Time Scarcity and the Power Hour Solution
I read an interesting article about procrastination the other day.
Erm – yes you guessed it – because I was procrastinating about doing the things I knew I should.
It was fascinating. How our brains have evolved over thousands of years. Apparently we still have primitive ‘Rex’ instincts locked in a battle of wills with ‘Albert’ our inner consciousness, the voice of reason.
Apparently the problem is, ageing Albert who’s capable of great things, gets rather exhausted with energetic, impulsive Rex who governs our instincts, loves and fears. And when Albert gives up – then so do we, BIG time.
Yes, implementing those actions we know will change and grow our business, BOOM – all out of the window.
We use Albert to meekly reassure us it’s Ok. Inboxes stuffed to the gunnels, or pending vat returns, staff issues – too much to do, never enough time. We have to do that stuff first right?
Today I put Rex on a leash. I don’t need him bouncing round my head. I need to focus on what I MUST do rather what FEELS right .
I know (providing I don’t tempt fate by reading fascinating articles) Rex will listen to Albert.
Happily there are things you can do to tame your inner Rex and bring clarity and discipline to your life. I find a combination of techniques work extremely well for me and the clients I coach.
So here’s how to make AT LEAST an extra hour a week.
There’s the Pomodoro Technique, yes, Italian for tomato, bear with . . .
- This advocates working in 25 minute bursts. NO distractions. Close the door, off with the email and phone, advise staff that barring a REAL emergency you will be available for them and your customers once that time is up.
Anything occurs to you during that stint, write it down and leave aside for your next Pomodoro session.
Reward yourself with a 5 minute break in between each stint. After 4 stints, take a longer break.
For me that 25 minute time period is perfect. It may not be for you. Maybe it’s 90 minutes in one sitting. But get up and have a 15 -30 minute break afterwards.
- Time how many stints a daily task takes – this makes you so much more realistic about allocating the time required, which in turn is GREAT for easing the sense of guilt procrastination brings.
- Write down 3 things each night you will accomplish the following day. And make ONE of them something that’s difficult or (more likely) something you dislike and keep putting off.
- Find your most productive time of the day. For some it’s the peace and quiet of daybreak. If you’re a night owl like me, then use that time and energy to focus on your 3 things.
- Really, REALLY stop doing stuff that doesn’t have an impact on your Goals and KPIs. Remember the 5 D’s: Dump, Delay, Delegate, no Distractions and DO.
It’s the DOING which counts – Because Imperfect Action beats Perfect Inaction every time.
- And for extra focus and discipline, you could always don the headphones and listen to Focus@Will ambient music for study, work and concentration.
It’s amazing how energising working more productively can be.
So, quick maths, if you found an extra couple of hours a week that’s almost an amazing THREE weeks a year!!
Who says you haven’t got time to spend growing your business?!!