Recently Ladders reported on the shocking amount of Americans that are putting off important things on their to-do lists. Many find that there just isn’t enough time. In fact, the average American said they have as little as 26 minutes of free time a week.
Eventually, administrative tasks that demand our attention begin to add up, smothering us. This feeling of being overwhelmed is a bane to productivity and overall wellness.
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Is there an effective way to maximize our free time?
The Power hour
Gretchen Rubin, happiness expert and author of “Outer Order, Inner Calm, ” provides some interesting insights into the curse of poor time management. Towards the end of a busy work week, panic begins to set in — so many tasks, so little time. According to Rubin, it’s all about the first step, or the “power hour,” as she slickly called it.
“Give yourself an hour,” Rubin told CNBC, ”‘Power hour’ is when you set aside an hour on the weekend to just do all the things that you’ve been procrastinating about.”
The thing that keeps most of the items on our checklist right where they are, is lack of exigence. You don’t need to schedule that appointment right this minute, which means you likely never will. Setting aside an hour to knock things off the list, irrespective of their respective time sensitivity will better ensure they get done.
In her book, Ruben recommends we actualize this process by making a list of all the “unpleasant chores,” we need to get done and then knock them out every week. “Little by little, we can get a lot accomplished,” says Rubin.
The concept of the power hour was born out of a simple but often forgotten principle: it’s much easier to keep up than to catch up. When we think about our to-do lists as one collective mass, they become very intimidating. Your list should be viewed as a collection of mini-components, all individually deal-with-able in due time. Have the things you’ve been avoiding doing in the back of your mind during the work week, then devote a little attention to them when Saturday rolls around.
“So do as much as you can do along the way that’s going to make it more pleasant for you as you go through your work week. That’s going to make less work for you on the weekend,” Rubin adds.
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