Please share your experience addressing deadlines within the framework of the GTD system.
For context, I am new to GTD and just finished the book. David seems to divide tasks into those that are either "Calendar items that need to be completed *on* a specific day or *at* a specific time" and "Items that need to be completed when possible." He seems to completely gloss over items that do not need to be completed on/at a specific day/time but that need to be completed *by* a specific date/time. In other words the concept of deadlines for actions - like one might find on a project plan or work breakdown structure - seems to have be ignored.
The closest I see to acknowledgement of deadlines is a footnote on page 151 stating that it might be dangerous if one does not view his/her outstanding bills often enough (the bills are tasks not calendar items). I deal with a large number of deadlines and such a gap in the GTD system would render it of little use to me.
Your Calendar is for things that need to be done ON a day, and holds 3 things:
- Day-specific actions
- Day-specific information
- Time-specific actions
Your Next Actions lists hold things that need to be done BY a day (due dates) or can be done ANY day (no due date).
Hope that helps!
Thanks for such a quick response. It is helpful to know that the Next Actions List is the intended venue for due dates. GTD seems to recommend that the a person be reminded to take action when in an appropriate context. What is the appropriate mechanism that would remind someone that a due date on the next actions list is imminent?
I am using Outlook 2010 and Blackberry. I'm currently digesting the GTD best practices guides for these tools but would appreciate any hints related to the tools and my question.
Scan your Next Actions lists any as often as you can, and at least Weekly in the GTD Weekly Review.
Originally Posted by pphill2
In practice, here's what I do. Day-to-day I'm always looking at my Calendar and driving my Inboxes down to zero. When I have windows of time, I'm toggling over to my Tasks and seeing what else I can do, including those with due dates and without. I'm not only driven by due dates in my choices, as sometimes my context or energy might be more relevant factors in the moment.
As an Outlook users, you can have your items due today appear at the bottom of your Calendar. There's a window you can adjust at the bottom of a daily page. Tasks with today's due date will appear there, as will overdue items. Those won't translate to your BlackBerry Calendar, due to BB limitations.
We also recommend sorting by due date in Tasks, as described in our GTD & Outlook Setup Guide: https://secure.davidco.com/store/cat...-p-1-c-263.php
Even if you do not have the option of having due dates from your action lists show up automatically in a digital calendar it might (depending on your situation) be helpful to put your due dates in your calendar as a way to add time-specific reminders about your actions and projects.
Just to follow up a little: a project with a due date needs to display that due date on your project list so you will see it at least once a week, during your weekly review. What you do with that information is up to you, and probably depends on the nature of the project. If you are really working daily to a detailed work breakdown structure, that's one thing, but meeting milestones is another. It's a matter of who has control of your time.
To me a deadline that I have committed to others to keeping, is day specific information that goes on my calendar.
If I plan out a project myself and think of the interim milestones of when things should be due, these are not deadlines. Only ones I have committed to externally and cannot be moved without renegotiation are deadlines and would go on the calendar.