I read the other day that allocating a ‘power hour’ to a certain task is a good way to time-manage and I realised, without giving it a name, that is what I have been doing for a while now.
In my case, I actually like to set a timer, not because I am in some kind of race against myself (though some days do seem that way!) but because it lets me give myself permission to totally concentrate on the job on hand.
Like so many authors, I am a procrastinator and, given half the chance, my two hours writing at the computer will be interrupted, not only by periods of umm and ahh, as I wonder where my story should go next, but also that irritating niggle that I should really make that phone call to the bank or get the washing out while the weather holds. I knew it had to stop. Nothing gets done thoroughly or well while flitting from one job to the next.
So I set myself a time. Usually it’s an hour. If I have a free morning I may follow it on with another hour after maybe making a cuppa and firing up the bread maker for some lovely, fresh bread, as a reward, later in the day. Sometimes it’s only half an hour. That may be to get one or two other smaller jobs like emails or a few promotional jobs out of the way.
The point is, once I set that hour going (having decided I have time to allocate it!) it seems to free me up mentally to work. I have already accepted that nothing I have to do is so urgent that it needs to be done ( or even thought about) in the next hour. I’m free! And for me it does work. When the timer goes off often I am surprised at how an hour could have gone by so quickly, but having truly concentrated on the one task to the exclusion of all others, I often feel that I have put a lot into that time and achieved more.
At the moment this is a great time for me to develop my writing muscle. I know what I want, but I also know it won’t happen unless I find strategies that work for me.
The Power Hour is one of my most valued time management assets right now. How about you?