A Coffee Break of Inspirational Leadership: Power Hours?
Sometimes I blog over the weekend, and sometimes I leave it for early Monday morning (very early, like way before I need to get ready for work). And when I do too much on Sunday, that Monday morning wake-up becomes a bit more challenging. That's what happened yesterday. I was tired and I didn't take into account what my power hours would be for a Monday, or at least that particular Monday.
Have you heard of personal power hours? It's a really cool and valid concept - there are certain times in the day when we are more productive than others, when your brain goes into high gear and you can give it a heck of a workout? Those are our power hours. I remember when I was in high school and I stayed up late on Friday nights to do homework. That was my thing. And it served me well. One morning I had a conversation about my Friday night study habit with a teacher who proclaimed, "that approach will serve you well in college." In hindsight, it didn't work quite as well once I pledged my sorority, but it certainly came to fruition when I was working on my Master's Thesis. Every Friday night, after a day of teaching and an evening of waiting tables, I'm hunker down in my studio apartment in San Francisco and write, write, write until about 3 am. Those midnight to 3 am hours were SO productive! They were my power hours. I've learned to maximize my power hours during the work day when I can capitalize on my personal power windows, and of course when the times coincide with periods of time when I can control my time at work, which isn't every day.
At this point in time, I'm really productive from 8 to 10 am. I use that time to power through projects, to do lists, and high priorities, while trying to minimize meetings. Likewise, I can crank through correspondence really well at 8 pm or later, clearing out a lot of the email in box in that time frame if I haven't already. Its also a great time to press SEND on those emails that I wanted to read one more time before sending. My peak times are often in the morning when I can put my head down and just hit the ground running. I try to avoid the really focused efforts in the afternoon, say around 3 pm when I begin to drag or the effects of lunch (or lack thereof) start to set in. The afternoon is always a great time to visit a school site, walk around, get the body moving, get air, and interact with others.
The same goes for my weekends. Run early and have the rest of the day free. Much to the dismay of my 13 year old daughters, I am also at my peak right after a run, especially on Sunday mornings. Run by Trader Joe's and grab a few necessities, head home and put out the trash....let's just say I find ways to procrastinate getting in the shower because I'm at my peak, even though I may be physically tapped from a long run and in need of a shower to not offend others. You get the gist. How can you use power hours like Popeye uses spinach and help strengthen your productivity and work quality? Consider that your reflective challenge for this week. Oh yea....and....happy Tuesday. * Read it. Take a look at this article that starts with To Do Lists but then morphs into when you should hit those lists, based on your personal power hour. Identify your peak, trough and recovery times and the world becomes your oyster! Take a look and read up...
* Watch It. In this Ted Talk, Arianna Huffington discusses getting more sleep. Guess what? It's an approach that works. Even focusing on the quality of sleep is highly advisable. When your sleep quality increases, you can maximize the more productive times in your day. This video is ONLY four minutes. Clearly you have four minutes to gift yourself sleep, no????
* Share it. Can you print these and share them? Notes to colleagues on key topics like knowing they are strong, or that you are sending a message about strength, growth and personal reflection. And its a new year, so consider how many ways you can use 2019 to promote more goodness and support for others. Think about sharing in a new way if you have not done so already. Print a few of these on colored cardstock …. practically free! Here are a couple to consider…. and to give frequently. It’s up to us to remind others that its okay to feel good and be...goodish. Now go slay this week ahead...just one at a time.