Further thoughts on the weight of tasks

Recently, I stumbled upon a perspective that resonated with me, especially as someone who’s always been intrigued by how we perceive tasks. It’s about the ‘weight’ of a task, not just its duration.

The Emotional and Mental Toll of Tasks

We’ve all been there, right? Some tasks, even if they’re over in a flash, can feel like they’ve taken a chunk out of our day. It’s not always about the minutes ticking by but the emotional and mental energy they demand. This distinction is so vital, and yet, we often overlook it. Everyone, regardless of how their brain is wired, has felt the weight of a task that’s short in duration but feels like an eternity.

Neurodiversity and Our Unique Lenses

For those, like me, with ADHD, Autism, or other neurodivergent conditions, this weight can be felt even more acutely. But here’s the thing: it’s not just about these specific conditions. It’s about recognising that we all have unique lenses through which we view the world. And these lenses shape how we experience tasks. Embracing this can lead to more personalised, compassionate approaches to how we manage our days.

A Fresh Take on Agile?

Now, for my tech-savvy friends, here’s a thought. Agile methodologies have revolutionised how we approach tasks, focusing on impact and technical complexity. But what if we added another layer? What if we considered the emotional and mental weight of tasks? It’s not just about making our work environments more humane (though that’s a big win!). It’s about potentially boosting productivity by ensuring our teams aren’t feeling swamped, even if the task list seems manageable.

Universal Benefits, Personal Touch

While this idea sparked from the experiences of someone with ADHD and Autism, I genuinely believe it’s a universal gem. We’ve all had those days when a simple task feels like climbing a mountain. Recognising this, giving it a name, and planning around it can be transformative. It’s like having a secret weapon in our productivity arsenal.

Riding the Waves of Our Energy

One of my favourite takeaways? The idea of aligning tasks with our energy peaks. Think about it. For me in particular, some parts of our day are bursting with energy, whilst others feel like we’re trying to ice skate uphill. Why not match our tasks to these rhythms? It’s not just about managing time but managing energy. And trust me, it’s a game-changer.


Tasks are more than items on a to-do list or minutes on a clock. They carry weight, and recognising this weight can offer a fresh, intuitive way to navigate our days. So, the next time you’re jotting down your tasks, give a thought to their weight. It might just be the perspective shift you didn’t know you needed.

This post was written by James Kindred

Oh, hey! I’m James Kindred - a graphic designer in Suffolk, UK, and I run Fork: a creative consultancy for start-ups and scaling brands. With over 25 years of experience, I work with start-up and scale-up brands to develop their identity, collateral and brand strategy.

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