Do you prioritise tasks over people?

My blog discussion came about as I remembered a few years ago, I arrived home from work tired. My daughter was trying to grab my attention and I was on a mission to prepare for the next day. I am one of those women who do as much as possible the night before; clothes hung out, toiletries in bathroom, shoes and coats by the door, lunch packed and in fridge. As I was saying, I could hear my daughter in the background and I tried to engage with her whilst buzzing about the house. Later that day my husband and I were talking and he said;
“It seems that getting work done is more important to you than people”

I replied with a defensive tone;
“No, that is not true”

I reflected on this for a few days and had to accept that it was indeed true. I have a long commute (four hours per day) and on arriving home, I touch base with my children, ensure they are fed and bathed then I focus on preparing for the following day. I have little time in which to get things done so just keep on going.

I am extremely task orientated – unsure where this derived from as my mother, though house proud knows when to give herself a break. Part of this definitely comes from my need to prove myself through the tasks and projects I take on. Clearly an insecurity which I need to deal with.

When one is task driven, they can miss people along the way. They can forget to; connect with others, to stop and smell the roses on a summers day, to enjoy the here and now rather than focussing on what comes next. Behind every project and task lies people with feelings, fears, insecurities, hope and aspirations. Regardless of how busy our day is, we must not lose the essence of connecting with others – stopping what we are doing to give them our full attention.

I now make a conscious effort to engage and it is an effort for me as I am an introvert, happy to be left to get on with my projects in peace. I often step out of my comfort zone by going a little further than I feel to. I am learning to deal with being interrupted at home and in my place of work, to become less irritated when someone “stops my flow” so to speak. Having children has certainly had an influence over my flexibility and adaptability. It is rather difficult (nigh impossible) for parents not to allow an element of flexibility in their lives.

Are you more task focused or people focused?
How do you maintain a balance?