The Omni Group
These forums are now read-only. Please visit our new forums to participate in discussion. A new account will be required to post in the new forums. For more info on the switch, see this post. Thank you!

Go Back   The Omni Group Forums > OmniFocus > Applying OmniFocus
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

 
How do you REALLY deal with due dates? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Hi all!

Im that kind of person who struggles with GTD. I find it hard to work From next action lists, I seldom do my reviews and so on. Still, I love the concept of GTD!! One thing does bother me though. How do you guys handle due-dates? From David Allan we learn that nothing that is not REALLY due should have a due-date (ie if we dont it today, we will miss it) attached to it or be placed on your calendar. Knowing this makes me curious to why I keep finding examples of seemingly "not really due" -stuff, with due-dates EVERYWHERE?? Today I saw the screenshot of omnifocus for iPhone in the Apple store and it contained the task "post letters xx xxx" under the project "keep in touch". Now, How is that possibly DUE? If you forget, do it tomorrow! I can agree that it is important, but are you "allowed" to distinguish importance in GTD? Maybe Im over interpretating the whole thing :) Whats your take on this?

//Rickard of Sweden
 
You will get different perspective on this question to be sure. The first suggestion then is, take them to define what works for you. That may mean a bit of trial and error on what is suggested.

I certainly set Due dates on projects or tasks that have hard deadlines defined by external constraints. Otherwise, I sometimes set Due dates on projects or tasks that I recognize "should" be completed by a certain date. This is especially true when those projects or tasks result in something concrete that is to be delivered to someone else. I try very, very hard never to set due dates on a task or project based on when I think I want to complete it. That becomes subject to changes in the weather and makes it seem like everything is an adventure in putting out firestorms.

I do go past my Due dates (for example, I have an annoying list of overdue tasks right now). So even I am still learning how to work out this issue better.

HTH

--
JJW

Last edited by DrJJWMac; 2011-11-09 at 07:12 AM..
 
Ironically, I logged on to the forums to ask the exact same question. I've been using OF for a while now and am in the midst of getting back to the GTD basics...

(Example: I just reorganized my contexts to more accurately reflect my working style - http://simplicityisbliss.com/2011/06...e-on-contexts/ - a big help).

I work in theatre which is a completely deadline based creative endeavor. So I'm really used to working with deadlines. Which means that I find myself dropping deadlines into OF all the time. I know that a core idea is to put deadlines into a calendar but that doesn't work because then I end up with a calendar with an overwhelming amount of deadlines which makes the calendar difficult to use for actually tracking appointments, etc. Another side effect of this is that I put deadlines in for everything, including really trivial things. I think I do it as a way of prioritizing what I need to do. I'll get an email that I don't want to respond to right away and I'll deadline it for tomorrow and then I have 25 things due tomorrow and I have to then re-prioritize that list, and the same things the next day, etc... I'm happy to re-prioritize in a fluid way but I'm getting a little overwhelmed.

Also, a lot of things I technically can start now so I end up with a ton things that I input available today which I don't think is very useful.

So, I'm looking for some serious advice on achieving the balance between using deadlines in OF and not over abusing the start/due date function. Part in parcel with this, I think, is some more work on reviewing. Maybe using the weekly review to manage start/due dates.

Thanks Forum!
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingdesigner View Post
(Example: I just reorganized my contexts to more accurately reflect my working style - http://simplicityisbliss.com/2011/06...e-on-contexts/ - a big help).
I like your contexts. Very nicely done!

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingdesigner View Post
So, I'm looking for some serious advice on achieving the balance between using deadlines in OF and not over abusing the start/due date function. Part in parcel with this, I think, is some more work on reviewing. Maybe using the weekly review to manage start/due dates.
Doing a review is a good habit to cultivate.

For my daily review, I ask myself at each case whether anything new is to be added to or taken away from a given project based on the current state of affairs. After this review, I do a "morning start" and flag tasks that I will tackle. I repeat this process re-flagging process when the action items are done (or nearly so).

For my weekly review, I compare my OF set up against a Kanban-type tracking board and reset my board for the coming week.

So, with this in mind, I might suggest that you try for a period to a) avoid setting any start or due dates on a task unless an external force absolutely demands it, b) use flags to define what task(s) are to receive your top attention for a given period, and c) define and maintain a habit of doing a once daily and once weekly review. As needed, perhaps go in to this all one step at a time. First, master the art of doing a good weekly review. Then include daily reviews and/or consider or play around with using flags. Eventually move to where you stop setting start / due dates capriciously because you have found other ways to bring forward what is to be considered.

HTH

--
JJW
 
I think a key point to properly use GTD is self discipline. You have the tools - OF and a calendar - but it is your responsibility to look into them at least once every day. OF gives you rich features to sort your responsibilities into projects, folders, contexts - but it still is your responsibility to open the "desk" context when sitting in your office chair. It gives you a tool to be reminded that certain tasks need action until a certain date - but again it is your responsibility to decide what is important enough to be "due dated".

What I would find useful to be implemented into OF would be a "daily workload assignment" option. That means am option in every task and project that allows me to specify a date on which I would like to work on that task or project. These tasks would then show up in forecast view, telling me that 5 hours of my Tuesday will be blocked because I want to - not have to, in the GTD sense - work on task X. That would in turn allow me to "block" time for a task on a given date but still keep the actual due date intact so I can be reminded if I fail to finish it for some reason.
 
Thanks everyone for your thoughts...

FYI, those contexts aren't mine. They are Sven Fechners
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingdesigner View Post
I know that a core idea is to put deadlines into a calendar but that doesn't work because then I end up with a calendar with an overwhelming amount of deadlines which makes the calendar difficult to use for actually tracking appointments, etc. Another side effect of this is that I put deadlines in for everything, including really trivial things.
I use my calendar for meetings and appointments, but if it's not an event where I physically need to be in a certain place, I try to track it in OmniFocus by creating a project.

That said, you may be able to save yourself some effort and increase your overall productivity if you cut down on the number of due dates you assign.

I find that when I assign lots of false deadlines to my items, it initially feels motivating, but I eventually spend a bunch of time kicking items that aren't really due down the road. I also gradually get numb to the due dates across the board.

I find that I get more done overall when I only put due dates on things that were truly do-or-die deadlines. Things I truly need to do get assigned an appropriate deadline, but things I only want to do will get flagged. I grab from the latter list as I'm able once the stuff on the first list is dealt with...

(As previous posters mentioned, regular reviews are also a big help - when stuff's being promoted/demoted to the appropriate list/level of importance regularly, I find I'm less stressed.)
 
I can't say I've mastered this, but I aspire to using this technique:

http://teresatorres.com/blog/2009/05...g-my-strategy/

Bob
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingdesigner View Post
Ironically, I logged on to the forums to ask the exact same question. I've been using OF for a while now and am in the midst of getting back to the GTD basics...

(Example: I just reorganized my contexts to more accurately reflect my working style - http://simplicityisbliss.com/2011/06...e-on-contexts/ - a big help).
I'd love to take a look at these, but the link seems to be broken.
 
 


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
what is the big deal? pjb OmniFocus 1 for Mac 9 2013-02-21 12:17 PM
How do you deal with SA? Nicolas_Thomsen Applying OmniFocus 4 2010-04-09 03:52 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:51 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.