Last week I wrote about the ways you can work smarter and not harder and this week I want to share with you a super-simple system that I use that has changed my business. Because why create a system unless it makes your business run better? This one couldn’t be any easier, I call them Power Hours.
Power Hours are a time-blocking technique, which means that this is my hour a week to do very specific tasks. I found that there were things I kept putting off or never seemed to have the time to do. All those little random things that pop up that don’t fit into your normal business operations, but still need to get done.
There were also some tasks that I needed to get done that I didn’t want to do, or made me uncomfortable, or that I needed to think about to make a decision that I habitually procrastinated. Then it would be a weight on my shoulders until I finally got it done.
So what I did was block off time - I would give myself just an hour a week. I would write down any “Power Hour” tasks when they came up and then I wouldn’t have to think about it until the next Power Hour.
This hour became a bit of a fun challenge to try to get as many of the tasks done as fast as I could. My time was restricted and Parkinson’s Law was in effect, that work would fill the time allotted.
My Power Hour is specifically for stray tasks, for example, responding to an email partnership request rather than emails about projects or my website contact form. Other random tasks like figuring out my computer backup workflow would be included, but not actually backing up my computer. It could be calling the internet provider or insurance company to discuss other service options.
The tasks that occur with regularity are given other days/times to complete. Blocking off your time where possible is a great way to work smarter and not harder. So beyond my Power Hour for random, stray tasks, I also don’t schedule meetings on Mondays, Fridays or early mornings. I try to write all my blog posts in one day a month (didn’t work this month!), I water my plants every Friday, I backup my computer on Mondays, working on my accounting/bookkeeping takes place the first week of the month. I try to cut most of my checks on the same day of the week. Golden Hours are always on Wednesdays.
By delegating my tasks to specific days/ times I don’t worry/ think about them getting done when it’s not their “time”. This opens up more space in my brain and reduces decision-fatique, allowing me to work smarter.
#1 Exercise: Do Power Hours sound like something you’d like to try? Schedule it on your calendar. Maybe you don’t need an hour for stray & random tasks, but could utilize time-blocking in another way. I wanted to share this simple system to show that systems don’t have to be complicated to make an impact on your business.