You’re the boss. You’re busy. You want to be productive, but you find yourself spending the majority of your day putting out fires, dealing with office “emergencies” or performing tasks that seem urgent but are not high on your priority list. You need a power hour!
Imagine if, by the end of the day, as you glanced at your list of “important tasks to get done” you realized that you are ahead of schedule! No more having to work into the evening and on weekends!
Power Hour Sessions are dedicated, distraction-free time blocks that allow you to work on your top priority. They are the secret to boosting your productivity and getting the most important things done.
I call them Power “Hour” Sessions because of how powerful they are. But they don’t have to be limited to one hour. If you need to time block several hours to be productive and get your top tasks done, well then go for it!
Protecting Your Power Hour by Setting Healthy Time Boundaries
The biggest barrier to Power Hour Sessions is the lack of time boundaries. If you are in the habit of being available to your clients or staff all the time, they have been trained to “expect” you to be at their beck and call.
Because those expectations are already in place, it’s going to take some consistent effort on your part to create—and enforce—boundaries around your sacred power hour time. In time, your clients, co-workers and team members will learn to respect your power hour time and may even adopt a similar practice themselves—especially when they see how beneficial it is!
Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.
― Stephen R. Covey
Tips for scheduling a daily power hour with healthy boundaries in place to protect it:
- Aim for the same time everyday, if possible, that way you’re team knows when to expect you to be unavailable.
- Choose a time of day that is best for you, coincides with your energy type, and that you’re most likely to stick with. For instance, you may choose to block off an hour from 9-10am each morning because it’s when your head is clearest and you’re least likely to blow yourself off in order to put out the fire of the day.
- Give a heads up. Let your boss, co-workers, clients and team members know that you won’t be taking any calls or meetings during this time. Here are some tips to protect your power hour in a gentle, firm and healthy way:
- Set up an autoresponder on your email program letting people know that you are “out of the office” or “in a meeting” during this time and you’ll respond after your meeting.
- Put a note on your office door that says,
Do Not Disturb” or “In an important meeting until 9am. Please come back at 10am.”
- Eliminate distractions. Turn your cellphone off or put it in airplane mode and let calls go to voicemail. Close down your email program. Basically, if it dings or flashes, turn it off!
- Turn people away. If someone does barge into your office, ask, “Is this an emergency? Can this wait until 10am?” If the answer is yes (it can wait) then let the person know you’ll follow up at 10 when you’ve wrapped up what you’re working on. This may take a few attempts, but with repetition, you’ll start to train people to respect your Power Hour!
- Show your appreciation by thanking your team for honoring your time and sharing with them what you accomplished and how it benefits the team as a whole.
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It’s not an overly complicated idea, but implementing it (and sticking with it) can be a bit tricky. If a power hour gets hijacked here or there, it’s understandable. Don’t give up on the idea! Instead, just assess the cause and what you can do in the future to prevent it from happening again (to the best of your ability) and keep reinforcing those boundaries! In time, everyone will get on board, it will get easier, and you’ll start to reap the benefits of focused productivity and gratifying success!
Cheering Your On,