Many of us have heard about the Power Hour method – No matter how busy you are, schedule your day in such a way that you can pause life and focus all of your attention into a 60 minute block of hardcore, laser focused, WORK. It’s an awesome option for those of you that are juggling mommy-hood with working or running your own business. Or maybe for those of you still at a day job but working diligently to advance a side business.
However, studies show that at the 60-minute mark most people’s brain is just getting warmed up. I don’t know about you but when I get into a groove, I hate being interrupted! My mind is similar to my minivan’s engine on a super cold day. It’s slow and loud when I start it up, but the longer it runs, the fast and smoother it runs! (Minivan moms unite!)
So is it possible? Is there any chance at all you could work in 4-hour blocks? It’s worth looking into. For those of you that have the ability to set your own schedule, here are a few tips on how I would do it… better yet, how I DO do it.
- Don’t worry about making this happen every day at first. If a Focused Four can only happen 1-2 times a week, that’s fine, start somewhere. Sometimes, my Focused Four is so productive; a Power Hour will suffice for the next day.
- When scheduling for your Focused Four (and you NEED to schedule it) make sure to over-schedule your time to start off with. You will be amazed at the groove you will get in and if you run out of tasks, you don’t want the option to quit!
- Know yourself – what do you need to be surrounded by to make a Focused Four work. Everybody is different! For me it’s my coffee, my task list, and complete silence. For my husband, it’s music going, maybe a YouTube video in the background with one of his favorite preachers, and a timer (he schedules in how long he gives himself on a task.)
For those of you that don’t make your own schedule and maybe have a traditional 9-5, it is super hard to squeeze 4 hours out of an already full day, I get that! So here are my suggestions for you.
- Be a weekend warrior. I know I know, that’s when we’re supposed to rest right? But how bad to you want whatever it is you are working on? Are you willing to hop out of bed earlier so that you can make this Focused Four happen and then still have time to love on your family the rest of the day?
- I never usually suggest less than 4 hours because well… it’s called a Focused Four for a reason. However, you gotta do what you gotta do. So if you can pull together 3 focused hours, do it! But follow all the same rules and don’t let yourself quit early!
- It’s even more important for those of you juggling full time jobs to have a plan! Your focused four cannot be spent putting together your task list – it needs to be spent executing so make sure that you do your planning at a different time. In Productivity Academy (and in my home) – Sunday nights are when the scheduling, creating task lists, and putting a plan together happen. Trust me, it feels so good to go to bed on already a step ahead and knowing what’s coming at you for the entire next week!
Finally, respect the season of life you’re in! Don’t be frustrated if this isn’t possible at this point. Store this knowledge for later! When your priorities are as they should be – God first, family second, and work third, God will sustain your career! He’s not going to let you fail, He will take care of you!