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Objective vs. Task: Know the Difference

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By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
An objective is a goal or aim to be achieved, while a task is a specific duty or activity undertaken to achieve a goal.
Objective vs. Task

Key Differences

An objective is a broader goal or target one aims to achieve, contrasting with a task, which is a specific action or duty that contributes to achieving an objective.
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Objectives provide direction and purpose, setting the overall aim, while tasks are the concrete steps taken to reach these objectives.
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In project management, an objective outlines the desired outcome or achievement, whereas a task refers to the individual assignments or activities required to reach that outcome.
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Objectives are often long-term and strategic, embodying the bigger picture, unlike tasks, which are usually short-term and operational in nature.
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The achievement of an objective is typically measured by the successful completion of its associated tasks, highlighting the relationship between the broader goal (objective) and the specific actions (tasks).
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Comparison Chart

Definition

A goal or aim to be achieved
A specific duty or activity
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Scope

Broad and strategic
Narrow and operational
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Duration

Often long-term
Usually short-term
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Role in Planning

Sets the direction and purpose
Implements steps towards the objective
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Measurement of Success

Achieved through completing various tasks
Completion of individual action or duty
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Objective and Task Definitions

Objective

An objective is a specific goal or target.
Our objective is to increase sales by 20% this year.
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Task

A task can be a component of a larger project.
The first task in the renovation is painting the walls.
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Objective

Objective refers to a desired outcome.
The team's objective was to improve customer satisfaction.
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Task

A task can be a routine or regular duty.
One of her tasks is to manage the team's schedule.
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Objective

Objectives are often strategic aims.
The project's main objective is to expand into new markets.
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Task

A task is a specific piece of work.
Completing the report by Friday is my main task.
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Objective

Existing independent of or external to the mind; actual or real
Objective reality.
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Task

Tasks are often actionable items.
His daily task includes checking all inbound emails.
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Objective

Based on observable phenomena; empirical
Objective facts.
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Task

A piece of work assigned or done as part of one's duties.
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Objective

Uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices
An objective critic.
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Task

A difficult or tedious undertaking
Finding qualified people to fill these specialized roles was a real task.
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Objective

A thing or group of things existing independent of the mind.
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Task

A function to be performed; an objective
It is our task to renew consumer confidence.
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Objective

The objective case.
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Task

To assign a task to or impose a task on
The agency was tasked with creating an advertising campaign.
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Objective

A noun or pronoun in the objective case.
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Task

(Archaic) To subject to strain or hardship
"The Professor's household was a modest one, and yet it tasked his ideas to keep it up to his wife's standard" (Edith Wharton).
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Objective

The primary optical element, such as a lens or mirror, in a microscope, camera, telescope, or other optical instrument, that first receives light rays from the object and forms the image. Also called object glass, objective lens, object lens.
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Task

A piece of work done as part of one’s duties.
The employee refused to complete the assignment, arguing that it was not one of the tasks listed in her job description.
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Objective

Of or relating to a material object, actual existence or reality.
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Task

Any piece of work done.
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Objective

Not influenced by the emotions or prejudices.
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Task

A difficult or tedious undertaking.
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Objective

Based on observed facts; without subjective assessment.
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Task

An objective.
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Objective

(grammar) Of, or relating to a noun or pronoun used as the object of a verb.
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Task

(computing) A process or execution of a program.
The user killed the frozen task.
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Objective

Of, or relating to verbal conjugation that indicates the object (patient) of an action. In linguistic descriptions of Tundra Nenets, among others.
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Task

(obsolete) A tax or charge.
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Objective

A material object that physically exists.
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Task

(transitive) To assign a task to, or impose a task on.
On my first day in the office, I was tasked with sorting a pile of invoices.
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Objective

A goal that is striven for.
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Task

(transitive) To oppress with severe or excessive burdens; to tax
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Objective

(grammar) The objective case.
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Task

(transitive) To charge, as with a fault.
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Objective

(grammar) a noun or pronoun in the objective case.
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Task

Labor or study imposed by another, often in a definite quantity or amount.
Ma task of servile toil.
Each morning sees some task begin,Each evening sees it close.
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Objective

The lens or lenses of a camera, microscope, or other optical device closest to the object being examined.
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Task

Business; employment; undertaking; labor.
His mental powers were equal to greater tasks.
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Objective

Of or pertaining to an object.
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Task

To impose a task upon; to assign a definite amount of business, labor, or duty to.
There task thy maids, and exercise the loom.
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Objective

