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Hello, hello, hello! (I feel like I’m really talking to you on here, so please don’t get sick of my silly greetings, k???)
I wanted to make a quick post for you all about a tool that I use both in my business and in my personal life that helps me accomplish SOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!
It’s the simplest thing and I’ve been using it for years…but it’s still such a game changer! Heck, in fact, I am using it right now as we speak!
Let me introduce you to…THE POWER HOUR!
I learned this little productivity hack yearsssssss ago when I was in my first direct sales business and I have leaned on this technique to bust out work ever since.
The biggest reason why people are not productive is because THEY DON’T THINK THEY HAVE ENOUGH TIME.
We build tasks up in our head to take hours and hours of time, where in reality, if we could set a certain amount of time that we would hone in and get laser-focused on a task, I guarantee we could get them done in much less time than we think. (In fact, I KNOW this is true because my time management techniques, including this one, prove time and time again that it’s not about how much time you have, but how you spend it!)
I’ve also heard the idea that we in fact always have enough time for what we need to do, as we essentially morph time to fit our needs. Let me give you an example:
When you typically clean your house, it can take all day long, especially if it’s Sunday and you have no where to be and no one is coming over. There is no rush. You take all day to do your chores.
Now…let’s pretend your mother-in-law, or grandma, or someone that you really want to impress with your clean house last minute calls you and says they are coming over and will be there in 10 minutes…
All the sudden, you are the most efficient cleaner in the world. You should win an award for speed cleaning. The house is spotless and you got it all done in 9 minutes FLAT.
Now why does it work this way? How can you be so efficient in some circumstances and so…not…in others?
It all comes down to focus, intention and urgency.
So that is exactly what the power hour technique helps you create:
Focus, intention and urgency.
Let me show you how to POWER HOUR
I recommend starting out with your list of to-do’s for the day. We’ll use mine.
So the first thing that I do is select tasks from my to-do list that I want to start on first (ideally, the top priorities go first in the case that you do run out of time for the day.)
Here is the list I extracted from this longer to-do list (PS. This is my FAVORITE PLANNER–The Write Planner!! Every day has a two page spread! Get yours here and use code SarahC10 for 10% off!) I also love my erasable pens for when plans change or I make a mistake (which is often, lol!)
Ok…so the idea of a power hour is to focus on 4 different POWERFUL tasks that would move your business forward and to break those tasks up into 15 minute chunks.
In this list, I did that exactly. I have four very powerful tasks that need to be done to move the needle in my business today. So I split those into 15 minute chunks.
What do I do from here?
What to do next is really as simple as setting a timer and working on the different tasks until the 15 minute timer runs out, then setting another timer and moving to the next task.
However…I’m sure you have some questions about this…like…
What if I need more than 15 minutes?!
There is a good chance that some of these tasks will require more than fifteen minutes. In fact, that would make sense, as some of these subcategories are probably larger projects in your business. In this case, you have a few options.
The first thing you could do is chunk your longer to-do list from one of these subtopics down into smaller bite-size action steps. (Like for example, my first 15 minutes above goes to my launch. There is a long to-do list for that, but I know what needs to be done, and I am breaking that longer list down in terms of priority.)
Essentially, if you break down your bigger to-do list for a certain list, you will revisit that bigger task at later power hours. So if you were to do a power hour every day of the week (which I totally recommend!), you could hit the same project for 15 minutes in every hour that week.
I know 15 minutes doesn’t seem like a lot–but I want to challenge you and ask how productive you are when you let yourself get totally overwhelmed by a project and trying to spend HOURS doing one thing…over breaking it up into consumable chunks?
This is something that I have done for YEARS and helps me even during my biggest projects! In fact, you could even dedicate a whole hour to one specific project and break it up into four chunks of 15 minutes! So many options!
The other thing you can do is this:
You can simply make a 30 minute slot for something that you know will take longer than 15 minutes and you want a little bit more solid focus time on. So for this blog, I knew I was going to need more than 15 minutes, so instead of constantly going back to it, I just gave it a bigger slot!
So why do power hours work?
Remember how I made that example of cleaning your house in 10 minutes at record speed?
That’s how power hours work.
Because when you have focus, intention and urgency, you can get super duper productive in any amount of time.
The magic of power hours is that you plan ahead (so you are deciding WHAT exactly you are focusing on before you start) so that you can be focused and intentional.
You also have a deadline since you have a timer going–aka, URGENCY.
It’s brilliant. It’s simple. And it’s change mine and so many other people’s lives!
PS! You can totally do a cleaning power hour! Or a paying bills/admin work power hour! Get creative with this! It doesn’t have to be for business use only…you could even use this at your day job!
So there you have it…8 years later and still my #1 productivity hack!
Feel free to pin, share and save this for future use!