Discrete vs. Continuous Tasks

Filed under: Management,Personal; Author: Les Bain; Posted: January 31, 2007 at 12:40 am;

Discrete tasks have a beginning and an end: continuous tasks do not.

I am a discrete task person. I use a popular task list program. I add tasks, prioritize the tasks, do the tasks, and then mark the tasks complete. When confronted with a challenge, I automatically start to break it into discrete tasks. If I feel overwhelmed, I focus on the task at hand. Getting a project done is like working with one lego block at a time.

I work with people that seem to find everything a continuous task. Every task is intricately related to every other task. When a task is done, there is no recognition of a task done, just an expression of the next task that needs to be done. It feels like working with a ball of twine, with each piece pulling the next piece in and no celebration of a finished piece.

Everyone works in their own style, but it wears me out to do it the second way. There is no sense of completion. No little break after a finished task, no little celebration.

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