Take the 2-minute tour ×
Personal Productivity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people wanting to improve their personal productivity. It's 100% free, no registration required.

It happens all the time I start working on a next action and in the process of completing it I hit a roadblock. Either I have to wait for someone else to complete their work or I need to complete another unanticipated dependent action before finishing the blocked one. Do you delete the next action (it is no longer a next action due to the dependency) or do you track it somewhere else (it will need to be completed eventually). Advice on strategys for solving this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

share|improve this question
add comment

3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

There are several ways to tackle this and it partly depends on the system you're using.

I'm using MyLifeOrganized and in cases a next action gets blocked by a @WaitingFor, I mark the next action as dependent on the @WaitingFor item and thus get it off the radar.

In a more simplistic system I would get the NA off the NA's list (it is not something you can do if time/context/energy permits before the @WaitingFor happened). To make sure you don't lose the NA I'd recommend taking note of it in the project's reference material.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Under GTD, you need to think whether that's actually an action or a (mini-)project. If you started it as an action and it turned out to be a whole lot more trouble, upgrade it to a project.

Then, you stick the current ex-action as a project title or into project support/mind-map and put the real next-action (e.g. Waiting-For) as the true next action for that project.

If it is not big-enough even for a mini-project, move it into the tickler and create another action for the new next-action/waiting-for. Maybe frame the new action as "Do/WaitingFor XXX, in order to YYY" The rechristened ticker item will then serve as a reminder that you really need to move on with this.

share|improve this answer
add comment

I faced the same issue for some time. The problem was my resistance to delete the action that had become non-actionable (because the situation had changed and then you had to wait-for, or complete a different task...)

But one of the GTD axioms is that actionable and non-actionable tasks mixed together in the same list are poison for productivity. You don't want to have to sort them out every time you look at your todo list. So definitely, I would eliminate the 'old' task, and have it restored later if necessary.

Another hint I found useful was learning to see those tasks written in your lists as bookmarks; as long as you keep on working on a project, you don't need to write down 'doing this' or 'doing that'. It's only when you quit for a while, because you are going to rest or move to a different project, that you put the bookmark to remind you later where were you at.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.