Based on scientific research, business coaches claim that success comes to those who are able to plan their activities, correctly set tasks and clearly understand their goals. These terms are actively used in time management and project management. Any project begins with the statement of goals and setting tasks. But, due to the similarity of wording, these concepts are often confused with each other. Therefore, when starting to work on a project, there are situations when employees do not always understand what is required of them. Let’s try to understand the difference between a goal and a task and how to formulate them correctly. Let’s look at the topic and the main mistakes when formulating goals and setting objectives.
When talking about their goals, people thus have a specific event or object in mind. For example, from the point of view of a young guy, a goal could be buying a car or a prestigious job in a serious company. An end result achieved as a result of some action. The desires and dreams of a person are usually transformed into goals. They can have a material or non-material character. Change over time. But they will always remain the result of work. When we set a goal, we ask ourselves the question: “What do I want?”.
In project management, the goal is a vision of the final result. It is defined at the stage of strategic planning. It can be adjusted in the course of project implementation. It is regulated by management functions.
Tasks are events on the way to achieving a goal. Issues that need to be solved in order to move closer to the cherished dream. Goals and tasks are similar in meaning. But, if the goal is the summit, then tasks are the very steps that must be passed to achieve the desired result.
The quality of teamwork depends on the clarity and literacy of their formulation. Large tasks are divided into subtasks. They are arranged in order by degree of complexity and priority of fulfillment.
Returning to the example of the car, let’s find out what tasks need to be accomplished in order to achieve this goal. If the young person has the necessary amount of money at his/her disposal, he/she only needs to withdraw it from the account and then pay for the purchase. If there is not enough money, the first task on the way to achieving the goal will be to apply for a loan or an income-generating activity.
Objectives do not directly duplicate goals. They are formulated as statements. In terms of importance, they are:
In management, this term refers to actions to produce planned results in a limited amount of time. Tasks broken down into individual steps become a plan. By performing actions within the plan, the performers move step by step closer to the goal.
To understand the difference between a goal and a task, let’s take a simple example from ordinary life:
“Ann is planning to move abroad. She wants to get a job there, live in a beautiful city by the sea and have a family there. Her main goal is a comfortable life by the sea. To do this, she needs to collect documents for the move, organize it, find a job and pick up housing abroad. Gradually accomplishing her tasks, Anna will achieve her main goal”.
Tasks link the individual logical parts of the project. They form a kind of step-by-step instruction, an algorithm that tells how to quickly achieve the desired result. They are connected not only with the goal, but also with each other. In practice, you can use various methods of time management, so the work will become more qualitative and effective.
To correctly separate goals and objectives, the following tips will help:
The correctness of the plan depends on the correctness of the objectives. That is, the speed and success of movement towards the goal.
Successful implementation of goals and objectives requires their correct formulation. They should be realistic, achievable and time-oriented. In order to achieve a goal, it is necessary to foresee its final result.
Strategic, long-term goals are developed first. Then medium-term and short-term goals are developed. There is a need to have an impact on the set goals. Actions and decisions taken to achieve them must not contradict each other. After each stage is completed, it is necessary to check against the plan. Adjust and modify it if necessary. By using flexible approaches to planning, you will be able to move faster and protect yourself and the team from “slippage” when problematic, unforeseen situations arise. A good option is to write the goal on paper or in your phone so you always have it in front of you
Having formulated a goal, it is necessary to think about the resources needed to fulfill it. These resources may be finances, labor, communications or other means. They will be the first tasks on the way to achieving the goal.
Objectives are always concrete actions. Therefore, they should not contain vague wording. The clearer they are, the easier they are to accomplish. Tasks should be formulated with simple verbs, e.g. “to do”, “to buy”, “to prepare”, etc.
Large-scale, serious goals are better broken down into separate parts and accomplished in stages.
When taking the first steps in business planning, managers make a number of mistakes that turn into insurmountable obstacles on the way to achieving goals. These include:
To avoid these mistakes, the goal-setting process should be handled responsibly. Spending enough time working out the individual points of the plan can help to foresee many controversial points that can prevent its successful implementation. In project management, a whole team works on the achievement of goals. Therefore, the head of the organization has the opportunity to competently distribute tasks among his subordinates, delegating some of his responsibilities to them.
Some tasks can be done simultaneously to save time. However, the deadlines set for them must be respected. The overall plan is developed taking into account possible revisions in case of force majeure. To control these processes, it is better to use special software in the form of a CRM-system or task scheduler.
Task Manager LeaderTask is a functional tool for personal and company management that combines the capabilities of a planner, agenda and a full-fledged CRM system. It will help you to put your tasks in order, select the most important and prioritized among them. It will remind you about upcoming events and will not let you lose sight of any task.
The recurring tasks option will simplify your work with regular tasks. You won’t have to spend time writing them down every day. Thanks to the built-in calendar, you can quickly switch between tasks for efficient planning for a day, week, month or other period.
The application is convenient for assigning tasks to executors. You can evaluate the degree of their fulfillment with the help of statuses. The program will timely notify you of new tasks, inform you when an employee will start performing your task.
Using LeaderTask, you can create individual and collaborative projects, giving colleagues access to control the process. The application is suitable for all digital platforms. It integrates with popular services and platforms. Functions effectively in offline mode.
To succeed in business and life, you need to set the right goals and objectives. Examples of many famous companies confirm this fact. Specifics are important for making a profit, for the effective development of a company. Otherwise, it will be difficult for you to determine how correctly and rationally you spend your energies and resources.
If you do not understand the distinction between your goals and objectives before you start the project, analyze your actions at the current stage. Ask yourself questions: what result do you want to achieve and what do you need to do to achieve it? These will be the tasks that require a step-by-step solution.
Do not forget that the goal is the result for which the project is organized, it can be a final product, a tangible object or an intangible form. And tasks are the steps taken to obtain it. A goal always answers the question, “What do you want?”. A task explains what to do to achieve it.
Goals are always more important than objectives. However, they can be more abstract and broad. Objectives are always set for the short term. As a result of achieving the goal, the formed need is satisfied. The main thing is to strive to fulfill each task, it will bring you closer to the goal. Therefore, it is important to analyze your actions at each stage. In time to make the necessary adjustments and correct mistakes.
To achieve what you want, it is important to set achievable, realistic goals for yourself and your company. Divide them into smaller tasks, adding as much descriptive specificity as possible. To analyze and examine tasks within a global goal, they should have measurable metrics. For example, an advertising campaign objective might be to increase the reach of the target audience to 60%. Or informing consumers about the brand’s products in general.
A clear plan of action will help to achieve the goals. Then each performer will be able to perform his part of the work promptly and efficiently. Competent planning will save effort and time. It will allow you to achieve the result with minimal losses.