Task vs. Project Management: Which do you need?

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Everyone I talk to in business today is busy. Even as things have slowed down in physical office locations, technology has allowed us to stay connected to continue to get work done. Add in video meetings with business colleagues, friends, family, doctors, and school teachers and it seems we really haven’t slowed down much. This is a lot to manage. And fewer meetings face-to-face means we need to have a way to keep everything in order. Being techy, we love to use apps and software to track our time and manage our tasks. That’s where task management and project management apps come in handy. But with so many aspects of life to manage, and so many choices in apps, how do we choose the right app for the right situation?

It starts with knowing “what” we need to manage.

Sometimes, it’s easy to lump all things that need managing into a large group and dump it all into a task management app, but as you might have guessed, that isn’t the most efficient way to manage your tasks and projects. To gain a better understanding of what you can do to optimize management of tasks and projects, let’s look at each—tasks vs projects—and distinguish the differences from the similarities to see how our favorite apps can help to maximize our productivity. If you remember from my blog post Effectiveness and Efficiency – The Secret Ingredients of Productivity, “We all seem to be searching for better ways to get things done so we can have more time and still be productive. When we decide to focus on increasing productivity, there are two other words we need to consider to help us get the most out of optimizing our performance. These words are effectiveness and efficiency.” The definition for efficiency is a measure of how well you perform a task with the least waste of resources. Effectiveness is the degree to which you are successful in producing a desired result. And efficiency + effectiveness = productivity. This is what we want to maximize when managing tasks or projects to get the best result with the least amount of effort, frustration, resources. We look for task management apps to help us manage our days so we can ultimately be more productive. We want our projects to go smoothly and give us more time in the end. Understanding the nature of what you want to want to accomplish, and the best tools to use, will help you manage tasks and projects with more efficiency and effectiveness, resulting in greater output of your desired outcomes! Wow, just look at how these concepts all tie together!

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