Get More Done with a Power Hour
Power hour is one of those terms that people love to say. It rolls off the tongue, it rhymes, and it sounds important. Unfortunately, most of the time someone is talking about a power hour, they are sitting down with someone (usually their boss), and going over boring concepts and ideas. Fortunately that is not at all what I am talking about in this post.
Most people want to be more productive with their day. While it’s easy to skip the TV, shorten meals, and remove those types of distractions, it is far harder to keep on task while you’re working. Keep reading to learn how a power hour can make you far more productive during the day.
What is a Power Hour?
Simply put, a power hour is a block of time set aside to power through the important things that you need to get done during the day. It isn’t necessarily exactly one hour, although that seems to be the ideal time for working.
A power hour can occur at any point during the day.
How to Set up Your Power Hour
There isn’t a whole lot of prep work that goes into a power hour, but it does come down to some finely detailed scheduling, and being acutely aware of how you work and how productive you are. A power hour is something that can’t really be scheduled days in advance, but actually relies on your waning interest.
As you are working throughout the day, you notice that distractions are popping up more and more. You start to check Facebook more often, you suddenly “remember” that thing you wanted to Google, you think exercising during the day is a good idea so you walk around the building… in essence, you’re not getting as much done as you should. It’s time for a power hour.
As soon as you notice that you’re goofing off more than you’re working, the timer has started. You now have 10 minutes to get all of your distractions out of the way. Send that text you were thinking of, scroll through your Facebook feed, browse the latest eBay or Amazon items one last time, and then close it all down at 9 minutes.
That last minute before your power hour is to set up everything that you need to work for an hour without distractions. Personally, I find that making a short list is the best way to do that.
When your power hour starts, you resist all the urges to goof off or give in to any temptations and distractions. That means no using the bathroom, no scrolling Facebook, and no productive distractions like checking email. This hour is the time to pound through the work that you have, and get more done in an hour than you have all morning.
There are two ways to end your power hour. First, you get through your list of work items. Ideally the list will be comprised of items that you know roughly how long they will take, so you come close to an hour. The other way to end your power hour is to hit a one-hour mark (or 75 minutes, or 65, or 80, whichever you have predetermined).
When your power hour is over, then it is time to stand up, go get a drink of water, coffee, tea, or whatever your beverage of choice is, and make yourself stop working for at least 5 minutes, but preferably no more than 10 – 15. This forced break will clear your mind, and let you wrap up any loose ends.
Why Does a Power Hour Work?
As humans we have limited abilities to focus. Call it an evolutionary bi-product if you will, but think back to prehistoric periods. If you were so intently focused on sharpening your stick to hunt the saber tooth tiger, that same saber tooth tiger could sneak up on you and turn you into a meal. So we have had to develop methods of not focusing ALL of our energy and attention on one item.
That distribution of focus is not as needed anymore since we live in relative safety. But our minds still want to make sure they at least have a certain grasp of what is going on around us, even if there is no real threat.
The power hour turns off (as much as possible) that inability to focus. We have to make a conscious decision to focus on the work, ignore distractions, and for the next 60 minutes we get more done that we have all day.
Keep in mind, a power hour takes practice. You can’t think about not having distractions, because those distractions are suddenly there. You have to practice thinking about your task, and thinking about your work, and the next thing you know the distractions are no longer distractions.
Power Hours Work for Any Task
It doesn’t matter if you’re an internet marketer from Billings, Montana, a content writer, a web designer, a rodeo clown, a road construction worker, or a retail worker; the power hour works if you employ it.
Take an hour from each day, and do a power hour. At the end of the week see how much more you have accomplished.