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Newbie question - actions 'by' a certain date?

I just finished reading GTD and I've already blocked off 2 days to get started, but something's still bothering me: what about actions that need to get done by (but not necessarily ON) a certain date? An example is a paper that needs to be written: assume that all the research has been done, and the task of writing the paper remains. Let's say it will take approximately 12 hours to write, and it's due next Thursday.

How do I capture this? If I put a calendar item in for Thursday, it could be that I miss the deadline since I didn't allocate enough time. If I put it in my actions list, then I'm not guaranteed to get to it by the deadline.

(Or have I missed some fundamental piece of this process?)

sonia_simone's picture

If you want to crank...

If you want to crank it all out in one sitting, then you probably want to calendar that time. I assume you don't currently have good luck with doing such papers "whenever I get some time," although if you do, just having it as an NA should work fine.

I echo berko's recommendation to set a tickler to get it started, about whenever you think gives you the right amount of time so you're not wildly stressed but you don't have endless horizons of time to do it. Urgency without panic, in other words.

Also, there is no law preventing you from putting something like "(due Thurs. 5/18)" after the NA on your list to jog your memory. But the tickler is "cleaner" GTD and will help reinforce using the tickler (I just use my Outlook calendar, you certainly don't need the literal 43 folders, IMO) as part of your trusted system.




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