We are bombarded with so many tasks throughout the day. It sometimes seem impossible to get everything done. But with focus, determination, and the right productivity hack, we can get our to-do list completed each day. There are so many tools and techniques out there to help us focus—today I’m talking about the Power Hour and bringing you my best tips to help you get a head start on your to-do list.
The Creative Guide To Power Hours
What is a power hour?
A power hour is essentially a set of time you set aside to get tasks done. The idea is to help you hyper-focus for sixty minutes without any distractions, whether you are working on multiple tasks during this time or focusing on one thing the whole time.
What you do in this hour is up to you. Maybe you combine all the small activities together to get them all done at once. Or, you can get a handle on the daily tasks that slow you down, like clearing out your inbox. You can spend an hour focusing on JUST your emails—with the caveat that you won’t be checking your emails again later, so that you can stay focused on the next task.
Are you working on a huge project, like writing a book or creating a course? A daily power hour is a great way to chip away at large projects without feeling like you have to finish the work all in one or two days.
Power hours don’t have to be work-exclusive either. It could be the time you use to grow your mind by reading a book or improving your skills. You could also use this time to prioritize self-care if you are having trouble fitting that into your day. It’s even a great way to get the house clean…set a timer or make a playlist that’s an hour long, and tidy or scrub until the sounds go off!
How do you set up a power hour?
There are a few steps to take in order to have the ultimate power hour. The most important part is the prep-work before your power hour starts. If you aren’t prepared and ready to work, your power hour won’t be successful. This is especially true if you are doing multiple tasks within that one hour.
There are three key steps in prepping for a power hour. Once you’ve done these three steps, you can feel confident that this will be a productive power hour.
- Make a plan: What will you be doing during this power hour? If you are doing multiple tasks this is the place to determine how long you’ll spend on each task.
- Gather Materials: Think of what you will need to get your tasks done. Will you need pens, paper, books, a certain website, or even water and a snack? Get them all near you and ready to go.
- Eliminate possible distractions: This goes for your physical, digital, and mental space.
- Close your office door or put in headphones if you are able to. If you are at home go to a quiet place and choose a time with few distractions.
- Silence your phone, turn off notifications, or set it to “do not disturb” so no calls/texts/pings come through. I like to leave my phone in another room, or on the opposite side of the room to prevent temptation of checking it. You can also find apps or websites that block certain functions of your phone or computer to avoid those urges to check your email or social media.
- Finally, clear your mind. Mediate, do a brain dumb of all the thoughts whirring around in your head, or move around the room to prepare to be still for an hour.
Are power hours effective?
When done the right way, power hours are an incredibly effective productivity tool. The key is to avoid the distractions that can overrule your time, like social media and checking emails. You pick ONE task and you don’t let yourself go on facebook, “do just that one other thing,” or get caught up with your phone.
I was introduced to power hours a couple of years ago and I still use this productivity method today. I like this method because it gives me a structure that’s easy to follow and I never feel like I need to work crazy hours. If I do two to three power hours throughout my day, all my tasks get done.
I structure each power hour by theme. For example: one was business tasks, like creating social media content, reaching out to potential/current customers, etc,. and another was personal development, like studying the products, reading a business book, or meeting with my leader. Having these power hours structured in this way helped me to prioritize what was most important in my business.
There is also a sense of urgency to power hours, which works if you thrive under pressure. Instead of putting a task on your to-do list to get done by the end of the day, you are only giving yourself one hour to do it. You may not get it all done within this hour, but you are closer than you would have been.
Power hours can be a great technique to try if you are finding that you need to be more productive and to avoid procrastination. Sometimes it is good to switch things up, and you just might find that this is the productivity technique for you. Hopefully, this ultimate guide to power hours got you started in the right direction.
Have you tried power hours before? What was your experience like? Let me know in the comments below!