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Waiting fors with a LONG wait

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  • Waiting fors with a LONG wait

    How do you handle Waiting items, or delegated projects, that will be waiting for months?

    I don't want to put these in my Waiting list, because it eats up my brain looking at them every day.


  • #2
    If you have a lot of these, you may want to create something like an @waitingforlongterm that you only check monthly...OR (and this is what I typically do), if you know for sure you don't need to be reminded about this at all for awhile, create a ticker for yourself during a more relevant time period.

    If you handle your GTD stuff electronically, I think the best way to do this in Outlook this is to send yourself a post dated email - then you can just drag it into tasks and categorize it as WF.

    To do this, write an email to youself, then select, tools, then options and enter the appropiate date in the box called "do not deliver until" - then it will show up in your in box when you need to see it.


    • #3
      one more thing...on delegated projects. I have a category called @projects/others. These are generally projects that I've delegated to others or projects that others are doing that I need to be reminded about. They are generally longer term and don't have a specific "waiting for" that I need in order to move one of my own projects forward (or if there is a related "waiting for" I put that specific issue in my @waitingfor category).

      I check this weekly.

      I also found that this is great for performance review time. All of these start with a name (i.e., Suzie - brochure revision) so at the end of the year I just print the list alphabetically and have a pretty good idea of what people have been doing. It helps avoid that trap of basing the annual peformance review on what has happened the past month rather than the past year.


      • #4
        I have a lot of this stuff, since the majority of my projects run 3-6 months, and some extend out a year or more.

        My system is similar in some respects to the previous posts, but I am partially paper-based and partially virtual. For emails I have a "ReviewWeekly" and a "ReviewMonthly" folder, and I am a real stickler about only putting things in those folders which are not date-certain but need to be looked at according to the chosen interval. Anything in "ReviewMonthly" which extends out more than a month gets looked at more than once, but that's OK by me.

        For paper-based stuff, I make a note on my N/A sheet for the project with the date it needs to come up again. I then photocopy the N/A sheet and put the copy in the customer support file, with the original in the tickler file. This gives me a cross-reference if the project comes alive before I had anticipated.


        • #5
          Waiting fors with Long Wait

          I use Outlook at work and at home that hotsynch to my palm. If I have a tasks set as @WaitingFor I just drag it to the Appointment Section in outlook selecting move then I set the Date now it shows up when I next want to look at it. If i get the information sooner I can delete the untimed appointment if I have to wait longer I can always move it - To help finding I have a view setup in outlook to show apppointments by Category

          It would also help to mention that I have most of the categories in Tasks and in Appointments set to be the same


          • #6
            Originally posted by mruseless
            How do you handle Waiting items, or delegated projects, that will be waiting for months?

            I don't want to put these in my Waiting list, because it eats up my brain looking at them every day.
            I'd say decide for yourself what 'long term' is in terms of numbers. If something falls in that category put it on the tickler to check back with.


            • #7
              I get a lot of flakes on my Waiting For list, so I purge this list with extreme prejudice to avoid blending real Waiting Fors with de facto ex-Waiting Fors.

              Since nearly all of my office Waiting Fors are on worksheets, for CYA I file the ones that seemed to have dragged on too long. They go in my general reference filing system, and they get a notation on my calendar to purge them from the file drawer on a future date: a month from the filing date, for instance.

              This customized deviation from GTD's Hard Landscape calendaring practice allows me to retrieve the paperwork if necessary, knowing exactly where it is, while still queueing me to purge it when it's history. I've had bad luck putting Waiting Fors in tickler files, since I'll often forget which date it was filed under, or that I put it in the tickler file in the first place.


              • #8
                Great ideas, Thank you everyone!