Don’t drop the ball! Make an effective Waiting For list.

Let’s face it you can’t do it all yourself, you will eventually need help or information from another person. You need a way to track the help you are getting. The way to do this is to have a waiting for list.



I’ve found my waiting for list to be one of the most useful productivity tools I use.

Having the ability to open up one list that shows everything you have “out there”  is a life saver.

Having a way to track the items that others are responsible for is essential and therefore a waiting for list is a must.

A simple piece of paper will do to record actions you need to follow up on. If you use an app make sure it has a waiting for feature built in – this is a must for me.

Here’s when I use the list:

  • When I delegate something.
  • When I email or leave a voicemail asking someone to call me back.
  • If someone makes a commitment that I need to know about.

 Here are a few key details you want to document on your waiting for list: 

  • Date when the task was delegated or input was asked for.
  • Indicate which project this is for. Any app should take care of this for you. I find I have a lot of overlap with certain people on different projects that have similar tasks and knowing exactly which project this waiting for is associated to is very helpful.

Here’s some other tips:

  • You can also group your waiting for’s by contact. If you are going to meet with Joe then having the ability to group your list by a contact is a real time saver.
  • If you use an app set a reminder for yourself to pop up so you can follow up on the task.

You can avoid what I call “the black hole of productivity – where tasks go and never see the light of day again” by making and maintaining a waiting for list.

Remember a list is meaningless if you don’t review it. Review them often.

How do you track your waiting for’s?