Finance Work How to get three hours’ work done in just one
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How to get three hours’ work done in just one

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What is it?

The Power Hour – a fabulous technique to super-charge your efficiency. (Awesome for the time-challenged.)

Why it works

It gets you doing your most valuable work at the best time for your brain, so you get the important stuff done in much less time.

How you do it

The how-to-do it is easy; the doing of it less so, until you get into the habit.

  1. Start by finding the time of the day when your brain is on fire. My guess is that you already know your peak time. Some of us are morning folk, others are evening types, and some of us are 3 a.m.-ers. It doesn’t matter what anyone else’s time happens to be – this is about working with your own natural inclination.
  2. Arrange your day so that you can spend at least one hour during your ‘on-fire’ time working on the most valuable stuff in your business.

The tricky thing for most of us is that we’re running our businesses around other commitments, and those commitments have a tendency to fall right into our ‘on-fire’ time.

I know this personally. I’m a morning person. Ideally, I’d wake at 6 a.m. and head straight to my computer for three hours of writing. Pre-kids, that’s what I did. I was so efficient that I could accomplish stuff in those three hours that would easily take me seven or eight hours if I started later in the day.

But now I have four children; three are at school and one is a toddler. Mornings start at 5:15 a.m. when the youngest wakes, and I don’t get a moment to think about work until after the school run at 9 am.

I’m also in the middle of a big writing project, so I could really use the on-fire time.

A couple of months ago, I read a few articles about authors who got up at strange times of the night to write. It planted a seed. Could I get up at 4 a.m. and write for an hour?

I’m neither a masochist, nor a complete nutter – so it was a big ask.

Would the one hour at 4 a.m. be productive enough to make it worth the pain of getting up so early? (To be honest, I also asked myself whether I’d be able to sneak in a nanna nap later in the day.)

I decided to give it a go.

Two months later, I can say that – although painful at the start – I quickly got into the 4 a.m. habit. It’s a bit weird and I’m desperately hungry at unusual times, but that one hour equates to the output of about three hours later in the day. The maths makes sense to me.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m certainly not advocating early mornings. But I’m carrying the banner for finding your on-fire time  and redesigning your day so that you get to do one hour -yep, just one hour – during the on-fire time.

This article first appeared on The Business Bakery blog.

Julia Bickerstaff advises small businesses through her consultancy The Business Bakery and is the author of How to Bake a Business.