Time Management : The Power Hour

Written by Martha on November 3rd, 2011

A time management tool I have heard bandied about lately is the “power hour.” The idea is to decide on one essential task you must get done and set a timer for one hour.

Take phones off hooks or turn down the ringer sound, don’t check email or texts, get a drink and go to the bathroom before your hour starts. Then use that hour to take a huge bite out of that task.
This works for me. I do my best thinking when I am immersed in a project. I feel like I am diving deep under the surface and don’t even come up for air.

These are two of the timing tools I like best:

Click the image for a larger view - focusbooster.com App

Focus Booster– a free app that you download, then use as a timer on your computer. Note: when setting the time, moving the cursor to the right adds time, moving to the left gives less time.

Click the image for a larger view - Digital Hourglass Timer by Polder

Digital Hourglass Timer by Polder – This is a funky clock and timer with digital “sand” timing up to 99 minutes. Useful when you are working around the house, or as a limiting factor in meetings or workshops! Also available at selected Target stores.

Try the “power hour” with one of these or any timer you have on hand. See if it works for you. You may need some background noise if you are more of an auditory, sensing type.

If an hour is too long, start with 10 minutes of concentrated effort and lengthen the interval as you get more comfortable.

Now is also a good time to use your “power hour” to start on that thing you have been putting off for forever!

2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Chloe says:

    Timers are my new best friend. I recently bought an egg shaped one that now sits on top of my PC. I’ve scheduled my work day between blogging and tweeting and various other things, I pick the most important one for the day and crack on with it first with the timer ticking along beside me. I’ve also got another timer set to tell me to go out for a 15 minute walk to clear the cobwebs away. I’ve only been doing it this week, but so far so good!

    • Martha says:

      Congratulations, Chloe! Sounds like you have hit on a way to use timers to your advantage. Athletes and writers say their most successful efforts come when they are “in the flow”, blocking all distractions both physical and mental. We can do that, too, but usually only for spurts – hence the timer! Have fun going with the “flow”!