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Request: Repeating Tasks with Expiration Dates Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I would like to be able to specify tasks that repeat forever, but also have expiration dates on each occurrence.

One area this would be particularly useful for me is in organizing housekeeping tasks. For example, a task like "mop the floor" would be entered as a task that repeats every Monday. However, if I don't get to it, it would automatically be replaced by the next occurrence of the task. Perhaps the expiration date could be either the date of the next occurrence or another date specified in the repeat inspector. If don't get to mopping the floor by Wednesday or Thursday it could go away until the following Monday.

I thought about using the option to repeat a task from the completion date, but I want to keep the task anchored to the same day of the week.

Overall what I am trying to do in OF is create a project(s) for keeping up with life. Things that should be done weekly (cleaning, paying bills, picking up mail, meal planning, etc.), but don't always get done.

Any suggestions for organizing these sorts of tasks would be appreciated too.
 
So, if I don't mop the floor on this Monday, my task-management system gives me a free pass and just moves the due date to next Monday? That kind of defeats the whole purpose of having a due date in the first place.

When I miss one of my regularly repeating tasks, then the next time I look at it I want to know that I missed it. When it comes time to do my review I need to know that I missed it. I'm not keeping track of that fact in my head (or conveniently forgetting it either) because OF is telling me, "by the way dude, you didn't mop the floor last Monday".

If you're going to mop the floor with a due date of Monday, then do it by Monday, and when it doesn't turn out the way you want it to, let OF tell as much so you can address the issue during your review process. If you're not really that concerned about getting it done this Monday, or letting it roll over to next Monday is okay with you then stop kidding yourself and take the due date off of the task.

Not to sound too preachy, but if you've got tasks that "should be done weekly, but don't always get done," that's an issue that needs to be addressed in the weekly review. Facilitating that problem by making OF more lax about due dates kind of defeats the purpose of having OF or any GTD app at all. This feature could be added as an option without breaking OF's functionality, but is this really something you want to use?

Last edited by MEP; 2007-07-13 at 09:15 PM..
 
Canonical GTD is very clear about not setting due dates for items that do not actually have to be done by a certain date. Based on your description, it sounds like your housekeeping task doesn't really need to be completed on Monday.

Have you considered setting a start date for "mopping the floor" but leaving the due date blank? Then you could set a repeat 1 week from completion date. That's the general pattern I use for these sorts of things. I've found it quite effective. My system reminds me when the floor is probably getting dirty. Suppose that reminder comes on a Monday, but I don't pick up the mop until Saturday. Well, there's no need to mop again two days later.

(Unless I stir fry on Sunday. Why do I always cook the messiest meals right after the kitchen is clean?)
__________________
Cheers,

Curt
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by curt.clifton
Have you considered setting a start date for "mopping the floor" but leaving the due date blank? Then you could set a repeat 1 week from completion date...My system reminds me when the floor is probably getting dirty. Suppose that reminder comes on a Monday, but I don't pick up the mop until Saturday. Well, there's no need to mop again two days later.
That's so simple, it's brilliant -- elegant even. I'm only upset that I didn't think of that on my own.
 
I do see your point, MEP. The flaw here is with me letting things slide, not the system. I must admit it is very easy for me to ignore tasks, especially less pleasant ones like mop the floor.

You're right, I didn't want to be constantly reminded that I didn't mop the floor on Monday, and that defeats the GTD system. Your suggestion to consider it during the weekly review process is an excellent reminder. I haven't been doing that; I need to re-read that section in the book and incorporate weekly reviews into my activities.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by curt.clifton
Canonical GTD is very clear about not setting due dates for items that do not actually have to be done by a certain date. Based on your description, it sounds like your housekeeping task doesn't really need to be completed on Monday.
I got focused on having a particular day for various housekeeping tasks so I can develop a routine for getting them done, even though in the long run it doesn't really matter when those tasks get done.

Omitting a due date does sound like a good idea. That could work; it would solve the problem of the task coming up again too soon, or getting all backed up, yet still stay in my face as something that needs to be done.

I have been setting up many artificial due dates, which doesn't really make me get the things done either, and doesn't help in prioritizing tasks.

It might be time to re-read the whole GTD book.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterfly
I have been setting up many artificial due dates, which doesn't really make me get the things done either, and doesn't help in prioritizing tasks.
I went down that road too. For me the artificial due dates induced unnecessary guilt. I'm still learning that there are only so many hours in the day. If I can't get everything done, then I might need to eliminate (Allen says "renegotiate") some projects.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterfly
It might be time to re-read the whole GTD book.
It took me three readings over a couple of years to feel like I really get it.
__________________
Cheers,

Curt
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterfly
I got focused on having a particular day for various housekeeping tasks so I can develop a routine for getting them done, even though in the long run it doesn't really matter when those tasks get done.
...
That sounds like a job for your calendar, not for your GTD tool, imho.
 
One way I deal with these types of tasks is to set a due date, mark it as repeating, and using the due date grouping to view tasks.

If the task slides it goes into a within the last week grouping.

When I am looking at tasks, I look at what is due today.
When I finnish today's tasks, I can go back and look at what slipped.

I love the 'repeat every 1 day' from completion date.
Then whatever day I complete mopping the floor, it will put the next event one week from the day completed.

The repeat from due date is helpful for actions like my weekly review where I want it to repeat again on Sunday, no matter when I do it.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjb
That sounds like a job for your calendar, not for your GTD tool, imho.
For me, I like to only put meetings, appointments, special events, and the like on the calendar so I can see where I need to be without being distracted by a big to-do list.

Also, I want to have all of my to-do items in OF, so they are all gathered together in one system rather than being scattered among different lists or systems.
 
 


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