I've been thinking about that phrase "on task" recently, particularly on the days when I am tired from an overnight shift or overwhelmed by the number of plates I seem to be spinning. After all the times I have railed against "on task" as a good measure of achievement, I find myself wondering--is staying on task sometimes the only, if not the best--thing you can do?
When I come from an overnight, there are plenty of things to be accomplished, but perhaps "on task" really means sleeping and letting everything else go.
On days when one of my kids has a show or a game, there may be many directions that need to be followed, but perhaps "on task" really means showing up and cheering with abandon.
At times when someone in my life is stuck or struggling, there may be rooms to clean and bills to pay, but perhaps "on task" really means setting aside the rooms and the bills and offering my full attention to the stuck and the struggling.
I don't think I have completely changed my feeling that "on task" is just not enough. But sometimes, perhaps being "on task" is simply about focusing on what needs the focus right now. There is always time to do more. But in some moments, showing up and being "on task" is, perhaps, exactly what the situation needs.