What if you could do 40 hours of work, in just 4 hours? It sounds crazy, but it’s very possible.
Time management tips # 1 is — Add power hours to your week. Adding power hours to your week enables you to use your best energy to produce exponential results. A "power hour" is simply where you are in the zone and you got your groove on. Of all the time management tips I’ve learned, this little time management tip could be one of your biggest breakthroughs.
Here’s what makes it possible to produce 40 hours of work in only 4 hours:
- More time doesn’t equal more value. Factoring waste time from productive time helps you find the critical path to value.
- When you work in your strengths, you can do things way faster than working in your weaknesses.
- When you use your best energy, you can produce exponential results, in record time.
Let’s focus on point #3: use your best energy. Simply by shifting the mix, you can do way more, in way less time. By identifying your power hours throughout the week, you can then use them for your greatest work.
Have you ever been on a roll? Have you ever felt unstoppable? Have you ever felt on top of the world, or on top of your game? When you are in this mode, you find it easy to solve problems, take on big challenges, and crank through your work pile. That’s you in your power hours.
A quick story …
Several years ago, I was frustrated that the bulk of my week felt like unproductive chaos. While I was producing strong results, it felt like only a handful of hours were effective. Out of 40 hours, it felt like only about 4 really mattered. I checked with my peers, only to find that they felt that only a few hours each week were really productive.
I started to pay attention to my hours each day, and I found that I was really productive at 8:00 AM, 10:00 PM, 2:00 PM, and 4:00PM. But, forget about 3:00 PM … it was like siesta time. (In fact, the book Brain Rules talks about this phenomenon.) Armed with this insight, I then started to push the bulk of my most important work into these hours. I shoved my lesser work to the surrounding hours. I also pushed any meetings I could to the surrounding hours.
Now, instead of having 4 power hours per week, I was having 4 power hours per day.
When I wasn’t aware of my power hours, I was letting other people step all over them, and I was wasting them on things like administration, or things I could do with my eyes closed. Worse, I was trying to do my heavy lifting during non-power hours, and it was like pushing rocks uphill.
By shifting my schedule to make my power hours a first-class citizen, I took my productivity to new levels that made my manager’s head spin. (In a good way, not exorcist style).