Categories | Best Practices of GTD | David Allen | Getting Things Done | Implementation
Question: Where do I put deferred tasks that are due, for example, in three days? If I’m processing my Inbox on Monday, and I know the next step to completion is a two hour task, “at Computer” that is due on Thursday, do I make a decision to do it at a specific time, and put it on my calendar? Or do I put it on the @Computer list? Or Something else?
David Allen: In your environment [Editor: David has coached at this fast-paced Fortune 100 company], if you have something that requires two hours of time, and HAS to be done within the next couple of days, I would schedule that two-hour block for yourself and hold yourself to keep your appointment with yourself. That way it gets off your mind the rest of the time. Not a bad idea to do that for ANY action that requires more than an hour of uninterrupted time, in your interrupt-driven kind of world, if it really has to get done within the next week or so.
The other option is to keep it on your At Computer list, with the due date right beside it. You’d have to have the discipline, however, to be looking at that list ANYtime you have discretionary time (which takes a lot more engagement with the lists than most people are doing).
The third option would be to double-enter it–put it on the At Computer list, and drag the Task entry over your Calendar button in Outlook and make it a day-specific reminder on Thursday (or perhaps Wednesday, to be safe) that it’s due on Thursday.
Of course none of this works if you don’t stay appropriately engaged in reviewing the lists as needed.