Personal productivity is all about focus.
How to Get Your Most Important Work Done
If you are like me it takes too long to get focused on the work that really matters, or almost as bad, once you do get started you are very easily side-tracked. For those of us who are bursting with ideas that never get done, try the technique that I call the 15 Minutes of Power.
Pick the task you really, really want to do – the high value activity that needs your focus.
Pull out your smart phone and set the timer function for 15 minutes.
Work, work, work… and, do not let anything get in your way. This is your sacred time. These 15 minutes are yours, guard them.
You will be amazed at how much gets done in 15 minutes. You will also be surprised that once the timer rings you won’t want to quit, which is a nice unintended consequence.
Use the 15 Minutes of Power 4 times a day – Morning, Noon, Afternoon, Night.
About the 15 Minutes of Power
I learned this technique from a sharp software development team leader from Atomic Object who used a timer to force us to finish our ideas in preparation for a collaboration session. He handed us blank paper, colored pencils and crayons, and then he set an old fashioned egg timer for 15 minutes. When the timer rang we stopped and briefed our ideas to each other. That experience was one of the most entertaining and productive collaborative experiences I’ve ever had.
I now use that same process to get my most important work done. In any single day I can identify 15-20 activities that I feel are important and I would like to work on. They range from business to personal to family to volunteer… We are a busy society. By adopting this technique my focus has changed and my productivity has gone through the roof. I now pick one thing from that large list – one thing that I know will move the dial in my success. Then, I apply the 15 Minutes of Power to it and viola – results flow almost faster than I can absorb.
Without the 15 Minutes of Power I have found myself mired in emails that don’t matter, my Dilbert calendar, looking for a snack, consuming social media, searching for something to listen to…almost anything but the work that makes a difference.
The next time you want to truly get something done, whether it is writing a blog post, designing a new landing page, framing a planning process, outlining a project, writing a performance review, or scheduling a great retreat for your family, use the 15 Minutes of Power and watch your success soar.
Leadership learning is a life-long endeavor. That's why we focus on tools that help leaders. But we know you're busy. Check out our Lead the People courses, they are designed for you to use in 15-minutes a day. Learn a little. Apply a lot. Grow exponentially. You'll do it in your own environment with your own business problems. If this sounds interesting, check out our Lead the People series.