I have recently started to religiously date all of my actions as they go onto my lists. For those that use electronic list tools, I’m sure that this is something that is done automatically by your tool. However, as a GTDer using paper this is something that I have rather neglected, to my cost. Since I started to add the date, I have found that it gives me a far better perspective on how important something is and whether it should really be on the list as a next action, or whether it should be a Someday/Maybe. It also gives me an early procrastination warning signal! If something has a date that is older than a month I ought to really check what I want from the action:
1. Is it phrased properly? (see my recent post on drilling down to the NA)
2. Is it truly the next action? (ditto!)
3. Is it important to me anymore? Is it a Someday/Maybe?
As life moves on and we drop and pick up responsibilities, some actions may even be appropriate candidates for delegation where previously they were not. I try to keep a watch on my actions in the weekly review but it can’t hurt to have extra aids, such as an entry date, to speed up the consideration process.