Of or pertaining to an object; contained in, or having the nature or position of, an object; outward; external; extrinsic; - an epithet applied to whatever is exterior to the mind, or which is simply an object of thought or feeling, as opposed to being related to thoughts of feelings, and opposed to subjective.
In the Middle Ages, subject meant substance, and has this sense in Descartes and Spinoza: sometimes, also, in Reid. Subjective is used by William of Occam to denote that which exists independent of mind; objective, what is formed by the mind. This shows what is meant by realitas objectiva in Descartes. Kant and Fichte have inverted the meanings. Subject, with them, is the mind which knows; object, that which is known; subjective, the varying conditions of the knowing mind; objective, that which is in the constant nature of the thing known.
Objective has come to mean that which has independent existence or authority, apart from our experience or thought. Thus, moral law is said to have objective authority, that is, authority belonging to itself, and not drawn from anything in our nature.
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Task

To oppress with severe or excessive burdens; to tax.
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Objective

Unbiased; unprejudiced; fair; uninfluenced by personal feelings or personal interests; considering only the facts of a situation unrelated to the observer; - of judgments, opinions, evaluations, conclusions, reasoning processes.
Objective means that which belongs to, or proceeds from, the object known, and not from the subject knowing, and thus denotes what is real, in opposition to that which is ideal - what exists in nature, in contrast to what exists merely in the thought of the individual.
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Task

To charge; to tax, as with a fault.
Too impudent to task me with those errors.
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Objective

The objective case.
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Task

Any piece of work that is undertaken or attempted;
He prepared for great undertakings
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Objective

The goal intended to be attained (and which is believed to be attainable);
The sole object of her trip was to see her children
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Task

A specific piece of work required to be done as a duty or for a specific fee;
Estimates of the city's loss on that job ranged as high as a million dollars
The job of repairing the engine took several hours
The endless task of classifying the samples
The farmer's morning chores
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Objective

The lens or system of lenses nearest the object being viewed
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Task

Assign a task to;
I tasked him with looking after the children
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Objective

Undistorted by emotion or personal bias; based on observable phenomena;
An objective appraisal
Objective evidence
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Task

Use to the limit;
You are taxing my patience
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Objective

Serving as or indicating the object of a verb or of certain prepositions and used for certain other purposes;
Objective case
Accusative endings
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Task

Task refers to an assigned duty or job.
Her task was to update the client database.
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Objective

Emphasizing or expressing things as perceived without distortion of personal feelings or interpretation;
Objective art
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Objective

Belonging to immediate experience of actual things or events;
Concrete benefits
A concrete example
There is no objective evidence of anything of the kind
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Objective

An objective can be a benchmark for success.
Meeting our quarterly objective is crucial for the company's growth.
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Objective

An objective is a guiding principle for actions.
Our objective is to reduce environmental impact through sustainable practices.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

Are objectives always long-term?

Often, but they can also be short-term, depending on the context.
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What is a task?

A task is a specific duty or activity aimed at achieving a goal.
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What is an objective?

An objective is a goal or aim to be achieved.
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Are tasks independent of objectives?

Tasks are typically aligned with and contribute to objectives.
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Is completing a task equivalent to achieving an objective?

Completing a task contributes to, but does not necessarily equate to, achieving an objective.
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How broad is an objective?

Objectives are generally broad, outlining major goals.
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Can objectives change over time?

Yes, objectives can evolve based on changing circumstances or new information.
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Can a task be part of multiple objectives?

Yes, some tasks can contribute to multiple objectives.
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Can a task become an objective?

In some cases, a task can be elevated to an objective if it grows in scope or importance.
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How do you measure an objective?

Objectives are measured by the successful completion of related tasks and overall progress.
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How detailed should a task be?

Tasks should be specific and clear enough to be actionable.
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Are all tasks equally important?

The importance of tasks varies based on their impact on the overall objective.
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How often should tasks be reviewed?

Tasks should be reviewed regularly to ensure they align with and contribute to objectives.
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Can objectives exist without tasks?

Objectives need tasks for their realization, though they can be set without specific tasks initially.
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Do tasks have deadlines?

Most tasks have specific deadlines for completion.
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How do you prioritize tasks?

Tasks are prioritized based on their urgency, importance, and contribution to the objective.
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Can objectives be too ambitious?

Yes, objectives should be realistic and achievable, though they can be ambitious.
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Can objectives be achieved without completing all tasks?

In some cases, objectives can be achieved even if not all tasks are completed, depending on their significance.
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Who sets objectives?

Objectives can be set by individuals, teams, or organizations, depending on the context.
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Do tasks require specific skills?

Some tasks require specific skills or expertise, while others may be more general.
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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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