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Is Waiting For proactive category?

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  • Is Waiting For proactive category?

    It seems that @Waiting for category is more reactive. Maybe it's more acurate to put all the @Waiting for into @Call category. I.e. I'm waiting for a reply from customer on my proposal. I can put it in @Waiting for and wait, wait, wait... but I can put it in @Call like "CUSTOMER ABC: remind that I'm waiting for reply". What Alain says about that?

  • #2
    It may seem reactive by nature, but the purpose is to use it to be proactive. If you know you are waiting for X to happen, you will be reminded of it, and if it hasn't happened, you can follow through before it becomes a crisis.

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    • #3
      If that's the same then maybe I can use only @Calls except of @Waiting For? Or David will not forgive me?

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      • #4
        You are forgiven

        I don't have a long list of waiting fors nor a long is of call to make. So I have combined both of those in @agendas. I group items by person. So when I call Bill, I see that I need to talk to him re: project X and that I am waiting for item Y.

        This work for me but as with all things GTD, YMMV.

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        • #5
          Forgiven??!

          Let's go further in my hereticizm I went further and refused to use @Agendas. I will explain in more details. We need to put any ideas we need to discuss with someone someday to @Agendas. If so then why not to put it into @Calls category? Let say you wanna discuss "the point" then just put in into Call Jim to discuss "the point" or Call Jim to meet for discussion of "the point". Any ideas why I should use @Agendas?

          I think it's easy to use proactive @Calls category instead of @Waiting (they will give me someday...maybe...) and @Agendas (they will come to me someday...maybe...) reactive categories

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          • #6
            I do not use @Calls for this because in my life I am more likely to be talking face to face or emailing.

            They are just labels for categories of next actions. Name the categories whatever you like. The main thing is to be sure you are grouping your next actions together in a way that works for you.

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            • #7
              You have to do what works for you. I don't use @Waiting For because at this point in my life, I don't have anyone to delegate to so I'm not waiting for anything. If I was a manager or had a secretary, I am sure this category would be heavily used. The same with @Agenda. If I needed to make an appointment to sit down and talk with someone and I needed to make sure to remember certain things to cover, I would certainly use this. But at this point in my life, I personally don't really have a use for this category.

              So if it works better to put an item in @Calls, do so. It's not like the GTD Police are out there patrolling or something.

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              • #8
                Not Just Delegation

                Originally posted by pageta
                I don't use @Waiting For because at this point in my life, I don't have anyone to delegate to so I'm not waiting for anything. If I was a manager or had a secretary, I am sure this category would be heavily used.
                Just a quick note to say my understanding of and experience with waiting for items is that they aren't just for delegation. I'm sure there are many "projects" in your life you are tracking (via GTD or perhaps subconsciously) because the outcome affects your life, and/or you'll need to do something about it later. This isn't just work stuff, either -- "widget rma" might be on your waiting for list for the "get that cool new widget" project once you discover they sent you the wrong color widget, and "lab results" might be on your waiting for list for the "follow up on xyz health symptom" project. You can even track projects that aren't yours at all if you care about the outcome -- and since you aren't doing anything about it (except tracking), you have a waiting for item. Because if it's not in your system, but you do still care about it, your subconscious is going to chew on it wheteher you like it or not.

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                • #9
                  But anywat it (@Waiting) turns to be reactive category. If you can do anything (i.e. about "lab results") this anything could be at least calling that is proactive. Is there any sence keeping non-actionable category as waiting is not action??!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Borisoff
                    But anywat it (@Waiting) turns to be reactive category. If you can do anything (i.e. about "lab results") this anything could be at least calling that is proactive. Is there any sence keeping non-actionable category as waiting is not action??!
                    I scan @Waiting for along with the rest of my lists... if I see items on there that have been "waiting" for a while, I follow up. I see that as being proactive.

                    For me, no need to get more complicated than that.

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                    • #11
                      Waiting & Agendas

                      Agree, @Waiting could just as well be called @FollowUp.

                      Another advantage of @Waiting is that you can quit thinking about it. Otherwise one's brain tends to send little alarm messages every so often. "I never heard back about XYZ!" So even if it's something you can't follow up on, it is soothing to have it in @Waiting.

                      I use GTD agendas heavily, but I have a grand total of two items on my Call list. I hate the phone, and I like to do a lot of MBWA (management by wandering around, for those who maintain blessed innocence of such acronyms). It's great to have a complete list of things to review with folks while I'm leaning on their office door frame.

                      And we're all heretics here, aren't we? I personally am strongly considering going back to using hanging file folders the way they were intended. Shocking, I know.

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                      • #12
                        When I have a @Waiting for, I put a follow up date against it.

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                        • #13
                          Scheduled follow-ups for @Waiting

                          If I intend to follow up at a scheduled time, I would be inclined to use my tickler (actually, since I don't use a tickler, I enter a reminder in Outlook). Otherwise I peruse the Waiting list every morning in Davidish fashion, and follow up when it feels right to do so.

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                          • #14
                            my variation on waiting for

                            I still have an @waiting for list, but I too find it somewhat passive. What I've begun experimenting with is using the ~ symbol (i.e, the tilde for those of you who speak spanish) in front of items I am now waiting for. For example, "send Jim my April plans and itinerary" was an action in @emails. But then once I did it but needed to pay attention to the fact that I was waiting for a reply from Jim in order to finalize my plans, I put the ~ at the front of the description of that task. So as I scan my lists of emails, the ones that begin with ~ are in someone else's court at the moment. I can still read them and decide whether I should nudge them a bit, but it's not as much a required NA like the rest of the ones on my list. Since I use Outlook, the other option would be to quickly ALT-G to change the item from the @emails to @waiting category. But if I am going to want to follow up it will likely be in that same context (i.e, emails) then why not leave it in that list, modified by the ~ ?

                            Not sure if this is inefficient or GTD heresy in others' opinion, but it seems to help.

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                            • #15
                              How to use "Waiting For"

                              "Waiting For" makes most sense in the context of performing a weekly review (or somewhat regular review) where you take a look at everything you have, check off what you've done, and decide what to do next. It is during this time that you would look at your WF list and decide if you needed to get any of that stuff taken care of in the span of time before your next Weekly Review. Anything that had to happen between this and the next review should be taken off your WF list and given a context like @Phone, etc. If it was critical that it happen by a certain date then you might make an all day activity on your calendar to contact that person. Need it by a certain time? Make an appointment to contact that person at or by that time. But, anything that could wait for you to look at in the next weekly review could be left on your WF list.

                              The WF is not an action... it is a context like "@Phone" "@Computer." You shouldn't be looking at this list at all except at your weekly review OR if you decide during the week that you might want to clear up some stuff because you have some free time.

                              At least that's how I understand it.

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