One of my favorite productivity hacks is a power hour.  I originally learned this concept from author Gretchen Rubin, and it’s a great way to create some focused time to cross those nagging tasks off your list.

Each week, I keep a running list of one-time tasks that won’t take long to complete (think registering for a conference) or things that are easy to postpone indefinitely (filing, working on a project with no deadline, etc).  On Fridays, I set aside an hour of the day for a power hour. If there’s more than an hour’s worth of work on the list, I start the session by prioritizing the item. Anything that can’t be completed either gets added to my “real” to-do list for the next week if it’s a time-sensitive item, or rolls over to the next power hour list.

Power hours also work great for personal to-do items.  I use the same system for things like errands and dreaded chores.  Keeping a running list helps get things out of your head and onto a piece of paper (or in a note on your phone!) so you can save your mental energy for the real important tasks of the day.


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