Are you time or task oriented?

Time or Task? by Ann Vertel

When you plan your booking calls, which of these two scenarios makes you queasy?

1. Call twenty people.
2. Call until you book two classes.
3. Make calls for one hour.

If you said #1 and #2 make you uncomfortable you are probably “time oriented.”
If #3 made you uncomfortable, you are probably “task oriented.”

Honoring your orientation will bring you greater results.

If you are task oriented, you prefer to work on a project until it is complete – calls, filing, cleaning, doing inventory, etc. The downside of this is you may become overwhelmed because a task seems too big. For example, the very thought of organizing your office may send you screaming because you believe once you start the work you must complete it. Task oriented people need to break larger tasks down into smaller ones. Where organizing your office may seem too huge, filing one stack of papers, stocking one shelf of inventory, or answering twenty emails might seem just right. Chunk down the task to manageable bites.

If you are time oriented, you prefer to work on a project for a set period of time, whether you finish it or not. This means you make calls, file, clean, do inventory for a set amount of time, such as half an hour, then move on to another timed task. The downside of this is you may not actually finish what needs to be finished. However, if you work on the project in set time spans you will eventually finish if you keep coming back to it. I read a great example of this, used to clean your house, from Marla Cilley, The Fly Lady, in her wonderful book “Sink Reflections.” (You can find Marla at She said to set a timer, clean a room for 15 minutes, then move to the next room and reset the timer. It works wonderfully for time oriented people.

Approach your work with the style that suits YOU. The point is to get your work DONE.

Ann VertelAnn Vertel, MA, CPBA
Marketing Consultant and Business Development Coach

You may copy this article if credit is given to



Filed under Goal Setting, Helpful Articles, Real life answers, Time Management

15 responses to “Are you time or task oriented?

  1. Colleen

    Call until you book two classes because you feel like
    if you get one are almost there but if you
    dont get a second one you get mad. Its different if you call and can book five it doesnt feel so bad if you have two to three that hold

  2. I am very task oriented. If I decide to clean my house it takes all day because I go room by room until it is completely clean. So if I am in a hurry I do the time thing, just giving myself certain amount of time for each task.

  3. Debra Leonard

    I am task oriented. The book 2 scares me because that means I have to actually reach people. I can make 20 calls if I have the names to call.

  4. Pingback: " » Forgiving Business" -

  5. pinkmomof3

    I am definitely time oriented—especially when considering that a timer is currently sitting on my desk-courtesy of flylady! I clean my home, work my business, and run my errands all in timed increments! Isn’t that funny! However, if a task has a deadline and needs to be finished, I work my time backwards in order to calculate the approximate amount of time needed to complete a task. If necessary, I kick into task orientation in order to finish!

  6. fadingpink

    HELP! I wish I could answer this with one of the choices given. For the past few months, I have been no task oriented and last minute oriented! Any one want to give me a firm kick in the rear to get me going?? Or better yet, some constructive ideas how to get my mojo working again? All help will be deeply appreciated by not only me but my creditors!

  7. LOL! Last minute oriented! I can relate to that!

    Here is what I do, set a goal, such as get 3 fishbowls out this week. I set time in my mind or on my calendar to work on it. I work on that when I can until I reach the goal. Then I reward myself somehow. Ice cream cone anyone? šŸ™‚

  8. My new boss introduced me to the company core team as “very task oriented” and it made me wonder whether that was a bad or good thing. Somehow I thought that being task-oriented was bad because one should be “project oriented” …? I know, I know …

    Thank you! for this insight. Now I know that I AM task-oriented – I can’t start something if I think I don’t have enough time to finish it. SO many things get left un-done because of this. I am slowly beginning to understand the concept of breaking a large task into smaller bits. And now I have the positive re-enforcement from your article.


  9. I have to say this is the second time I have come across your website and I am lovin it! I added your website to my rss reader. Looking forward to see more posts!

  10. kezha

    I’m extremely task oriented guy and so I’m really struggling with my colleagues cos a lot of them are easy going people…. Any insights and inputs will be deeply appreciated….

  11. Yi-Hui

    Your article was simple yet enlightening. Thanks!
    I have added your site onto my RSS feed

  12. super thank you for this info

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    Can someone else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them too?

    This may be a issue with my internet browser because I’ve had this happen previously. Thank you

  14. An interesting discussion is definitely worth comment.
    I do believe that you ought to write more about this issue, it may not be a
    taboo matter but generally people don’t speak about these issues. To the next! Kind regards!!

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