I’d like to introduce you to a simple concept with a big impact. When I first read about it I had a total lightbulb moment – ohh!
I discovered the Power Hour through Gretchen Rubin, whose books The Four Tendencies and Better Than Before have given me understanding into why I do (and don’t) do things, and how to give myself the best opportunity for achieving the things I set out to accomplish.
So, what is a Power Hour?
You know how you have all those niggly little tasks you keep meaning to getting round to, but they don’t NEED to be done and they don’t have a deadline or anything pressing, so they just keep sliding to the bottom of the to-do list and never quite happen?
This is what a Power Hour is for!
There’s 3 steps to it:
1) Write a list of all those niggly little tasks you’re not quite getting round to;
2) Put aside an hour each week – mark it in your schedule as Power Hour;
3) When the Power Hour comes round, take something from your list and tackle it.
When the Power Hour time is up, it’s up to you if you carry on and finish the task or just stop. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t finished it – Power Hours are for tasks that don’t have a deadline, so it doesn’t matter when it gets finished. If you’re a completer-finisher you might find you need to carry on. If you’ve not been enjoying the task (it’s just one of those ‘got to be done’ things) you’ll be pleased for a reason to stop.
And that’s it til the following week’s Power Hour.
It’s that simple – dedicated time to tackle tasks you keep putting off, for long enough to make progress but not so long you resent it or find a reason to not do it at all.
So now I log my mileage sooner than oh-my-goodness-it’s-tax-return-time, regularly empty my office paper recycling, and I’m working my way through decluttering the cupboards and taking unwanted items to the charity shop.
Some of the best ideas are the simplest ones, where you find yourself thinking ‘why didn’t I think of this before?’, and this is definitely one of those. I’ve introduced the Power Hours concept to many of my colleagues, and it’s been great to see them have the same lightbulb moment I did. So from all of us, thanks Gretchen!