Task-based life versus life-based tasks
The routine sets in quickly. After the euphoria of a new year and setting of goals, we are soon sucked into “the daily grind” of our work and. New projects with looming deadlines build and hover above our head. All our well-meaning life goals seem to slip away slowly as we focus on the tasks on our hands. Before we know it, we are leading a task-based life rather than life-based tasks. How do we keep our focus on our life goals while keeping on top of daily tasks? It is simply a matter of how we can be congruent with our goals and tasks. Here are 4 simple steps:
- Start the morning doing one thing that takes you towards your goal. So if your goal is to lead a healthy lifestyle, do your exercise in the morning before you start your daily routine. Or if your goal is to read more, read for 10 minutes in the morning. These small actions will make you feel that you have accomplished something that has contributed towards your goal even though the rest of day was a frazzle of tasks.
- Look for ways in which your tasks could be relevant to your life goals. Need to make a presentation at the next meeting? Think about how this could contribute to your life goal of being more confident. Need to organise the next company event? Look at how this could be relevant to your goal of improving on time management. Some links may be tenuous but if we look carefully enough, there are bound to be lots of overlaps between tasks and life goals in many of the things we do at work.
- Review your life goals quarterly. If you feel that you are not making progress towards what you set out at the beginning of the year, adjust your tasks. Some tasks may need to be adjusted or dropped completely. While this may not be completely possible in a corporate environment, you can certainly have a conversation with your boss on the task or ask that the task be enlarged to help it be more meaningful for you.
- Tell others about your life goals. The more you talk about them, the more you will ensure that you have put in place the necessary steps to achieve your goals. Telling people raises your accountability to yourself as you want to achieve what you have verbally committed to.
There is no zero sum game between a task-based life versus life-based tasks. There is a possibility for both to co-exist and be congruent with each other if we are willing to make that connection. The key is to be able to take a step back once in while and evaluate if you are truly going the way your set your course in the beginning of the year.