Five Ways to Reduce Stress and Get More DoneWe all have someone like this in our lives: The person who is constantly late, scattered, disorganized, and in general chaos.

Perhaps you are that person; maybe not. One thing is certain, ever-increasing demands in our personal and professional lives mean it never calms down.

We are constantly busy and can never get enough done. Some people are able to manage stress better than others. They remain calm; always seem in charge of all the myriad details; and get huge amounts of work done.

How do they do it?

How to Reduce Stress and Get More Done

It would be impossible to include an exhaustive list of ideas, but here are five ways to maintain order and calm in your life.

  • Disconnect. Everyone needs downtime to recharge and let the brain idle. Take time to do this. Read Getting Things Done to help do this. Author David Allen will show you how to master stress-free productivity by suggesting ways to organize all your to-do’s. When you know your lists are all organized, and nothing is slipping through the cracks, you can relax your brain and spend quality time with loved-ones and friends, or think about big ideas.
  • Try Evernote. Evernote is an app whose mission is to be your “external brain.” The Secret Weapon will show you exactly how to set up Evernote to execute the ideas in Getting Things Done. You can organize all the open loops in your life allowing you to liberate the brain from the chaos.
  • Track your time. If you are in the service industry, you already do this. In her article in OpenForum, Bruna Martinuzzi suggests adding a billable rate to your time even if you don’t have one. Track all your time as you would track a budget. This allows you to see how much you are spending on social networks, for example and helps you to analyze how you can better structure your day. With this information, you can calculate a return on the various tasks you handle. Ask yourself if you are the best person to do a specific task or if should you be delegating. If it’s not producing a return, get rid of it, or delegate.
  • Don’t try to multi-task. Focus on one project at a time for about 90 to 120 minutes. Turn off all distractions and get that project done. During the break, check emails and social networks then move on to your next project. This idea is based on Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time in the Harvard Business Review. It concludes that you get more done if you structure your time and remain focused; otherwise projects take much longer, and you waste the day in reactive mode.
  • No more brain picking. You’ll get many requests to have coffee and pick your brain. It’s not easy to say no because most of us want to help friends and colleagues; and mentor younger professionals. Allocate the time you have available to do this wisely, and start saying no when you’ve hit that limit. Or, refer them to someone else within your organization.

Living in constant stress is exhausting, isn’t it? It’s bad for your health as well as your productivity. By introducing new habits, we can slowly start to get more things done, and most importantly, spend more time doing what we love in both work and personal lives.

What are some things you do to bring the heart rate down on a daily basis?