🧠 When overwhelmed, create temporary sub-systems to gain clarity

Every once in a while, the My Tasks view of my account is a complete mess. And the good old « let’s just get my hands dirty and work through it » approach does not work.

When you feel overwhelmed by a task list, and the list is made of many different priorities and sizes, I suggest you create temporary sub-systems to regain clarity.

In my case, that means creating extra temporary sections in My Tasks for example. A section about anything related to website update, one about client invoicing and quotes, another one for tasks that seem secondary. You can add as many sections as needed to regain clarity.

Once the tasks start to be completed and the sections slowly emptying, remove them and go back to your regular system.

Does that make sense?

:fr: Version Française


That can make sense, though ideally it’s avoided with an approach to My Tasks along with a related system if needed (I use a Pending project as well).

But when you go to remove those transient sections, you must decide what to do about the tasks that were in them because you can’t delete those sections with tasks in them, even if all tasks are completed. Asana can either delete them (that loses history so I wouldn’t advocate for that), or move them automatically to the first section in My Tasks (I think that’s what it does), but that could represent a loss of context/information that the absence of the meaningful section name no longer provides.



I don’t agree with the loss of information because in my case sections in My Tasks don’t matter in terms of context. But it could indeed in some cases.

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I agree with you Bastien. In the past weeks I had a bunch of tasks that could be treated as a group so I created a section within My tasks to remove the noise that might interfere with my other projects/tasks. I totally recommend this temporary approach for specific situations. If it had to be permanent then, IMHO, it is a good sign that you are not having the right approach to this specific situation.

Thanks David, means a lot to have your approval!

I have created a section “waiting for reply” in My Tasks. In my line of work I often need information or feedback from colleagues to move on. I tackle this section twice a week an follow up on open replys. It is a permanent section but helps me a lot, because I can see immediately on which tasks I can actually work - and my “today” section is less crowded :grinning:


@Vanessa_Künstler did you consider putting a due date in the future, on the date you’ll want to send a reminder?

@Bastien_Siebman yes, every task in the “waiting for reply” section has a due date. Thus I won’t forget these tasks and leave them forever in this section…

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Hi Bastien,
This is exactly what I do when life gets crazy. I created a section that is called “Next” and it is above my “Today” section. I originally created this because things got hectic and I needed clarity. However, I have now made it a permanent section so I am only looking at tasks I can work on that day.

It is also helpful when reviewing my inbox. As items come up that need my immediate attention, I place the in the “Next” section as well.

I supposed if I performed daily and weekly reviews better, I may not need this section. However, during this season of life, this process provides value for me.

Thanks for sharing!

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I love this approach, will try it out next time I’m overwhelmed😊

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