Productivity Power Hour
Improving Your Productivity
We all get caught up in life, busy schedules, deadlines, meetings, events, and checking emails. Statistic show that emails are the number one cause of low productivity, even though it’s something that is needed for communication purposes. Has email become such a distraction in your life that it is causing you to feel like you got nothing done by the end of the day? What if it is not email, but something else that causes your focus to stray from your main priority?
You’re not the only one suffering from not being focused at work or in daily life. Many people struggle to find the balance between work and the distractions that comes with it. These distractions include emails, phone calls, TV, people dropping in, meetings (that you schedule), and music.
It’s time that you implemented what people are calling the Productivity Power Hour. What is this Productivity Power Hour and how does it look in your life? The first thing you will need to determine is when you are most productive; many people find that this time is in the morning before lunch. Maybe it’s first thing when you get to work. Whatever this time is, use it to your advantage to get the most work done. Do not schedule meetings or conferences during this hour.
Don’t know when your productive power hour is? Take your daily planner and journaling when you get the most tasks done. You will see patterns when you are most productive and accomplished. That time is your most productive hour.
Second, determine what needs to be done. This could be a project where the deadline is coming up, a meeting you will be leading next week, or it could be work in general that you would like to see accomplished. Whatever this is, you will need to identify what needs to be done so you can implement the Power Hour.
Thirdly, you need to put the Productivity Power Hour to work! You have determined when your best productive time is and have identified what you need to get done. Set a timer on for 60 minutes and get working. This means NO emails, instant messaging, music, people distracting you, TV, cell phone calls or texts. Turn off your cell phone, work phone, the TV, any music, and make sure your email notifications are turned off as well. The people who are emailing or calling you can wait an hour.
How can you let your co-workers know that you do not want to be disturbed for one hour? Audrey Thomas suggests if you have a door, shut it. If you have a cubicle, let people know that you do not want to be disturbed. Create a sign saying so, or even get creative and put “Caution” tape up. If you do not have a cubicle or office with a door, communicate to your co-workers that you want to work on your assignments and do not want to be bothered for one hour. It might be a good idea to let them know what time they can talk to you about any matters that come up during that time.
If an idea jumps in your head about work or you remember that you need to do a task, write it down on a piece of paper and keep working on the task beforehand.
Put the Power Hour into practice for two days a week and see how much you get done with that one hour. If you have a busier schedule and feel that you need more Productivity Power Hours, do it more than two days per week. You can also have a power day where you focus all your attention to one item for a whole day. When doing this, set times to take breaks (say every 30 minutes) as well as check your emails and messages (once in the morning and once an hour before you leave). Don’t be ignoring important messages that may come while you’re exercising your power day, but instead put your timer on a time limit to check your email or listen to your messages. Emails are easier to see what’s important and what’s not. Check the emails that are more important and pressing.
You could also be re-training your co-workers by showing them how much you are getting done by implementing the Productivity Power Hour. If your productivity is increasing with stress decreasing, your co-workers might start implanting their own Productivity Power Hours so that they can be less stress and more productive!
Remember, this does not have to be in your work life, but in your daily life as well. You may enjoy participating in an activity, but put it off because of unnecessary distractions that you put in your way. Cut out your distractions (that means Facebook and text messaging), set a timer for 60 minutes, and focus on that one activity for one hour.
The Power Hour allows you to become more focused on one item and helps you prioritize what’s really important so it can get done. This will help you eliminate any unnecessary attention and by the end of the day, you’ll feel accomplished. Less stress equals a happier, healthier you. So get that Power Hour started!