Too busy? Improve your productivity rhythm.

Many feel that in order to be truly efficient in their work day, they have to be constantly busy–too busy–constantly moving from one thing to another. They try not to waste a single moment in their day.

However, instead of being more productive, these chronically busy people waste a lot of time. The reality? Productivity is more about rhythm than perpetual motion. Watch this video to learn why.

Action Steps:

  1. Think about activities that you perform regularly. Can you schedule them together to reduce switching cost?
  2. If you’re in a highly interruption driven business or career, make a commitment to schedule less activity in your day.
  3. Take a moment to review the rhythm of your business, and decide which times of the day or the week are best for certain activities.
  4. Schedule time for your Most Valuable Activities during the peak personal productivity times of the day.
  5. Share your perspective or ask questions on this page.

Principles to Learn:

  1. Productivity is more about rhythm than perpetual motion.
  2. The 4 tips to developing your own personal productivity rhythm are:
    1. Consider the type of switches that are occurring in your day
    2. Consider how often you are interrupted in an average work day
    3. Consider the business rhythm as a whole
    4. Consider your personal rhythm
  3. Not all switches are created equal. The more drastic the switch, the greater the switching cost.
  4. The more likely you are to be interrupted, the less you’ll be able to schedule in your day.
  5. Every business has natural ebbs and flows, with better times to perform certain tasks.
  6. Every person has a unique physiological rhythm. By harnessing that rhythm you’ll be more productive.


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10 Archived Responses to “Too busy? Improve your productivity rhythm.”

  1. Kyle McNeil says:

    Love it Dave – thanks again for the great tips, and reminder. You’re so right, it’s about rhythm. And also, rhythm is energizing, where as perpetual motion can become exhausting and lifeless.

    • I like how you put that, Kyle: “rhythm is energizing, where as perpetual motion can become exhausting and lifeless.” Can’t say it any better.

      • Kyle McNeil says:

        Thanks Dave. You got me going though, and you DID say many relevant and valuable things. I really appreciate it.

        I liked how you identified parts of the day based on personal physiology, business rhythm etc.

        Morning is a good time for projects (for me). And afternoon phone calls, because I can work out the “post lunch dip”, through conversation — b/c I love talking with people. And it was only now, because of your video that this became crystal clear!

        Thanks 🙂

  2. Great succinct post, love the video, the formatting of the content, delivered in a very “S” or sensory way. Great material, that is also very usable!!!

  3. Great comments about rhythm. I find I am much more productive at certain times of day for certain tasks. Thanks for the advice!

  4. Great post! I like your natural conclusion about interruptions. I have worked from home a majority of the time and the interruptions are also natural from children etc. As I now transition to an office I find that there are still interruptions. You reminded me to diagnose where and when they come, so even though there are less in-person interruptions they can still be significant at certain times of day. Good to keep the scheduling to a minimum at those times. Thanks.

  5. Thanks DAVE! Great thought and video! We just simply use  a time tracking service to maximize our productivity and keep everybody in the payroll  department happy due to ease of integration!

    Great video and tips!