Productivity and time management have a very close relationship that can bring you either success or disaster.
“It is not the time you put in, it is what you put in the time.”
– Darren Hardy
Time management is a fantastic tool to get the most out of the hours you have, but how you organize it for best results is different for everybody. Each person is unique and different from the next person. There are overlapping areas and that makes coming up with a plan that fits everybody just about impossible.
Sometimes it takes a little bit of trial and error to find what works best for you. For example:
- Are you a morning person or an evening person?
- Do you know the times that you are most productive?
Once you have found your power hours, the time when you are most powerful mentally, your focus is laser sharp and your concentration is at its peak, then the next step is to protect that time fiercely. Train those around you to not disturb you during those times. If you constantly tolerate interruption, you are not in charge. Life will organize around the standards you set.
Schedule your power blocks with a beginning and end point. Don’t forget to also schedule off time between the power blocks. You cannot go full out nonstop.
A car needs to be refueled, waves in the ocean go up and down. Rest is a critical component of high-performance because your body craves oscillation.
Oscillation definition → movement back and forth at a regular speed
“Having lost sight of our goals, we redouble our efforts.”
– Mark Twain
I have noticed that sometimes on the road a car goes really fast and passes many other cars. Then further down the road at a light or stop sign that car is only 2-3 cars ahead of me. That driver had to concentrate harder than me, he used up more fuel and for what?
It sounds like an oxymoron, but to accomplish more instead of going faster → slow down → use less effort.
Schedule your tasks during your power hours in 45 minute segments, followed by 5-10 minute breaks where you are not thinking of work. Do something non-productive. Then repeat.
When I teach, I find that people can only fully concentrate for a maximum of 90 minutes at a time. After that your brain is like a sieve and you can’t retain the new information. Your brain develops what I call a ‘draft’. The information goes in on one side and out the other and you are wasting your time.
So after about 90 minutes switch to something totally different and you will be surprised how productive you suddenly become. When creating your schedule make sure that there is a wide variation between the tasks. Spending a whole day on one particular task can turn out to be quite frustrating, especially when things don’t work out as planned. Having small successes during the day will leave you satisfied and proud of what you have accomplished and will want to repeat it the next day.
I’d like to get your feedback. Please leave a comment below.