It’s no secret that I love Gretchen Rubin, the author and podcaster who discusses happiness and human nature. Most of her tips and strategies are for home life but I started thinking; could these also apply to work?
Gretchen designed Power Hour to tackle non urgent tasks that were weighing on her mind and sapping her energy, in an hour once a week. As a productivity nerd, I was explaining the concept of Power Hour in a retrospective (I’m the delivery lead for the marketing team) and they started giggling, so as punishment, I blocked out an hour one Wednesday morning for us to try it.
I redesigned our Power Hour to tackle any type of task, any size. Our to-do list on the kanban board was filled with tasks we kept de-prioritising as more important things kept coming up. We came prepared to the first Power Hour with a list of tasks to tackle from the kanban board, put our heads down and tried to complete as many as possible.
The first session turned out to be a hit and we now do this every Wednesday morning, before standup.
So what is Power Hour and how does it work? Here are the most asked questions:
“What kind of tasks could be done?"
- Organising the rest of my week
- Updating badger profiles
- Social posts
- Typing up meeting notes
- Blog writing
Booking in meetings and catch ups
“Yeah that’s what the team does, what about for you, the delivery lead?”
- Getting coffee
- Sending meeting invites for the following weeks
- Retrospective write-ups
- Preparing meeting agendas
- preparing the template for the weekly report
- Weekly timesheets
- Sending lovely Slack reminders
“It starts at 9am sharp, how do you motivate the team to show up?”
Coffee. The regulars usually send me a panicked message on Wednesday morning, worried they’re too late for the coffee order. When I get to the office, my protégés are raring to go (either that or they’re just waiting for coffee).
“Where do you do ‘Power Hour’?”
We usually park ourselves in the kitchen (which is also a shared workspace), on the table with morning sun. Our colleagues potter around us, making their tea/coffee, wondering why we are huddled together, madly typing and sipping our (superior) coffee.
“What do your team think of this?”
“Power Hour has made me a better person"
“Power Hour boosts my productivity and is a great and motivating way to start the day as it helps me minimise any distracting tasks during the day.”
“Power hour is great, not only does Michelle provide a delicious beverage (oat milk latte, thank you) but it also allows me an hour to focus on tying up loose ends from the beginning of the week and to plan my week ahead.”
Power Hour has been a fun and productive addition to our work week. It can be altered in any way you see fit; there are no rules! I challenge you to try it at least once. Let me know how you go.