Sometimes we can gain immense clarity just by defining a few terms. Let’s take a look at “goals” and “tasks”.
Task: (noun) a definite piece of work assigned to, falling to, or expected of a person; duty.
Goal: (noun) the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.
For example, someone could approach me and say, “Evan, I’d like to get my New Hampshire real estate license.” Now, that’s a great goal. However, there are several steps to be taken, tasks that one needs to accomplish in order to realize that particular goal:
-You need a letter of good standing from the state of Massachusetts
-You need a $10 money order to pay for the letter of good standing
-Mail the letter to the state of New Hampshire
-Fill out the application
-Wait for New Hampshire to send you back an application
-Set up the test
-Pass the test
-Send the passing test to the state
You see, the goal is to become a licensed New Hampshire real estate agent, but all these tasks are the things that we do to get to that goal.
I’d like to sell a home, so my tasks are to generate as many leads as I can to sell the home. My goal isn’t to just find a lead today. Tasks are what we do to achieve an ultimate goal. You can use smaller daily goals such as to get the letter out to the Boston Real Estate Commission.
That could be a small daily goal, but the ultimate goal is to be a licensed New Hampshire real estate agent. Tasks are what help you arrive at the bigger goal. A task is a “to do,” a goal is something achieved through the completion of a combination of tasks. The so-called mundane tasks of day-to-day business are dominoes being set into motion so that the end goal can be accomplished.