It’s amazing what you can get done in 45 focused minutes.
I owe Dave Lakhani lunch—or at least a cup of coffee. Listeningto his book The Power of an Hour (http://www.powerofanhour.com/vip/preview.html) across the past week, I was inspired to (digitally) tear down my entire Outlook calendar—and then rebuild it with some very intentional 45-minute blocks within 1-hour timeframes. (As a sidebar, I seem to love books that start with “The Power.” The Power of Myth, The Power of Now, The Power of Full Engagement…I love me some power!)
What happens during those 45 minutes? Very “fearsome focus” on a pre-scheduled activity; in my case, writing a chapter, developing PowerPoint slides for a training, preparing for an executive coaching session, and so forth. The other 15 minutes? That is when you check and return emails, return phone calls, chit chat, use the necessary room, etc.
Sounds easy on paper, right?
Well, there’s one key ingredient that’s required for sustainable success with this approach. It’s called discipline. Ironically, though, applying the approach in the first place is necessary to generate discipline beyond the New Year’s Resolution garden variety. You have to take a chance. Then, once you taste the fruits of success from such “fearsome” intensity, the discipline becomes more ingrained. It evolves into a core habit, just like working out, flossing your teeth, washing your hands or being courteous to people grow more second-nature the more you practice.
So try it this week. Think of those things you’d love to—or have to—get done, but keep getting hindered by multitasking, distractions or just plain procrastination or lack of confidence. Put your current calendar hits to death so that something better might be born anew.
The only thing you have to lose? Dissatisfaction with the status quo.