You're doing everything right.

  • You have a to-do list.
  • It's up-to-date.
  • Everything has a due date.
Then how come deadlines still seem to take you by surprise, and you end up rushing to complete things on time?

You have a due date problem.

While it is important to record the date a task or project is due (the deadline), you must also schedule a time to do the work. This is your task's do date. (You might prefer to call it a next action date, as that, at least, sounds different when you say it!)

You need two dates: a due date and a do date. Record the due date but schedule the do date.

If you use a digital to-do list, you might be able to create a field for each date. Customisable tools like Notion make this easy.

Or, you can write your deadline as part of the task's title or in a text field, for example: write article about to-do lists (due 25 April).

Do dates provide a realistic picture of your workload, make time blocking easy, and help you get stuff done.

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