"I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble."
~ Helen Keller, American Author (1880 - 1968)
Never underestimate the importance of a task. Never underestimate the impact of a task done well.
Some actions may seem like routine or trite movements, and yet a task, when given the right context, often has greater value than the act itself.
A way to consider a task is to think of the following questions:
- What is my Job?
- What is my role?
- What is this task?
- What is the result?
When you are given/assigned a task, you may be asking these questions aloud with another person, or to yourself (or heck, you may ask them aloud to yourself)- whatever works for you to gain energy and relative importance for the outcome.
As you delegate or assign tasks, you can share the four points for effectively communicating the relevance of ask or responsibility by covering those four as statements versus asking the questions.
An example of each is below:
Given the task of a report: As a Project Manager (job), my role is to keep on task and within budget, so this status report (task) will allow us to know where we stand internally and can be a tool for our client, too (result).
Assigning the task of mentoring a new team member: As a Director of Marketing (job), your role is not only to promote the organization (role), it is to groom our up-and-coming leaders, so I am asking you to mentor Tyrek (task) so he will be ready for a promotion within the next 6 months should it go well (result).
Often tasks get quickly dismissed or done with little thought, and with the 4 questions regarding that action, the answers lead us all to a job well done and results that make a difference!