Have you ever lost track of time while in the zone, immersed in a task?
What if you could reach that state more often?
Try scheduling a Power Hour. It's a simple but effective productivity technique to drop you into flow.
Planning an hour of distraction-free work can boost your efficiency and help you get more done quicker.
In this article, we will cover ✍️
- What is a Power Hour?
- The benefits and why it works
- How to plan and make the most of each Power Hour session
What is a Power Hour?
Power Hour is a time window dedicated to focused, uninterrupted work on a specific task.
It can involve deep work on complex, demanding tasks. Or completing minor (and annoying) to-dos.
During a Power Hour productivity session, you should ideally work on a single or a set of related tasks.
This helps prevent inefficient multitasking and creates a focused, distraction-free environment.
The Power Hour method shares some similarities with the Pomodoro technique.
Both involve dedicated, distraction-free, time-restricted work sessions to maintain focus and productivity.
The main difference is the duration of the focused work period.
Why it Works and What are the Benefits?
The Power Hour technique uses psychology, neuroscience and time management principles to boost productivity.
Enter Flow State Faster
The structure and framework of a Power Hour productivity session encourages us to set specific goals for each session.
That creates a sense of purpose that stimulates focus and flow.
Power Hours make it easier to hyperfocus by allocating our limited attention resources to one core topic or task.
This all makes it easier to enter a state of flow, where you become completely immersed in the task and lose track of time.
Focus on What Matters
By avoiding multitasking during a Power Hour session, you can increase productivity by 40%.
Research shows that multitasking is highly distracting, and 97.5% of us cannot multitask.
Power Hours help us eliminate distractions and avoid this unproductive multitasking.
Create a sense of achievement.
A successful Power Hour productivity session can boost motivation that spills into your entire day.
Accomplishing something meaningful in 60 minutes gives you a sense of achievement.
It makes it easier to start other tasks and maintain a sense of satisfaction and completion throughout your day.
Get started and follow through.
Power Hours commit us to a specific action or task in advance.
This precommitment increases the likelihood of following through with plans and intentions.
It makes initiating and progressing tasks that we dread and postpone much easier.
Each session's clear goals and expectations make it much easier to follow through and complete these tasks.
Break it down into manageable pieces
The structure of a Power Hour helps us get started.
It breaks down large and complex tasks into manageable and digestible bits.
This helps us fight overwhelm and makes it so much easier to initiate tasks.
Clear deadlines and structure
"Work expands to fill the time available for its completion." Parkinson's law
Power Hours help us overcome procrastination by directly tackling Parkinson's law.
“Timeboxing” our tasks provides a clear timeframe for completing to-dos. It creates a sense of urgency and confines tasks to a discrete timeframe.
Establishing a strict time limit gives us an easy-to-follow structure and makes it more likely that we complete tasks.
How to Schedule and Plan a Power Hour
The key to a successful Power Hour is to schedule it and to set intentions in advance.
1. Schedule it
- Plan and set a regular time for your Power Hours
- Ideally, book dedicated time slots in your calendar each week
- Start with one session a day and build up gradually as your focus and concentration stamina expands
2. Structure it by topic
- Structure each Power Hour by subject, especially if you need to do more than one task in a session
- For example, you can spend an hour on marketing and an hour on content creation in the afternoon
- You can also dedicate an hour to admin and taxes when running out of creative juice in the evening
- Setting a topic for each Power Hour can help you prioritise and structure your tasks
- It also enables you to hyperfocus on one issue at a time
3. Select tasks
- Select the to-do items you want to work on in each Power Hour
- Make sure you know what you want to get done in each session
- It's critical to set intentions upfront to make the most of each slot
4. Break them down
- Break down your task into manageable and digestible pieces
- If anything takes more than 60 minutes, break it down further
- Make sure your goals and tasks are quantifiable and measurable
- For example, instead of having "Write a new blog post", make it specific: "Write 500 words for a new blog post."
5. Eliminate all distractions
Make sure you eliminate all distractions before starting a Power Hour session
Enter monk mode:
- Leave your phone in a different room
- Make sure it's on silent / "do not disturb" mode
- Switch off desktop notifications and turn off emails and Slack
6. Settle into your space
Cluttered spaces have a negative impact on our ability to focus, stress levels, anxiety, and even sleep.
Declutter your digital and physical workspaces. And prime yourself for 60 minutes of focused, uninterrupted work.
- Close all unnecessary tabs you have open
- Remove clutter that has piled up on your desk during the day
- Make sure you have everything you need for the session: coffee, tea, water, pens, paper, etc.
How to make the most of your Power Hour
Pick one task you want to get done or a group of related tasks.
As mentioned, multitasking takes a severe toll on our productivity.
Only 2.5% of us can multitask, and we usually lose 23mins to return to our original task.
Monotasking during Power Hour sessions can boost your productivity by 40%.
Join a group
Scheduling Power Hours with others can supercharge your focus and productivity.
It adds another layer of motivation and focus that can easily double your productivity.
You can do this in person and online Power Hour sessions can be equally effective.
It can be extreamly effective for adults with ADHD to tackle ADHD paralysis, time blindness, and overwhelm.
ADHD coworking in silence alongside other people provides a gentle form of accountability.
Listen to focus music
Music can help improve your focus, cognitive functions, and mood.
It can also enhance creative performance.
Opt for music without lyrics that won't distract you, such as binaural beats, LoFi, classical or instrumental music.
Take regular breaks
Make sure you take regular breaks after each session.
This will help you recharge, extend your attention span and prepare you for the next bout of focused work.
What can you work on
The choice is entirely yours.
Power Hour productivity sessions are beneficial for deep and cognitively demanding work.
Or for completing long-delayed tasks that you tend to procrastinate on.
Scheduling several Power Hour sessions daily can help you focus, prioritise tasks and get things done quicker.
Power Hours can work like magic if we schedule a dedicated time daily and set intentions in advance.
If you want to add extra focus and motivation, join group Power Hour sessions.