For weeks now—ok, months—I have been obsessed with accomplishing a very long list of tasks. And for good reason. With a second baby coming soon and having just moved internationally, there’s been a lot to do. Getting the house unpacked, prepping the nursery, and just keeping up with the daily pace of life has consumed all of my time, energy and focus.
It’s left me little to no time for people. And when I do finally make time, even my conversations are task-oriented: What did you do today? Can you help me get this done?
While all my intentions were good…the reality was I had lost perspective on what really mattered. I had put work ahead of people. Tasks ahead of relationships. And despite my rationalization that getting things done would increase my sense of peace and improve my relationships it was actually doing the opposite. It was hurting them.
It took a troll to finally talk some sense into me.
While watching the movie Trolls with my daughter, we came to the scene were a cloud helps the two main troll characters, Poppy and Branch, choose the right tunnel to get to their desired destination. If they picked the wrong one, it would lead to “certain death.” In exchange for giving them the info they needed, he asked for a high-five. Branch refused.
Poppy responded, “Branch! It’s just a high-five! The others lead to certain death! Get some perspective!”
It was like she was shouting at me. “Get some perspective, Sarah!”
I’m not saying getting things done is a bad thing. Productivity is a good thing and necessary. But when we can only see the tasks for the trees, so to speak, we can easily lose a sense of balance in our lives. It’s people who can speak life into us, encourage us, and love us. Jobs and tasks can’t do that.
At our core, we are relational beings, so it’s important to not neglect that. In life there will always be a task list, so let’s manage our time wisely and choose to make time for the things that really matter—like people and relationships.
And maybe a few more high-fives.