GTD and personal deadlines

David Allen says something about only putting in the calendar those things that absolutely have to get done on a certain day and perhaps information relevant to those particular days.

For all other 'urgent' and 'importnat' tasks, the 'mind like water' theory of GTD, as I understand it, presupposes that we are able to use our unburdened minds to make good decisions about what work to do at any particular time. It is worth mentioning that the weekly review is a regular time that ensures that our mind is like water and that we have made the right decisions about what tasks to do when.

Maybe I have not been ruthless enough in putting things on my TODO list. Maybe over time I will learn to let more things slip through to the Someday/Maybe list and so my mind will be more watery about TODOs. But in the meantime, I find that I do need to set personal deadlines for some actions and projects or else I'll never do them. I do this for three reasons:

  1. Some things I never will do, no matter how much like water my mind is because I really really don't want to do them. I have to schedule them in or else I'll never do them.
  2. Some things have no specific deadline but they reach a point of staleness or redundancy. I need to make a call about the 'point of no return' for certain actions and make deadlines for them accordingly.
  3. The whole process of decision-making about some actions needs to take place in hours or days rather than weeks. If I relied on my weekly review to reassess which tasks need doing, it'd be too late.