3 Ways to See Beyond the Task


I admit it—I’m extremely task oriented. I like to have a full list and check them off everyday. According to Marcus Buckingham’s work, one of my top five strengths is Focus and believe me I can get so focused on a task that everything else is blurred.

What I am learning, however, is how to see beyond the task. Yes, they are important, but at the same time the task becomes richer and fuller when I allow three things to help me see beyond them.

Thoroughness. Seeing beyond the task involves thoroughness. Getting a task successfully accomplished means more than just checking it off a to-do list. There’s also a degree (sometimes a great degree) of thoroughness required to take an ordinary task and make it extremely special. I’m reminded of a story I read once about Ernest Hemingway. It said that Hemingway wrote a sentence fifty times before he was happy with it. Now that’s thoroughness to the max. Thoroughness involves doing something completely. Don Dewsnap wrote, “Being thorough does not mean being fanatic, or petty, or obsessive.” Being thorough means doing it right, going past the expectation and not rushing into “average,” but looking for ways to create quality and uniqueness in what you are doing.

Creativity. Seeing beyond the task brings creativity into the mix. When we’re in a hurry to get the task finished we often forget creative ways to get to the solution. We often forget new ways to think when we’re in a hurry. Plus, adding creativity to any task brings a new level of excitement—whenever a routine becomes tedious it can produce tension and stress that push out creative thought and innovation. Just getting things done the same old way doesn’t cut it in today’s environment. Creativity brings newness, freshness and a desire to always push the envelope to new ways of doing things.

Heart. Just getting things done can become a machine-like process. Bringing heart into the equation adds two dynamics—passion and people. Are you excited about what you are doing? Or are you grumbling, complaining and feeling stuck? When our hearts are involved, so is our passion, and as our passion is involved the adrenalin starts flowing, creativity kicks in and suddenly our “task” becomes a well-done labor of love.

Heart also looks for people to help and serve. We cannot let the tasks get in our way of people’s needs. We can’t let the check mark be more important than a relationship. Our hearts will tell us when we need to stop something so we can begin helping others.

Three quick ways we can see beyond the task. What are some ways you don’t get lost in the task?


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Trust is the winsome wedding of faith and hope.

Brennan Manning

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