I'm just getting my system up to speed and am not sure how to handle what is to me (and probably to most people) the most important category of Next Action items: Next Actions that absolutely must get done by the end of the day (or by some other short-run deadline).
In my job (I'm a litigation attorney), there are many tasks that I absolutely have to get done by a certain deadline or very bad things will happen. A standard part of my daily routine is compiling and reviewing this list throughout the day and as a final check before leaving the office. Unfortunately, I'm not really sure how to work these tasks into the GTD system.
Just to be clear, I'm not so much concerned with formal deadlines for large projects (like a deadline to file complaint, for example) as I can handle these fairly well on the calendar and can see the deadline approaching days or weeks in advance. Instead, I'm talking about the small things that come up during the day -- like sending a FedEx to a client by the end of the day or making a call by the end of the week -- that I cannot afford to forget.
These are clearly Next Action items, but if I scatter them through my Next Action lists (calls, at office, at home, at computer, etc.) then I am forced to review all of my Next Action lists at frequent intervals to be sure that I haven't missed one of these critical Next Actions. For me, at least, the risk is too great that something will slip through the cracks if critical tasks are spread throughout several lists.
I thought about keeping these critical tasks in a separate Next Action list called Critical, but then I either have to enter them into two lists (e.g., if it's a critical phone call, then I have to list it in both Critical and Calls) or else only list them in Critical and lose the value of context-sensitive Next Action lists (because some of my calls will be in Calls, but some will also be in Critical).
This must be a common problem, so there must be a simple solution that people are using that I am missing. But what is it?
Thanks for your thoughts.