I have learned by experience that a cluttered or too large ‘My Tasks’ list leads to stress, procrastination, loss of focus and loss of motivation.
Yet, I have about 20+ standing recurring tasks that are due over various intervals - weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually.
There is nothing more disheartening in task management than to complete a task just to watch it regenerate right before your eyes for the next due date. Yet, that is default behavior in Asana.
The better choice is for a Recurring Task to automatically appear in your ‘My Tasks’ or other Active Tasks list only when it needs to be attended to and not show up again until the next time it needs attention.
I have created an Asana plug-in to do just that.
The Asana plug-in keeps my Recurring Tasks in an ignored project and then moves any ‘due soon’ tasks to my active task list when it needs attention.
The plug-in is very flexible and customize-able on how/when/where each type of task will show up.
I have been using it and refining it for a few months and it makes managing these ‘maintenance tasks’ much less onerous and keeps me from procrastinating on them.
I want to release this plug-in publicly via the Asana Plugins page. I need a few ‘Beta’ users to work out any final issues or usability problems before a wider release in the Asana Plug-ins. Contact me via this link to provide access to the tool
If you go to your profile settings > hacks, there is a toggle to have recurring tasks recur in the last section of My Tasks. Usually that’s the Later section, and it is usually closed with a rule to auto-promote things. I believe that’s the piece you were missing!
Hi Bastien. I have that hack turned on already, but that is solving a different problem. I have hundreds of backlog tasks in about 5 main projects. I don’t want them to show up in My Tasks until they are in my next couple of weeks scope of work. Most I move manually as I enter a new phase of a project, some are recurring tasks that i want to show up automatically.
i used to manually manage my tasks by moving them into an ‘Active Tasks’ project. Now I use ‘My Tasks’, but I don’t assign a task to myself until it is in the next couple of weeks of work scope. That keeps my ‘My Tasks’ list relevant, timely and not distracting.
The Recur-Mgr plug in can do either one of these approaches, depending on a user’s work flow. Without it, lots of ‘not due yet’ tasks will clutter a users ‘active project’ or My Tasks…
Hi Larry. Thanks for the pointer and the feedback.
Everyone has a different way of using Asana to organize their work and life. The community claims to have 60K users. For me, not assigning the several hundred tasks in my Projects backlog to myself is way simpler than trying to keep everything that I don’t want to see for weeks and months stuffed into a Mega-section on the My Tasks list. This allows me to sleep at night and get out of bed in the morning.
My system works very well for me after decades of fighting work distraction, overwhelm and decision fatigue. Everyone has tweaks on their Asana system that works for them. I am hoping that there are other users that my plug-in will help reduce their stress.
As for using My Tasks for everything: What if you accidentally clicked that ‘Later’ triangle in the List view when the App gets slow? I shudder to think of what would happen to my mental health if that Pandora’s box was opened. Hundreds of backlog items suddenly appearing in front of my eyes! Depending on the day, I might have to go close my eye in a corner for a while
I found success from overload by strictly applying some Kanban rules - only the currently relevant stuff is visible so I stay focused right now. I don’t want any ‘triangles of doom’ wrecking my focus. I deal with currently relevant backlogged tasks once a week when I am mentally ready to make hard decisions about what I can and cannot do when I plan my next week.
Recur-Mgr is one of many Asana hacks and plug-ins I use to keep focus. It lets me setup multiple rules to move in multiple types of timely recurring tasks to my ‘Inbox’ in each project and optionally add it to My Tasks if desired: