How do you know when you need to take action on something?
After several readings of GTD and RFA, it seems to me that in an ideal/pure GTD implementation, few if any tasks would actually have dates attached to them, and that the call to action is either reviewing a project and seeing next actions, or examining a context. Neither of these really work for me.
a quick note: I use OmniFocus as my task management system and I'm pretty happy with it, for the most part.
A good portion of my tasks are date driven. Call someone on a certain date, replace the air filter on a certain date, prepare payroll or a monthly royalty report on a certain date, etc...So I give those completion due dates and have a defined view (perspective) that shows me what is due now/overdue/coming soon (next few days).
Then I use the flag indicator to mark urgencies. So if I only have time to get a few things done that day, the ones with flags are the ones that MUST be accomplished. I have a separate view to show me flagged items by due date.
Another big chunk of tasks for me is responding to clients. When clients email or call me with a request for info or a question, I have a separate project called ‘Clients’, I add the task to that project and don’t bother with a due date and have a separate view to just see those tasks in a focused way.
And then there’s everything else, and that’s the category of stuff I feel like I don’t have a good handle on. The more items I put due dates on, the less I feel like there’s stuff floating in my system that I'm not on top of. But that means I'm now putting dates on things that don’t organically need them, so they’re getting arbitrary ones. And that means when that respective date rolls around, I like at what’s due now and see a mix of things that truly are due now combined with things I could really do whenever I felt like it, that’s kind of confusing. Intuitively, I feel like there’s a better way to handle this.
I’d love to hear if anyone else has had a similar issue in their workflow, and if they’ve successfully addressed it in a way that works for them, what that was.