Asana tip: How to effectively maintain your ongoing to-do list

Reading Time: 2 minutes

One of the best ways to increase focus and productivity is to be intentional about how we spend our time. By deciding ahead of time how we will spend it, we’re more likely to make better use of it. Unfortunately, the more work we have to do, the harder it is to plan.

Huge task lists are what we get when we don’t conduct regular maintenance. When we consistently fail to update and prune them, they become ever more challenging to manage. Everything requires maintenance, and to-do lists are no exception.

The solution is simple:

✅ Plan your day, every day, first thing in the morning before you start work.

This way, you’ll stay on top of things. And fortunately, if all your work lives in Asana – it’s also very easy to do.

Just follow my TORPEDO™ method.

The TORPEDO™ method

(Click the links for more information about each step)

Title

  • Make sure it is specific enough.
  • Start with a verb to make it actionable.
  • Use sentence case for legibility

Owner

  • Are you the right person for this task?
  • Can it / should you delegate it?
  • Who else is collaborating on it?

Rationale (i.e. task description)

  • What actually needs doing?
  • How should it be done?
  • Why does it need to be done?

Project

  • Assign it to the relevant Asana project
  • Create a place to store ad hoc tasks with no discernible home.

Estimated Time

  • Apply a tag to show how long you’ll spend working on it
  • If it requires multiple sittings, how long should each one last?

Due Date

  • When do you plan to have completed it?
  • When do you plan to start work?
  • How often should it recur?

Organise

  • Empty your Recently Assigned section
  • Doing today? Move to Today
  • Doing in the next 7 days? Move to Upcoming
  • Put everything else in Later

Doing this each morning will give you the clarity you need to prioritise effectively. As a result, you’ll find it easier to plan for the day ahead.

The final step (Organise into Today / Upcoming / Later) is perhaps the most crucial of all. By deciding what to say yes to, you’re also deciding what to say no to. This is prioritisation at its core.

Also, batching these decisions into one block each morning has an added benefit. It reduces decision fatigue throughout the day, helping you to be more productive. 

Give it a go!

Dave J Mason
Solutions Partner
How to effectively maintain your ongoing to-do list

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