How our startup boosted productivity with ‘get s*** done’ day

During the pandemic, we realized that we were swamped with work and overloaded with information. So we came up with an idea to fix that.

At Travelpayouts, we plan a strategy for a year, then each team plans iterations for every quarter, and within a quarter, we plan for two weeks ahead. By doing it this way, every day propels the company toward its goals.

However, unexpected challenges and tasks show up in all areas on a daily basis. For example, managers are sometimes overloaded with meetings that affect their productivity. So it is not surprising that some tasks just fall short of deadlines and accumulate over time.

To improve our productivity, we introduced a Getting Shit Done Day (GSDD): Our employees define clear-cut goals and receive specific, usually non-trivial, tasks with little to no communication involved (we encourage our employees to avoid social media on this day, but we are not looking over their shoulder). The goal of GSDD is to increase the amount of time we spend in deep work by minimizing distractions for one day every other week.

After two months of testing the GSDD in our marketing and business development departments, we’ve seen some results. First, long-term projects, which took weeks before, began to wrap up earlier. Second, we were able to explore a few topics that we never got around to: For example, monetizing our own traffic through affiliate programs, effective outreach methods and email marketing best practices.

Thanks to the GSDD, we have also delved into tasks that were otherwise sidelined: