Tasks vs Duties: Difference and Comparison

Tasks and duties are two different nouns with totally different meanings. A task is a piece of work that is done as part of one’s duty that is included in it; while duties are something that someone is obliged or obligated to do, it binds a person morally.

Key Takeaways

  1. Tasks refer to the specific activities or actions a person needs to perform to achieve a particular goal. In contrast, duties are the obligations or responsibilities of an individual in a job or position.
  2. Tasks are often time-bound and measurable, while duties are more general and relate to broader responsibilities.
  3. Tasks are delegated to individuals, while duties are often inherent in a person’s job description and cannot be delegated.

Tasks vs Duties

A task is a component of a responsibility that has been delegated to a person by another party for completion within a specific time frame. While duty is a moral obligation that renders a person accountable for doing specific activities that are under their purview. Duties are generally long-term.

Tasks vs Duties

Generally speaking, a task is something that a person is assigned or has been asked to do by others, and that is needed to be done for some practical or logical reason till the given period.

A task can be as easy as a chore like cooking, cleaning, or laundry and as challenging as writing an essay or sending invitations.


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While duty, on the other hand, is something a person is supposed to do as that is the right and the critical thing to do, it is something that a person is morally obliged and obligated to by himself. In contrast, duty is a moral obligation. Like if you are a parent, you must raise your children fine.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonTasksDuties
MeaningIt is part of duty itself and has been assigned to a person by another person to complete it in a given period.It binds people morally and obligates them to certain things that are their responsibility.
SpecificationTasks are more specific as the person knows what he has to do and at what time.Duties are assumed to be in general and are pretty similar to responsibility.
PeriodTasks have a specific and limited period in which it has to be completed.Duties are assumed to be a long-term assessment and not for a specific period.
PartA task is generally a part of a job or an assignment.Duty is not part of a job or anything, and it is something that a person is obliged to do.
ExampleIf you are a cashier at a store, your daily task is to maintain the logbook and manage the cash.As a teacher, you must ensure all your students do well in their exams.

What are Tasks?

A task is an activity that needs to be accomplished within a specific or given period. A job can be divided into assignments with a defined start and an end.

It is part of duty itself and has been assigned to a person by another person to complete it in a given period of time.

Generally, task completion requires coordinating others and integrating time, energy, effort, ability, and resources. Simply put, a task is work assigned to a person with a specific deadline or a period to finish it. It is mainly the detailed work that needs to be done.

It can be a duty or a chore. To task, someone is like to drain or use someone’s resources or assign them to do a specific job.

An example of a task is- You asked Rachel to do the laundry till evening.


What are Duties?

A duty is a commitment to someone or yourself or an expectation to perform some activity in general or when a particular situation arises. It can be raised from some ethics or a system of basic morality. 

Many duties are created by the law, too, that are mentioned n the law in a codified way, and citizens are obliged to do those duties. These duties include codified punishments for not following the rules or not performing what is being asked.

This whole act of performing duties may include one’s self-interest or even some sacrifice. According to some Roman philosophers, assignments come from four different sources:

  1. As a result of being human.
  2. As a result of one’s character.
  3. As a result of one’s moral expectations.
  4. And as a result of one’s particular place in their life.

Main Differences Between Tasks and Duties

  1. As from the discussion so far, it is known that the main difference between both the nouns is that task is something a person is assigned or been asked to do for a certain period and maybe even for something in return, While duty, on the other hand, is something that a person is not asked for but is obliged to do as a responsibility in the form of their morality.
  2. The task is a comparatively more minor part of the job that has to be performed within a deadline. And duty is a liability upon an employee to perform or do some specific tasks and roles more like a responsibility.
  3. Once a person engages with duty, or he/she has been entrusted with some duty, then they are committed to it entirely, while the task is for a limited period and the person is supposed to do;y what he/she has been asked for.
  4. They are then involved in those activities without much self-interest. Like a citizen of a country, a person has several duties to perform for which he/she is bound to do, but for tasks, people are involved only for their self-interests.
  5. Tasks are supposed to be more specific for a specific period, but duty is assumed to be general.
Difference Between Tasks and Duties
  1. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1995-03688-001
  2. https://warframetrader.ru/en/dolzhnostnye-i-funkcionalnye-obyazannosti-v-chem-raznica-chem-otlichayutsya/
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