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Tasks are pieces of work that are assigned to you that you don't necessarily want to have on your calendar. For example, if you know that you need to spend three hours today editing a proposal, I put that on my calendar because you really need those three hours and you don't want somebody else bothering you during that time. So you're going to block that time on your calendars and appointment time with yourself. But if I have a deadline to review something two weeks from now or if I need to make sure that I have something done that doesn't require huge amounts of time, but I just need to get it on a list, that's a task.
Now if you want to spent some time understanding more how tasks and calendar appointments relate and how you might best use OWA in order to enforce the rules around that and help yourself speed up your work life, I would recommend a time management course that's in the lynda.com library. But let's just suffice it to say if it takes time during your workday and you need other people to leave you alone for that time, you want to put it on your calendar. If it's a deadline you want put it on your calendar like a hard deadline. But if it's just something that you need to track for right now; either it's a long way out on the horizon or it doesn't take time it's a small thing, that's a task.
So for example, a great example of a task is that I need to fill out my expense report. I'm just going to put expense report, its all I need to put. Its due actually on the day after the end of the month, so it's going to be due on the first. I'm okay either not having a different start date or I could say I'm going to start it on the 28th. A task has a status: not started, you're working on it, it's done, waiting on others, or deferred; deferred simply means not right now it just became a non-priority.
So not started is the default. There are three different priorities: normal is I need to get this done when I said I would; high is I need to get this done when I said I would really, really need to get this done when I say I would; and low priority as if this doesn't get done it's okay. So I set a priority so that I can decide when I don't have enough time in my work week what I focus on and that should be the items that are high-priority. You want to make sure there are items that are high-priority for you, not simply items that are high-priority because there someone else's priorities.
You need to be able to manage your own time. Date completed is None, because this isn't done yet, and the % complete is 0 because it's not started, but I have these ways of saying, oh I'm about a quarter done or half done or so on. If I want to be reminded about this, I need to set a reminder. I'm going to say please remind me about this on the 28th towards the end of the day, so I start gathering my expenses maybe three in the afternoon. This is other information that I can track: about, how much time I spent, about any billing hours and other items and this is actually to allow me to enter information that could then be summarized someplace else. For example in a project plan.
If I want to put an attachment on here I could. If I have an expense report that I am ready to fill out this is a great place to put the template is right here. To go get my expense report for example, we'll just attach to this, just so you can see how that works. This is the survey I filled out earlier in the week. But notice I can put the documents that I need right here, so that I can fill this out really easily. And then this is actually part of finance if I wish. But it's also maybe that's an overstatement that it's finance time. I might want to have a new category that's called paperwork for the things that I need to get done each and every week or each and every month.
We'll just give it a nice gray color and that'll be good. So now I can say, yeah, this is some of my paperwork. There is my new task. It's all set up and I'm going to click Save and Close. And this new task to complete the expense report is added to my list here in a OWA.
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