After a busy week of work and post-holiday catch up, I spent Friday afternoon unwinding on a long walk in the park listening to Oprah's Super Soul Conversations podcast. This is one of my favorite feel-good podcasts, and if you are an Oprah fan it is a must-listen.
I was playing the episode with Gretchen Rubin's on her 8 Rules to Happiness. I love Gretchen Rubin, and enjoyed listening to her talk about her book The Happiness Project, and how she made such basic changes in her life to make her so much happier. Things we all could do like clean out our closet, be affectionate with our spouse, and keep a gratitude journal. Among all these great tips she shared, there was one simple piece of advice that I particularly loved for productivity, one of the topics I work on with my coaching clients. She suggests you try a Power Hour.
Establishing a Power Hour
The concept is simple. A Power Hour is an hour in which you tackle all of those little tasks that you have been putting off and just get them over with. This could include changing that lightbulb that has been flickering, making an appointment you need, shredding or filing documents you have had in a pile on your desk, dropping off those bags of donation items that have been sitting in the back of your car. You get the idea. Keep a list somewhere accessible, maybe on your desk, fridge, or phone, where you can jot down the items you know need to be done but don't want to do right that second. Then during your Power Hour, grab the list and start checking those things off!
I would suggest scheduling your Power Hour on a weekday if possible, so if you need to make calls or run errands everything will be open. For example, my Power Hour is going to be on Wednesday at 10AM. That will give me time to do my pressing emails and work first thing in the morning, and then dive in. I also like having it in the middle of the week, but establish a time that works best for your flow.
Sometimes it really is the simplest things that can make us be more productive and use our time more efficiently. Give this a try, and I bet you'll feel like all those little tasks become less burdensome when you have a designated time to tackle them.