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The ‘power hour’ formula

Liz Reitzig

“It’s tough for me to find techniques to keep my brain focused on a task long enough to complete it. Often, when I was about halfway through with something, I would jump into the next thing. This drove me and everyone around me crazy.

A few years back, I learned about a focus method some call the “power hour.” (But it has many different names.) The idea is quite simple. You decide on a task and set a timer for 30 minutes. You do nothing besides that task until that timer goes off. If that means you are staring at a blank page for 10 minutes before you start writing, so be it. But no water breaks, no “I just gotta….” and no checking email or texts.

As soon as the timer goes off, you get 5 minutes of anything else. Let your brain rest. Get water, Go to the bathroom, meditate.

As soon as that 5 minute timer goes off, you’re back in the 30 minutes of focus time. And then another 5 minutes. One more 30 minute session and then you get a 15 minute break before going back into the rest of your day.

Here is what it looks like:

- Choose a task - 30 minutes on - 5 minutes off - 30 minutes on - 5 minutes off - 30 minutes on - 15 minutes off before transitioning to other things

This practice has helped my brain settle into some patterns that allow me to work in longer chunks. I’ve been able to get content written. I’ve been able to schedule other things around my important deliverables.”

Advice Contributor

Liz Reitzig

Liz is an educator and advocate on a mission to build unique blueprints for local food systems that empower us to live healthfully in our communities.

See Liz's Site