Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Power Hour

I’d like to share with you a simple but incredibly effective strategy that can instantly double your productivity and help you achieve your goals as quickly as possible.

Does the following scenario sound familiar?

It’s 9.30am and you have a lot of work to do so you get started with the best of intentions. After you’ve been working for about 10 minutes, a little envelope appears on your computer screen. You open your email program just to check if it’s anything important. It’s an email from your best friend.


After reading the email and sending a quick reply, you get back to work. Five minutes later, you realize that you’re thirsty so you get a drink and bump into a friend at the drink fountain.

As you get back to your desk the phone rings and you take the call. The caller asks you to email him a report, so you send off the report and notice that your friend has replied to your previous mail. You quickly type a reply to keep the conversation going.

Then your mobile phone beeps to indicate an incoming SMS. It’s a reminder from your spouse about dinner at his/her parents' place. You text him/her a quick reply to assure him/her you haven’t forgotten.

By this time, all that water you drank has kicked in and you need to take a quick bathroom break. When you get back to your desk you notice a small group of people gathered around the adjoining cubicle looking at photos of your colleague’s recent trip to Maui.

When you finally get back to your computer, you realize that somehow an hour has passed and you’ve only spent 15 minutes of that time working on your main task.

As time continues to tick by, your deadline approaches and your stress levels start to rise…

While the details may be different, I’m sure many of you can relate to this story. These day’s there is no end to the distractions that can and do take us away from completing our most important tasks.

So what’s the answer?

The answer is something called the ‘Power Hour’. Here’s how it works:

Whenever you need to get an important task done, simply make the decision to have a ‘Power Hour’ and decide that you will not be distracted by anything during this hour.

Switch your mobile phone to silent
Divert landline calls to operator / voice mail
Turn off your email notification
Make sure that you don’t need to eat, drink, or go to the bathroom
Let people know that you are not to be disturbed for the next hour

Then, get started and give your total undivided attention to the task at hand. Do not pause to check out what people around you are doing or saying.

Just do what you have to do.

To help you with this process you can either take note of your start time on your watch, or if you get into the practice of scheduling regular Power Hours, you can use the timer of your mobile / PDA.

The best part about this strategy is that by working efficiently you complete the work that you need to do in the shortest possible time and minimize the need to work long hours. This in turn allows you to spend more time with the people you love doing the things you really want to do.

Action Steps:
This week, try out the ‘Power Hour’ time management strategy for yourself. You’ll be amazed by what you get done!

5 comments:

  1. Hey how did you get this blog? This was written by Anthony Fernando back in 2006!

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