"Do Dates" over "Due Dates" – How to become a DOer

business productivity

Use Do Dates over Due Dates. Assign Do Dates to every active item on your Action List. Never rely on Due Dates.

Do Dates create small, viable Action Lists for each day ...instead of a massive soul-crushing To-Do List (as with GTD and most task systems).

Do Dates let you see when a day is overloaded with activity, so you can re-route new items to another less loaded day.

Then you have a manageable, viable mini Action List for each day.

The sense of accomplishment when completing your Action List for the day is amazing. You are capable of feeling this that most days, it is within your capability. Do Dates facilitate this.

By the time a Due Date arrives, it's rushed and last minute. If too many Due Dates hit at once, you're hosed. Do Dates prevent this.

A Due Date can be used in addition to a Do Date if there are consequences for not completing by a certain date. It can also be a guide for when to set your Do Date.

However, Due Dates are usually not needed. While Do Dates are always essential.

Without a day to do something, the something cannot be done. So if it's worth doing, give it deliberate consideration and nail it down.

A task without a Do Date is just a whim. It will evaporate if not written down and scheduled. It will be buried if written down but not given a date.

For the next week or so, loosely map out your Do Date actions. Then the evening before, solidify and prioritize your Do Date items for the next day. Push out or delete what does not make the cut.

Make tomorrow's Action List viable. A reach perhaps, but realistically doable.

If too many Do Dates pile up for a date, you now have valuable transparency into the impossibility of your Action List. You were never going to get all that done, it was a fantasy. Now you know ahead of time, and you can deliberately prioritize.

Overloaded Do Date actions can be rescheduled, or you can realize they don't stack up to the importance of the rest of your list. Deleting them ahead of time brings focus to the things that matter most.

Realistically spread the actions out for each day over the coming week(s).

Actions that are perpetually rescheduled with new Do Dates create a beneficial friction to encourage a decision — either do it or delete it. This friction is a feature, not a bug.

Do Dates get shit done, and they weed out the riff-raf.

Do Dates give you back control of your week. Getting control of your weeks gives you control of your months. Getting control of your months gives you control of your years.

Just by using Do Dates.

Plan your days to take action ahead of time, don't just react to Due Dates at the last minute.

Focus your energy on DOing.

Action over Reaction

Do over Due


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