If you were to go back and look at 2023, how much time did you spend waiting for somebody or something?
How much context-switching, ambiguity, weirdness and delay could have been avoided if there had been no blockers in 2023? What effect would have had on your effectiveness, stress level and general happiness?
Try this as a New Year’s Resolution: before you start on something, ask: do we know about anything that can cause a delay in the middle of this? If the answer is yes, do something about it as early as possible. I am not talking about trying to identify every dependency: if some are known, that is to say, guaranteed (such as a requirement to book something with another team two weeks in advance), there is little sense in starting it if you think it’s going to be less than two weeks before you need that other team.
Be proactive about avoiding delays.
Your flow will thank you for it.