Nothing in GTD says you can't park a reminder on your calendar that you have a deadline. I often put a simple reminder on my calendar ahead of an important due date like "Output data for Project X abstract due to Gloria in 2 weeks."
When I see the reminder 2 weeks before the deadline, I can go to my next actions list and start working on the next thing that needs to be done on that project.
Or not. There might be something else I'm working on that is more important at that moment.
The great thing is that when I do my weekly review on Friday, I review the last few weeks on my calendar, so I see the reminder. Then I can decide if I need to make an appointment with myself to work on Project X (goes on the calendar), or if another reminder is needed closer to the deadline (goes on the calendar), or if I'll prioritize that project and work on it when my weekly review is done (goes on "things to work on today" list).
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