Asana tip: How to organise your daily “My Tasks” to-do list

Reading Time: 3 minutes

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you see a huge to-do list on your “My Tasks” page. With everything competing for your attention, it’s hard to focus on the most important work.

The answer?

✅ Ensure your “My Tasks” list only displays what you plan to work on today. Hide everything else from view.

If you’re not working on it today, you don’t need to see it.

My clients often tell me that getting just this one thing right was a complete game-changer.

Here’s how to do it

Asana cleverly pulls all your tasks into one place called “My Tasks”. Think of this screen as “Everything you need to do”.

Here, you will see four sections:

  1. Recently Assigned (ALL new tasks)
  2. Today (Doing today)
  3. Upcoming (Doing in the next 7 days)
  4. Later (Everything else)

These sections represent when you’re planning to do tasks – not necessarily when they are “due”. Due dates are deadlines.

For example, you may have a task with a target due date of next week – but that you’ve decided to work on today. This is particularly common for large tasks that take place over many days.

Alternatively, you may have dedicated some time today to work on a task that has been overdue for a while.

How to use the “Recently Assigned” section

Attempting to concentrate on more than one thing decreases your productivity by up to 40%. So when you’re in flow, you need a simple way to capture ideas and tasks. This way, you can forget about them and refocus on the task at hand.

By dumping these ideas into Asana, you can be sure that you won’t forget about them. Why? Because every new task assigned to you shows up in your “Recently Assigned” section.

Here’s what it looks like:

Screenshot of Asana's “My Tasks” page showing the “Recently Assigned” section and some example tasks

There is only one purpose for this section: Triage.

Move every task that lands in this section to one of the other three.

To do this, ask yourself:

  1. Will I work on this today?
  2. Sometime in the next 7 days?
  3. Or sometime in the future?

Once you know the answer, move the task to that section. To do this, hover over the task name and click the icon to the right.

Screenshot showing how to mark Asana tasks for today, upcoming or later.

⚠️ Important. Aim to clear out your “Recently Assigned” section at least daily. Do this first thing in the morning or the night before.

📋 Note: Once the “Recently Assigned” section is empty, it is hidden from view.

How to use the “Today” section

Next, look through your “Today” section. If you have lots of tasks due today, narrow it down to your most important few tasks. Move the rest to the “Upcoming” section.

Using the example above, here’s how that might look:

Screenshot of Asana's 'My Tasks' page with tasks moved into the today and upcoming sections.

I like to use the 1-3-5 method as a framework for deciding what to keep:

  • 1x big task (deep work)
  • 3x medium tasks (15 to 60 mins each)
  • 5x small tasks (1 or 5 minutes each)

📝 Note: The time increments above are based on my method of using Time Estimate Tags.

Should you adhere rigidly to the 1-3-5 method? No. Think of it as a useful guide. Some days may allow for two long Deep Work sessions. Others may not allow for even one.

Don’t worry about limiting the number of tasks in your “Today” section. If you get through the whole list, great! Move some more into view from the “Upcoming” section. The point is to be intentional about how you prioritise your time and workload.

Once you’ve done all this, collapse all the sections you don’t need to see by clicking the little black arrow to the left. This will leave you with only today’s tasks visible, so you can focus on what’s important.

…like this:

Screenshot of Asana's 'My Tasks' page with only the today section expanded.

Better, right?

The end result

Once you’ve finished your daily planning session, your “My Tasks” list should look like this:

  • Recently Assigned: Empty, thus hidden from view.
  • Today: Your top 5 to 10 most important tasks for today, visible.
  • Upcoming: Collapsed/not visible
  • Later: Collapsed/not visible

Hello, headspace!

Give it a go.

Dave J Mason
Solutions Partner
How to organise your daily “My Tasks” to-do list

Like this? Want more?

Read one more tip every day…

Asana is an incredibly flexible and powerful tool. But there are many features and best practices to learn. Subscribe now to receive one new idea daily. Each email takes only about 60 seconds to read.

Daily tips & tricks emails

Simple and effective tactics, delivered daily.

  • Which contact referred them?
  • Which email in the series did they refer from
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Asana Tips

How to easily brain dump tasks into Asana

How to easily brain dump tasks into Asana

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 happens usually happens: We make a mental...

read more
How to set important task deadlines.

How to set important task deadlines.

There’s no stress quite like the frantic rush to hit a looming deadline. But panic-stricken working doesn’t have to be the status quo. A little extra consideration when setting due dates can go a long way to help plan your work schedule. First of all, always build in...

read more
How to plan your day based on required effort

How to plan your day based on required effort

Setting realistic expectations is critical when planning and prioritising your day's work. It's particularly important to consider the time/effort required to complete each task. At a glance, to-do lists have no clear way to distinguish effort. Without closer...

read more
How to ensure task transparency

How to ensure task transparency

Collaboration flourishes when work is visible and accessible. Nothing kills productivity and collaboration quite like teams working in silos. If your team can’t see your work: Nobody will know how busy you are.Or what you’ve been working on.It will make collaboration...

read more
Why every task needs ONE owner

Why every task needs ONE owner

Unless a task is “owned” by somebody, it’s very unlikely to get done. For that reason… Assign every task/project ONE owner. Asana calls this person the “assignee”. …but many people can work on the same task, right? So why only one owner?  Apple famously coined...

read more
How to write meaningful task titles

How to write meaningful task titles

Your task list is probably pretty big. So it helps if it’s not confusing to look at. If you want an easier life… Give your tasks a name that will make sense to other people and your future self. This will save you countless headaches and help to overcome inertia,...

read more

See how I can help.
Book a discovery call.