Beyond Motivation: The Anatomy of a Task
Emotion and Interest are key activators and sustainers for Global Creatives. It is often said that emotion in the on off switch for action and for the individual with ADHD level of interest is directly related to level of satisfaction and success. But emotion and interest are not enough to bring meaningful completion and a sense of control to your day. By themselves they are more likely to create wasted efforts. Just because you can rip through your day at a 1000 mph doesn't mean you should. Much of our work doesn't need this much effort. Control in your day will come when you are able to match your output with the actual size of the task. Hurdlers jump just high enough to clear the hurdle and no more. Classic ADHD shows up when we launch for the moon when all that is required is a 2 foot high jump.
Anatomy of a Task
Giving shape to a task becomes an excellent daily practice to help limit the size of our tasks and conserve precious attention and energy as we 'hurdle tasks' through our day. But what gives shape to a task?
Many parameters influence the size and shape of a task but three in particualr are worth noticing and managing for the Global Creative.
Time, expectation and role distinction are all important elements that shape a task. For the Global Creative, these three elements have a way of expanding exponentially:
We give too much time thinking about a task, doing the task and not finishing the task. Thus the task lingers on our lists.
We create too high expectation for a task that really just needs a 'good enough' effort. Black and white thinking can balloon expectation to mountainous proportions.
We don't delineate roles before starting a task doing much more outside of our 'Best 20%' role zone. Suddenly we find ourselves knee deep in spreadsheets when we know we have a spreadsheet expert we can delegate to.
What to do
Time - Cut worry time. It is not productive. Identify a mid-step or two to break the task into manageable time sections and focus on hitting smaller completions.
Expectation - Consider the 85% solution before starting the task. Excellence is good but excellence is not perfection.
Role Distinction - Clarify the best people for specific sections on a task. Like taking a knife to butter cut up the task and give yourself less than the whole thing. This adds a natural accountability element when we share the job with our team.
When we look at limiting time, expectation and role in our tasks we find we can hurdle more successfully, more consistently bringing more control to the day.