When we’re in “Deep Work” mode, we can’t afford distractions. But quite inevitably, ideas and thoughts will pop to mind and distract us. We will have ideas, and we will remember something that needs doing.
One of two things usually happens:
We make a mental note and put it to the back of our mind for later so that we can re-focus. Unfortunately, our working memory is terrible. So we promptly forget all about it, and it goes straight to oblivion. We could call it the “I must remember that” technique. It doesn’t work.
Alternatively, we may decide to pause our current activity and switch focus to the new idea. It seems logical to take immediate action while it’s fresh, right? Well, no. This is known as multitasking. It also doesn’t work.
In short, our head makes a terrible office.
✅ Develop the habit of quickly dumping thoughts, ideas and tasks into Asana.
…and nowhere else.
The sooner you can safely capture your ideas, the faster you can re-focus your attention on the task at hand.
Thankfully, Asana makes this very easy, so there’s no excuse not to do it.
How to capture tasks and ideas into Asana
There are at least five great ways to get things out of your head and into Asana as quickly as possible.
- Use the keyboard shortcut
If you’re already in Asana, the TAB + Q shortcut is the Quickest way to add a new task, no matter which project or page you’re on.
- Use the Chrome extension
It’s perfect if you’re not in Asana but still at the computer browsing the web. You can even add the current web page URL with one click.
- Use the Asana mobile app
If you’re not by a computer at all, the chances are you still have one hand and a phone. Add the Asana mobile app to your home screen for quick access.
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re in your email inbox or not logged into Asana, you can still fire off a quick email. It’s functionally the same as creating a new task, just with a different interface. (Tip: Create an email contact called “New Asana Task”.)
- Use Google Assistant / Siri / Alexa
You can even add new ideas while showering, doing the dishes or driving. Simply ask Siri / Google / Alexa to send an email for you as per the above step.
How to process the backlog
Clearly, nothing good will come of dumping ideas and ignoring them. So we need a system for cataloguing and prioritising them so we can put them into action.
The first thing is to understand that all this stuff ends up in the same place. Every new task assigned to you appears in the Recently Assigned section of My Tasks. (If you created it, it’s assigned to you.)
So, when it’s time to plan your day’s work, your entire dump of ideas will be right there waiting there for you.
Try it now. I’m sure if you sit for a few seconds, you can think of a few things you need to do or remember. Dump them into Asana. They’ll be ready and waiting for you at your next daily planning session.
Give it a go!