Due dates are useless for most people. I haven't set a due date for a task in years.
I work in the context of weeks. Most of my tasks can be done within that date range. We set due dates because task managers make us. But this means we either make up an imaginary date & procrastinate because we know it's not really due. Or we totally leave it to the last possible day and end up trying to cram it in at the last minute.
Either way, due dates are a waste of time. Here's how I manage week tasks instead:
- The Inbox: All new tasks that are not tagged as 'Up Next' or have a scheduled day go into the inbox.
- Up Next Pile: On Mondays, I go through the inbox and tag any tasks that I want or need to do that week as 'Up Next'.
- The Weekly Task Board: Once I have a full 'Up Next' list I assign a day of the week to each. I like viewing my tasks in a weekly context cause I can balance the number of tasks each day.
- Three extra lists sit on my weekly page:
- Waiting: I tag anything I'm waiting on as 'waiting' and scan it every few days for follow-ups.
- To Delegate: Anything I need to delegate to my team gets tagged 'delegate.' Once I've handed it off I'll move it to waiting so I can close the loop.
- Tickler: OK, so some tasks do need to be looked at on certain dates. So I add a tickler date to these and they show up in context on that specific date.
Untangle yourself from the due date mentality and give weekly planning a go.