5 Productivity Best Practices to Get More Done with Less Stress

By Jessica Wishart

dateWed, Nov 29, 2017 @ 11:30 AM

 We are rapidly approaching the most wonderful - and busy - time of year. With the holidays how to get more done with less stressand end of year deadlines looming around the corner, many of us are gearing up for a stressful season. Do you wish you and your team could be more productive and simultaneously experience less stress? Does it sound too good to be true? I recently listened to a Vital Smarts webinar on “Getting Things Done: How You and Your Team can Become More Productive and Valuable at Work” that cited research proving there are a few key habits that you can implement to accomplish just that. The research is based on David Allen’s Getting Things Done. According to the research study, people who practice these habits “outperform low performers by 68% and experience less than half the stress." 

Here are the 5 Productivity Best Practices:

  1. Capture
  2. Clarify
  3. Organize
  4. Reflect & Engage
  5. Renew through Review

Let’s take a deeper look at a couple of these best practices and how Rhythm software can help you be a productivity rock star. 


Basically, this comes down to having a method for capturing thoughts and tasks other than keeping them in your brain. Whether it is a great idea you had in the shower or a list of to-dos flying your way during a meeting, you need a place to capture this information rather than relying on your memory. As David Allen says, “Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.” Writing things down helps reduce stress and mental energy and ensures that nothing will fall through the cracks. The recommendation is to have a few “capture tools.” Some of their suggestions include a physical inbox, your email inbox, post-it notes, notebooks, etc. 

If you are a Rhythm software user, you’ve got a fantastic capture tool already. Rhythm is the perfect tool for capturing all of your to-dos in one place. You can put everything coming your way in Rhythm as an Action so that your to-do list is all in one place. If you have a physical note from someone, you can snap a quick picture of it and attach it to the Action in Rhythm, or you can link out to a URL if there’s a website associated with the task. You can use Rhythm to its fullest capacity on your phone or tablet, so it is always right at your fingertips anytime you need to capture an idea (unless, of course, you are in the shower… even then, I guess you could get a waterproof phone case!)

Renew Through Review

The best way to trust that you are working on the right things is to have a weekly review, “a sacred, non-negotiable meeting with yourself focused on your work at hand and your goals and aspirations.” The purpose of this time is to get clarity, update on your achievements, and understand where you currently are on the goals you are working toward. You should also review the connection between your daily work and your higher-level priorities and longer-term goals during this time. 

This recommendation will sound very familiar to Rhythm users. The Weekly Meeting with Myself is also a key component of our Rhythm methodology so that you can plan your week rather than just responding to what comes at you. Each week, we recommend setting aside 15-30 minutes to update the status of each of your KPIs and Priorities (which should all be linked to your team and company’s longer-term goals), update your Action list, collaborate with your team on shared projects, record any client feedback to share with the team, and fill out a Week In Sync note. The Week In Sync note involves thinking about and writing down your victories from the past week, what will make the next week successful, your top priorities for the week ahead, and anything that has you stuck. If you are a Rhythm user, you are already set up for success with this key habit of highly productive people and highly productive weekly meetings

Imagine what you will be able to do with your newly found time, focus, and energy once you master these two simple productivity hacks. Give them a try - what do you have to lose!


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Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images

Jessica Wishart


Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images