Dealing with the unproductive people in your life
I'm a multi-year adherent of GTD. I see real benefits in personal productivity, stress reduction, etc. I fall off the path from time to time, but it's easy to get back on. Overall, I'm very focused and productive. Not perfect, but getting better all the time.
As I improve my ability to employ GTD in my life, I've discovered a new source of stress in dealing with people in my personal and professional life who are completely unproductive (often to the point of being paralyzed).
My interactions with this lack of productivity often manifests itself in unanswered emails that require an answer, but there are other examples. Usually, these interactions wind up as "waiting on" items for me and I generally have the uncomfortable task of "nagging".
I have one particular associate who will now simply not read any email that's longer than a single sentence. His replies to me, often after a couple nags, are something like "Something happened to your email. It's either lost in my inbox or in the trash. I can't find it. I'm too busy. What was your question again?" I usually give him a shot along the lines of "If you're too busy to read and answer an email, you're really doing something wrong!" So, now I've learned to tailor my communication with him to his completely hectic lifestyle.
This is frustrating for me for a number of reasons. Not relying on these people is often not an option. Helping them isn't a great option either (I'm not keen on offering productivity advice unless the person is looking for it).
I often feel like I'm moving in the fast lane and a number of important people around me haven't even found the on-ramp yet.
I guess I'm looking for tips, coping mechanisms, or even just sympathy. How do you deal with the "unproductives" in your life?