• Feb 19, 2019

I like results. Who doesn’t, right? If I am doing something and I am not seeing the results, it makes it harder to keep doing it. In fact, in a lot of cases, I ended up quitting projects or certain strategies in the past because I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted. A while back, I identified a problem I had. What was my problem? I was a results-oriented person.

Instead of concentrating on what I needed to do, I was too focused on whether or not it was working. While some would argue that this isn’t a bad trait, I saw my problem wasn’t so much with a lack of results, but with a lack of immediate results and a lack of faith in my plan.

Have you ever been on a diet or known of somebody who was? They met with their doctor and trainer. They had the perfect plan to lose weight. It went well for a few weeks, but then they stopped. Why? It wasn’t because they had a bad plan. It wasn’t because they didn’t know what they were supposed to do. Instead, it was because they were not seeing the results they wanted as quickly as they wanted and they got discouraged. Their focus was on the scale instead of their diet and exercise. Had they stayed with the plan, it would have worked. How can we apply this to business?

What I discovered is that a shift in focus made a world of difference for me. Instead of focusing on the results, I focused on my tasks. When I stay focused on my tasks, the results come naturally.  Of course, this is much easier said than done. However, below are four tips that have helped me to become a task-oriented person and I hope they can help you, too.


1. Have a plan and process for your job. So many people are out working every day and they do not have a plan or process. If you are going to be task-oriented, then you must first have tasks. You can’t complete tasks if you don’t first have them.  


2.  Trust your plan. If you aren’t confident in what you are doing, then you are sure to default back to being results-oriented. Don’t just “hope” that your plan is good, be confident that it is. This includes researching, talking to others in the same industry, having leaders you respect look over your plan to see if it is a good one, etc. The more you believe in the tasks you are doing, the easier it will be to stay focused.


3.  Always know what you are going to do each day and the day after. As a business owner, I don’t have a normal “nine-to-five” job where I can predict with much certainty what each day will look like because each day is so different. However, I learned a secret. If I could always make sure that I clearly know my tasks for the day ahead as well as the next day, then I was able to keep focused. At the end of each day, I write down everything I need to do the following day. This little trick has helped me tremendously. Also, this ensures that you won’t waste time wondering what you are going to do when you get to work the next day. I already have my marching orders in front of me ready to go.  


4.  When your tasks are completed, you are done. What happens if it is 3:30 PM and I am already done with my tasks for that day? I am done. I don’t try to find busy work to do just to be busy. I enjoy that time because sometimes my tasks will run me past my normal working hours. So, when I am done, I am done. Sometimes this means working more; sometimes this means working less. But the point is that I am not just filling time in my day. I am completing tasks during that day. After a period of time, if I realize I am always getting done early, then I can start to add more tasks. If I see I am never getting my tasks completed until much later in the evening, then I can cut my tasks. Either way, I am still being tasked oriented.


While there are many more tips that I have learned, I hope these four can help you be more productive as a task-oriented person. What have you learned that has helped you to stay focused on the task(s) at hand? 

 - Kevin Pendergrass

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