Goal-oriented or Task-oriented?

Goal-oriented or Task-oriented

Photograph Credit: Microsoft Images

Do you find that you start many projects at once with none of them getting completed? This is my daughter.


She is goal-oriented and loves to get out different sets of toys with the goal of organizing. She likes to line up the dolls, sort the silverware, and stack the blocks.

If the baby comes over to play with an available organized pile, then my oldest daughter gets so upset because she is not done with those items.  At the end of playtime, she has all these little messes.

She then gets overwhelmed with pickup because she did not pickup when she was done with the silverware or blocks. We are working on getting out one set of items, playing with them, and putting them away before getting out something else. It is a work in progress, but with this system, the pickup progress is easier to manage.


Where my daughter is goal-oriented, I am task-oriented. I like to select an item on the To Do list (i.e. make tea), and complete that task.

In our household, the kids and I drink about 3 gallons of tea in 2 days. Now, I could make tea everyday, and sometimes I do. But I prefer to make 4 gallons of tea every 2-3 days. I just like having the refrigerator stocked, the tea maker in its place, and the counter cleared off.

Often life intervenes, and I get distracted by good things. But when I get back to my task, I just keep on going. When my task is finished, then I move on to something else. This system works for me, but it may not work for you.

You might be goal-oriented like my daughter, who would probably prefer to accomplish the tea-making task at a set time each day. For example, after dinner make a pitcher of tea. These same individuals prefer to tackle a load of laundry each day.

The laundry pile, like the tea making, is a continuous cycle. I prefer to spend a day or two doing laundry to get it done. Again, life happens, and sometimes I need to do laundry during the week and then on the weekends.

Just knowing how you approach projects might help as you schedule your tasks. The goals are to get things done and don’t get overwhelmed while using time wisely.

Question: Are you goal-oriented, task-oriented, or both?

2 comments to Goal-oriented or Task-oriented?

  • I guess I am a mixture of Goal and Task Oriented. Unfortunately, sometimes I lead more towards the Goal Side, when its not work related.

    • Thanks, Sheree, for sharing. Neither way is right or wrong. They are just different ways of approaching the job at hand. Knowing the pros and cons of each side will help you become more aware of why something is working or not working for you.

      When I found paying bills taking me 2-3 days, I knew something had to change. I re-evaluated and found that I was taking each item in the pile one at a time. So, I was dealing with scheduling a party and then signing up for a class and next paying for the utility bill.

      Once I realized that going from item to item was taking so much time, I readjusted. I sorted all the items into similar tasks. Then I tackled one pile at a time. Whew! That made the process much more efficient which saves me time. 🙂