Temporal tags give you a powerful, flexible system for scheduling tasks exactly when you want to do them.
During my weekly preview, when I select my tasks for the week, they get the This Week tag. This gives me a list I can review during my daily planning: review the tasks I’ve selected for the week, decide which ones I can do Today and which ones are on deck for Tomorrow.
There are two things you might notice about this setup. First, depending on how many tasks you tag with This Week, it might be slightly inefficient to have to scan the list of this week’s tasks every time you sit down to do your daily planning. I try to keep that number down, so that isn’t a big deal.
Second, there’s no way to assign tasks to a specific day. All of this week’s tasks go into a single list; you pull tasks from that list and they’ll get done sometime this week. That works for 99% of my tasks. Your tasks might be different. You might want to assign tasks to specific weekdays when you do your weekly planning.
If you have a lot of tasks each week or a lot of tasks that need assigned to specific days, there’s a hole here. You’re wasting precious brainpower by reviewing them every day when their fate has already been decided. Wouldn’t it be better to just assign them to Friday and not see them again until Friday?
Fair enough. It’s very paper-like.
If this is your workflow, add Monday–Sunday child tags to your This Week tag. If your week begins on, say, Thursday, order the tags Thursday–Wednesday so they align with your reality.
Now, during your daily review, the first thing you should grab from This Week are the tasks you already assigned to that day. Don’t forget to check the Forecast view for tasks which are due or deferred until today. Then promote tasks from This Week if you still have room.
If you’d like to automate this a bit, this script will look up any tasks with today’s tag and change the tag to Today. Add it to your daily maintenance script or invoke it manually when you sit down to plan the day.
Could you mix-and-match Monday–Sunday tags with This Week, Next Week, etc., or 2019W8 to assign tasks very precisely? As in, “Thursday of week 2019W8”? Yes, you could. But if you’re looking that far out, you should probably just use the Defer Date. The Forecast view will show you when those tasks are coming up.
When you select your tasks for the week, spread them out across the week if you can. Put them straight onto the day you’re going to do them, if you can. You won’t have to think of them again until their day comes.
Question: How do you transition from your weekly plan to your daily plan? Share your thoughts in the comments, on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.
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