How to write an effective task

Defining a piece of work (effective task) should consist of at least four parts:

  1. Step
    • A task should start with a verb.
    • The key to structuring a job is to recognise the difference between a single-step and a multi-step task that should be split into multiple single-steps. For example, “Call Bob…” is a single step, while “Decide on best strategy…” is more than one step and should be broken down.
  2. Details
    • Answer the Who, What, Why, When, Where, and How questions.
    • The how is particularly relevant when you are assigning a task to someone else.
  3. Deadlines
    • Determine milestones between now and the ultimate deadline to keep you on track. (Especially if you have a multi-step task)
  4. Context
    • Additional details that help prioritise the task.
    • Covers expected duration, priority, service, anything else that will help decisions as to where this task fits in the bigger picture.

E.g., Write First Draft of Team’s 2018 Final Report” (Due: September 23rd) [Project: Technology Strategy] [Tagged: Writing] [Tagged: 2 Hours] [Tagged: Urgent]


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