One of my favorite productivity tricks is to keep my main task list uncluttered. When there are just a few tasks in view, my personal task list doesn’t feel so overwhelming and it’s clear what I should work on next.
We have found that one of the big sources of clutter in our “My Tasks” lists are tasks that we can’t work on yet. For example, we have a recurring task to send out a newsletter to our customers. When we send the newsletter and complete the task, we know we’re not going to start working on the next one right after the last one was sent. It would be a lot better to hide that task until it’s closer to the due date.
Today, we’re turning on automatic task promotion for everyone. Now, when you set a due date on a task, it will automatically move into your “Upcoming” and then “Today” sections in your “My Tasks” list as the due-date approaches. With automatic task promotion, you can set all of your far-off tasks for “Later”, and leave them alone without worrying that you’ll forget them when they are almost due. When the task is a week away, it will move up to “Upcoming”, and on the due date it will move into “Today”. And if you use recurring tasks, the new task will automatically appear in the correct section, which is a lot more satisfying than seeing it reappear in place!
If you really want to clean up your task list, you can use due dates to schedule your tasks for the future, even if they’re not technically due on that day. For the Getting Things Done fans, this means you can use Asana as a tickler file.
Have other suggestions for using automatic task promotion? Let us know in the comments!