As someone with an analytical social style, I tend to be very task-oriented. The weight of unfinished tasks weighs on me, and I can find it hard to relax if I have a lot of work.
Task-oriented people find tasks and deadlines and to-dos extremely compelling. This doesn’t mean that we don’t care about people, not at all! Just that unfinished tasks have a firm grip on us, making it harder for us to make time for goofing off with friends on the weekend, or even make time for a friendly chat, when a deadline looms. And yet, while the call of the task is temporary, these relationships with family and friends are what matter most.
To remind myself of the ephemeral nature of most tasks, and the importance of nurturing relationships, I have this beautiful poem by Robert Frost taped on my desk at work.
Time to Talk
When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
And shout from where I am, What is it?
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.
If the reason why you are drowning in tasks because you can’t say “no,” you might like Hoops are NOT for jumping through.