How do we measure work? Tasks. We break down projects into tasks, we make task lists, and we create tasks just mark them complete.

I’m guilty of that last one. But it’s ok. Completing tasks feels good. A fully crossed off task list is very satisfying.

There are a thousand task managers on the internet.

And maybe we’re all wrong. The attached article from the Basecamp team asks if we should think about tasks or outcomes. Should we change our thinking?

We get paid for outcomes. We complete tasks for the sake of generating outcomes. If that’s true, then why do we still focus on tasks?

Your spouse doesn’t care you bought new tires. The want isn’t for new tires. It’s for a car that will drive as expected. Buy tires was the task. The outcome was much more involved.

Tomorrow, try thinking about your work as a path to an outcome. Is the thing yours working on getting you to the desired outcome? If not, maybe change course.

Delegate outcomes, not activities.