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Does action + waiting = project?

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  • Does action + waiting = project?

    Hey guys,

    Quick question...


    If you need to send an email to someone that requires a reply to find out some information, does that usually warrant writing it in the project list.

    For instance, if my boss asked me to find out how many servers we needed from IT, what I would do (if I can't do it then) is create a project titled 'Number of servers found out (or something like that)', with an NA of 'email eric asking how many servers are needed'. Then, once I send that email, I would create an item in the @waiting list, waiting for Eric's reply.

    Does this require a project or is adding the @waiting implied? My fear is that I may get interrupted between sending an email and writing down the item in the @waiting list, and I don't want the fact that I need an answer to slip through the cracks.

    What do you think?

    Thanks.

    Jason

  • #2
    Originally posted by jayx773 View Post
    My fear is that I may get interrupted between sending an email and writing down the item in the @waiting list, and I don't want the fact that I need an answer to slip through the cracks.
    There's your answer

    A project is necessary any time you're afraid something might slip through the cracks without it. Which of the rest of us would or wouldn't make a project out of it is irrelevant

    Comment


    • #3
      I think that if you're worried that you won't have time to put the item on your @waiting list, there is something else wrong. Making the followup note should take literally seconds.

      I would handle it by making the followup note immediately. I probably wouldn't bother with a project list entry. As a backup, I wouldn't cross off the original NA until I had both sent the email and made the followup note.

      Katherine

      Comment


      • #4
        Interesting...

        Upon reflecting on your replies, I think that it may not be necessary to list a project item when I just need info for myself. But if my boss needs me to find something out, the actions required would be: email x regaring info, wait for info, email x regarding discoveries... at which point, I think that deserves a project. I just don't want to forget that my boss needs me to report something to him, an outcome which may be lost anywhere along that line.

        Comment


        • #5
          It's up to you - if it's one action that you've delegated, with possibly a simple follow-up, then put it on your Waiting For. However, if it's more complex than that, with contingencies, etc. depending on the W/F item, maybe a project makes sense - a way to "bookmark" any thinking around it...

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by jayx773 View Post
            Interesting...

            Upon reflecting on your replies, I think that it may not be necessary to list a project item when I just need info for myself. But if my boss needs me to find something out, the actions required would be: email x regaring info, wait for info, email x regarding discoveries... at which point, I think that deserves a project. I just don't want to forget that my boss needs me to report something to him, an outcome which may be lost anywhere along that line.
            I think it depends on why you requested the information; not so much who you're doing it for. What are you going to do with that information once you get it? It's rare that we ask for information just for the sake of asking.

            Comment


            • #7
              How much do you trust your system?

              Theres an underlying issue here that a couple of the other replies have hinted at.

              Just looking at your original post I get the feeling you dont trust your current method of capturing incoming requests, data or whatever. If you did trust them your question would be simpler and more along the lines of I have some data (the request from my boss) does it simply go on an @action list or do I create a project about it?

              But later in your post you're worried about stuff slipping through the cracks thats why I asked about how much trust you have in your capture tools / processes?

              My rather simplisitc answer to your original post would be:
              1. You get the request from your boss for the report on the number of servers
              2. Ask yourself "whats the next action?"
              3. You answer - Send an Email (I am assuming that because you said send AN email only one is required?)
              4. Ask yourself "Will it take < two minutes?"
              5. If Yes send it // If No it goes on a Context Next Action List - @Office @Computer or w/ever
              6. Irrespective of when you send it it gets moved to the @Waiitng On list for the reply to come back.

              Yep its straight GTD, I omitted the "Whats a successful outcome?" step though.

              My guess is that the whole thing takes you less than 2 minutes depending on the complexity of the email. You havent lost the request from your boss, youve idetnified and taken the next action and its sitting on a list waiting for you to get to.

              Comment


              • #8
                A matter of willpower?

                Originally posted by jayx773 View Post
                Hey guys,

                My fear is that I may get interrupted between sending an email and writing down the item in the @waiting list, and I don't want the fact that I need an answer to slip through the cracks.
                Having gone through this kind of situations a hundred or more times I realized that this kind of fear can't be dissolved by being more organized or using a better system but by developing more willpower (at least for me).

                And I had to learn that I need to be clear about my intention and commitment in order to develop more willpower. Because human willpower isn't free nor does it fall from heaven, I had to learn to apply these three steps:

                1. Develop a clear mental picture of my intention.
                2. Make a conscious choice to commit to — and pursue — this intention.
                3. Develop strategies for protecting this intention against distractions, boredom or frustration.

                So, before I would even start writing that email "how many servers do we need" I would imagine giving my report to my boss (my intention), decide to see this through until it's done (commitment) and then write the action on the NA list and the "waiting for Eric's anwer" in the @waiting list (strategy), and then start writing the email to Eric. So there's no interruption possible between sending the email and making the entry in the @waiting list.

                Rainer
                Last edited by Rainer Burmeister; 06-26-2007, 12:06 PM. Reason: typos

                Comment


                • #9
                  Make a @WaitingFor folder in your Email system

                  Originally posted by jayx773 View Post
                  Does this require a project or is adding the @waiting implied? My fear is that I may get interrupted between sending an email and writing down the item in the @waiting list, and I don't want the fact that I need an answer to slip through the cracks.
                  One thing that works well for me is to create a "@WaitingFor" Folder or Category within your email system.

                  Specifically... After sending an email to someone (where I'm waiting for their response) I immediately make a COPY of the email from my SENT to --> my "@WaitingFor" Folder. (takes about 2 seconds since it's at the top of the list)

                  Then, later, when I review my @WaitingFor folder, I can simply delete items that were done, and follow up on those that weren't.

                  Tod Sandberg

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You assume that 1 mail will do the job, so I would send the mail and add it to the @waiting for group.
                    You will come across it during your (bi-)weekly review; or if your boss needs an answer by Friday, you can mark in your agenda on Thursday: FU (short for follow up) reply IT on servers.

                    If the answer comes in and it says: "you need 3 servers", you can forward to your boss and topic is closed.
                    if the answer is something like: "3 servers are needed for headquarters; if the sales office in Elbonia needs to be included, they need a local server. All this is assuming that current transaction volume does not increase with more than 2.3%. if this would be the case we either need to buy more performant servers or additional ones etc....", then I would create a project.

                    br,
                    beyerst

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