I use flags to mark individual tasks that float around in my life. Things like “Pick up milk from grocery store” or “Buy party favours for my kid’s birthday party”. I don’t really like to use it for Big Rock projects. For me, flags are mostly for those floating single actions in your life.
I create a perspective that is focused on the folder. This is my “Big Rock” project.
I make the Big Rock perspective a permanent resident on my perspective sidebar on the Mac, my iPad, and my iPhone.
Now that I have the Big Rocks perspective in my icon sidebar, I know that I will always see it. It doesn’t get lost in all of my other next actions. I can’t avoid because I will always see it when I open OmniFocus.
In the morning, I visit my Big Rock perspective and work off the tasks in that perspective. It’s always front and centre because it is in the perspectives sidebar or on my iPhone/iPad home screen. I wouldn’t worry about flags for your honours degree.
In my current setup, I have three different Big Rocks perspective. They are focused on a project or a folder. I will always work on one of my three Big Rock projects.
Here is a sample setting of my Big Rock perspective:
In the Focus section, choose the folder or project and click the “Add to Focus” button.
Personally, I would set the due date for just the next action. I don’t like having to change the due dates on everything.
Your first task will have a due date set to next week, Monday. Work on that first. Finish that task then set the due date for the next task to a future date (next week, Monday).
I also try to make the due date set to a couple of days before so that I’m ahead.
I know I will work in sprints. So, I will often try to get on a roll and get ahead of myself. I’ve heard of cartoonists who publish in the daily comics work in sprints. Podcasts also do this as well. The cartoonist will have up to 4 weeks worth of cartoons already made. Podcasters will sometimes have up to 10 podcasts already in the can. When they get into writer’s block, they’ll have some cushion to try to get back on track.
I don’t use Forecast to look at the due dates of a Big Rock project like your Honours Degree. Just use the Big Rock perspective. For my personal setup, I set the OmniFocus due preference to 1 week. I know when I see the orange circle next to the task, I have to get my butt into gear and work until I can eliminate that orange circle by checking it off as complete.