this sort of thing, so you can't later weasel out of your own penalty. If it's just a binary thing (I made the deadline or not) then you might like StickK.com or if it's more of an ongoing thing, or something you can graph -- like spending so many hours per week on something -- then, IMHO, Beeminder is ...


3

How about shifting this a little? Instead of a penalty, how about a reward? Upon completion of a task or phase, treat yourself. Maybe it's a slice of pie or maybe it's a ski weekend. The penalty (not getting your treat) is built-in. It'll be best if it's a predefined thing and that it's scale is appropriate. Make sure you follow through with yourself, ...


3

Many people actually report better results with fewer hours. I guess it depends on what you're doing, what's your motivation and for how long you've been doing it. 12 hour days are great at short bursts, but they're not sustainable. On the other extreme (and I don't buy the 4 hour work week BS), you have companies like 37 Signals and their 30 hour week ...


3

This is imho why weekly reviews in methodologies such as GTD are so powerful. Simply just take a time every week to read through your task lists and reorganize what needs to be reorganized. If you agreed to do something last week, but now you know you won't have the time to do it, simply cross it off the list. It's hard to learn to say no, but the more you ...


3

To get the reductive pithy answer out of the way first: you do them, or you never agree to them in the first place. To be slightly more helpful, I'll start with some observations: if X was due in two weeks, but X is actually a project and not something to just take a look at, then from the moment you accepted the task, even at the delayed due date, you ...


3

For items that must be done by a certain date, but that do not comply with a classic "appointment" I have two ways of handling them. The first one is, if you need a block of dedicated time to perform a certain task, just block this in the calender. This way I will be noticed of it and ensure I have a dedicated time frame where I can work on it. I normally ...


3

The way I saw it done in a GTD webinar was like this: 10/21 Install backup script 11/1 10/21 Write down ideas re: taking piano lessons The first column is the date in which you wrote down the task. It is optional, but in my case for example it has been pretty useful, because it allows you to see how long has been a certain task hanging around, otherwise ...


3

There are different approaches for tasks with deadlines but they can still go to the calendar. Split the task Split the the task in smaller tasks to be done in different dates. When you get the reminder of the 5th task you may remember the 4th still isn't done and make an effort to keep up. July 15th - Organize desk - 4/10: throwing away the ...


3

The simplest possible solution that comes to mind is to annotate the task name with the due date: Pay electric bill (Th 7/7). This allows you to quickly see at a glance when a task is due. The downside is that the item won't be highlighted in any way when it's due and it would be easy to miss. Depending on your tool there are probably meta data options ...


2

My answer is to put them on both. The deadlines go on the calendar,and the next action goes in the next action list. Next to it I put the deadline for the whole project, which both keeps me motivated to move forward and reminds me to occasionally take time to focus on the project as a whole. That, coupled with a good weekly and/or daily review, should give ...


2

1) Keep your tasks ordered by timeline: I keep a "critical this week", "critical this month", "critical this quarter" TODO list, plus a "whenever I can get around to it" list - every month I sit down and reevaluate them. Your example task should go on one of your "critical " lists - unless the person didn't make it clear to you that it needed to get done in ...


2

When there is a fire/emergency and I have to work without my time management system, I allocate time when things "calm down" or "go back to normal" to catch up. That means going through email and organizing the tasks that have come up in my absence. It does feel disconcerting not to be doing it all along. And it is often tempting to dive straight into ...


2

There are a number of things worth considering when choosing to set a deadline, but I'll focus on one: don't be too hasty to set the deadline. If you aren't familiar with a subject, it will be very hard to gauge how quickly you'll pick things up once you get started. It's fairly reasonable to assume that you'll start learning faster the longer you spend ...


1

I find it's super helpful to break down what I have to do into the smallest steps possible - so I can feel a sense of accomplishment even when I do something very small (like, clear five emails from inbox)...often just taking that one, small, step leads to doing more, but sometimes it won't and you still feel like you accomplished something. And you can jump ...


1

This will depend on your current work style: If you are wasting time now and a shorter workday helps you concentrating and gives you a sense of "I really have to use every minute" then it will help. If you already have good concentration, cramming more tasks into a smaller amount of time you will only stress out. Some people tend to say that they work ...


1

I would've preferred to mark many of the answers as "the answer" but since I can't, I've handed out upvotes and consolidated things into 1 big answer here. First Encounter With A Budding Task: Reconsider how you're classifying things. Make sure things aren't starting off with the wrong category to begin with. Don't agree to take on extra tasks just ...


1

The problem I see in the setup is the following part: You knew that it had to be done by the end of [name of month 3 months from the original conversation]! When did you know that? The reason I am pointing this out is because you should have asked that right in the initial conversation. Specifically, Y: [giant sigh of relief] :) Thanks, now about ...


1

So this is a tricky one - here's my take: First of all let's distinguish between 'tasks that have to happen on a particular day/time' with 'tasks that have to happen by a particular day/time', which is what I think you really are about. So, embarrassingly, and against a number of sources of advice, my next action list is sorted by the time that the task ...



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