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1 min readTask Or Deadline Driven?

by Guy Gage | April 2, 2017 | Business

While catching up with a friend last week, we compared notes about how some of our mutual acquaintances were doing. He mentioned that working with one of our friends has become easier lately. He commented that, while his approach is to be more task driven, our friend is more deadline driven. This made it possible for him to understand our friend’s decisions and behavior and better able to work with him.

This illustrates how your natural approach to getting things done can cause conflict with another person’s approach when they are different. In fact, just understanding this difference will greatly influence how you work with and manage others.
For instance, if you’re task-driven, you work from a list. It’s usually fairly long because it keeps everything you have to do in one place. Since “success” is measured in task completion, you are likely to knock off the easy ones first because they are quick. The ones that remain are usually complex, requiring more time to complete. The satisfaction of completing half of a complex item in a day isn’t the same as crossing off 14, so you are likely to opt for the quicker tasks and put off the complex ones.

If you’re deadline-driven, you work from a calendar. You arrange everything by when it’s due. Your “success” is measured in meeting deadlines, so you execute whatever is necessary to keep them all on track, not really considering whether they are the most important things to do. Artificial and internal deadlines don’t seem to have the same impact as external deadlines, so you struggle with prioritizing your work, especially when you have several due at the same time.

This week, observe how you work and how to make better decisions. Then do what you can to understand and direct everyone’s efforts on what is really important.

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