As many of you know, I love being able to accomplish two things at once. So when it comes to being productive and focused, I thoroughly enjoy this topic. I know multitasking is pretty impossible since we can only truly focus on one task at a time, but there are some occurrences when you can efficiently do more than one thing at a time.
Like working out on the treadmill while catching up on Lovecraft Country, or listening to that new audiobook while you run. Okay, it only mostly works out when you combine exercise with something else, but that is beside the point.
I get excited when I learn how to kill two birds with one stone, and I think I may have figured out how to be more productive simultaneously and focused at work, and get a daily workout in during the day. But let me break down my initial issue.
I'm stressed, don't have enough time in the day to do all of the important tasks I have to do each day, and cannot focus on one project at a time. Here's the scenario, I have a full-time job, but I also spend time working on M3 every week as well.
So I often find myself with a task list way too long to accomplish in a single day. Even after not having a productive day at work, I feel even worse because I also didn't get an opportunity to exercise for the day. So I came up with the power hour method to be more productive and focused during the day. I hope my power hour method helps you boost your productivity as it helped me!
The Power Hour Method
What is the power method, you ask? It is a little method I do to stay productive and focused and kind of make a game out of all the items I need to accomplish in a day.
I love it because it allows me to stay focused for an entire hour. It is similar to the Pomodoro technique where you set a timer and make sure to stay focused for the entire time. The biggest difference here is that I do this method for an entire hour. Working for an entire hour, as opposed to 25 minutes short bursts of work, allows me to get more focused, and be able to do deep work instead of just small tasks.
Once your block of time you dedicated to your work is over, give yourself a break. I usually take about a 15-minute break after a power hour. I get up, walk around, play on my phone, make a quick phone call, grab a cup of coffee, or whatever.
So if I find myself getting distracted, I look at the timer and tell myself I can get a break in a given period. To keep the momentum going, I typically throw in an exercise between hours, such as a few jumping jacks or crunches.
What you need for the power hour method:
- A timer
- A work to-do list
- A Snack to Keep You Going
Step 1: Create a To-Do List
This is important because you need a definite list of things to execute during your power hour. My to-do list usually has 5-10 different goals to achieve, depending on the amount of time each will take.
For example, read and reply to 8 emails. Emails typically take a minute or two, so I know I can get a good number of them. Be careful with making your list.
It can be a great help with staying on task but don't set yourself up for failure. Make your list achievable.
Step 2: Set a Timer
I usually use my phone, but if you have a physical timer, that works too. You are going to set this for one hour only. Sometimes I do two hours, but it is way more difficult for me to stay focused for that long.
Doing more than one hour for a power hour IMO is for a more significant project at hand that you need to focus on. So for the day to day stuff, stick to una hora.
Step 3: Have a Quick Snack Nearby
Something I noticed when I first started doing this is, the harder you work, the more brain food you need. Plus, when you're hungry, it is near impossible to get any work done. But you cannot use your power hour to make yourself food because that is wasted precious time!
So, it would help if you always had a healthy snack that won't become a distraction. My go-to is a ZonePerfect Nutrition Bar. Not only are they delicious (they have a ton of crave-curbing flavors like Cinnamon Bun and Strawberry Yogurt), but they are also nutritious.
Each bar can have up to 19 nutrients. Now that's brain food! You can find them on Amazon, their website, or even at your nearest Target if you need some ASAP!
Step 4: Don't Over Do it!
The first time you do a power hour, it is going to feel like magic. I once accomplished an entire day's work in just three power hours. Yes, you read that correctly. The thing is, I still felt like I worked for eight hours.
Doing power hours can be draining mentally, and it is hard to get extra work done even if you finish the to-dos for that day, so use your spare time wisely.
I typically like to take a midday hike or run if I do well with my power hour. And I find that exercise usually gives me more energy during the day to do more!
But whatever you do, use the power hours wisely. Please do not overdo it and do a week's worth of work in a day and continue this pattern every day. You will be running on fumes by the end of the week, I promise you.
While you're keeping it up with power hours, remember to stay balanced. Eat balanced meals, eat balanced snacks, and, most importantly, keep your workload balanced. Switching up the work you do during the day helps keep the mind fresh. I do three jobs during the day, so that helps. But I think it helps to switch between tedious work to more creative stuff. You do not get as tired either since you are using different parts of your brain, at least in my case.
So there you have it: my method of how to simultaneously be more productive and focused at work, and get a daily workout in during the day. I hope it helps you too!