Your Perfect Hour Formula: Discover How to Work More Effectively

Solopreneurs often think that they need to work harder in order to succeed in business. I disagree. Instead, I believe learning how to work more effectively will take you much farther than pure hustle and grit ever will.

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So today, I’m going to share an easy framework that will enable you to work smarter, not harder. You’ll become a productivity master as you learn to how to get the work that matters done — one hour at a time.

Effective Versus Efficient

You may believe that being efficient is what will help you make better, faster progress on your work tasks and towards your goals. But doing something quickly doesn’t mean it’s better for business. You have to start with what’s effective.

Efficient work is the process of completing tasks in the most time-saving ways possible. Effective work is the process of completing tasks in a way that they are successful and provide value to the people who will interact with them.

And while being efficient at your work is something we should all strive for, it should be a product of doing what’s effective for the success of your business overall.

To quote Peter Drucker, “Efficiency is about doing things right and effectiveness is about doing the right things.”

The moral of the story? While efficiency may be important, it’s effectiveness that really matters in the end.

So start with the strategies, tactics, and tasks that are essential to achieving your goals. Then, create the systems and processes that will help you do them in a timely manner.

Leverage Your Most Important Resources

In your quest to work smarter, not harder, you have two important resources at your disposal. These are your best assets when it comes to working more effectively.

Your first resource is Time. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. You’re not going to get a 25th! However, you can adjust the way you USE your time, so that you’re making the most our of what you have.

Your second resource is Attention. What you focus on gets done. That’s true whether you’re writing that blog post or you’re distracted by that social media notification.

How you use your time and attention directly impacts the quantity and quality of the work you accomplish (or don’t accomplish, for that matter). You need both of these resources working together hand-in-hand to be your most productive.

Create Better Work Habits

The question is, “how can you work more effectively by leveraging you time and attention?”

The answer is to go small. I’ll explain how in a minute.

First, understand that you’ve spent your whole life creating the work habits that you have. You can’t realistically expect to change the way you work overnight.

But, by breaking things down into smaller, more manageable bites, you can learn how to work more effectively while developing good work habits that will carry over into everything else you do.

For example, instead of trying to plan for an entire day or week, start smaller by planning for one hour. Planning small helps you get more done in less time.

How? Well, let’s get to it.

What is Your Perfect Hour Formula?

Let me introduce you to Your Perfect Hour Formula. This is a simple strategy that will teach you how to work more effectively and efficiently by planning work into one-hour segments.

As a matter of fact, this powerful strategy has three crucial benefits:

  • It helps you leverage your time and attention in a more focused way so that you get important work done
  • You develop more awareness of what work is actually essential
  • Better work habits are created over time

Your Perfect Hour consists of three simple steps:

  1. Create Your Plan of Attack (The work you will do.)
  2. Set the Stage (Your work atmosphere.)
  3. Take Focused Action (Your work structure.)

Your Perfect Hour Structure

But before we dive in, let’s talk about the structure of Your Perfect Hour.

Your Perfect Hour Formula utilizes the Pomodoro Technique. I love pairing this method with time-blocking.

Instead of a long task list that you attempt to tackle in an endless marathon, you will work on purposeful tasks in short 25-minutes bursts with a 5-minute break between sessions.

The traditional Pomodoro Technique uses this structure:

25m work + 5m break + 25m work + 5m break

However, this is my preferred structure to use for Your Perfect Hour Formula:


5m prep + 25m creation + 5m break + 25m creation

You can be ridiculously productive when you use this method, but only if you set the right circumstances.

And just an FYI. You can stack these hours together. But take a 25-minute or longer break after every third hour.

So, let's dive into the 3-steps that make up Your Perfect Hour Formula.

How to Work Effectively with Your Perfect Hour Formula

Step 1: Create Your Plan of Attack

Your first step is to plan in advance. That is to say, decide what you want to get done in advance of work.

Take just a few minutes to write down what task(s) you want to accomplish and what materials you need

There is an ebook, organizer, and cheatsheet included in the Your Perfect Hour Bundle. You can download this bundle to get the organizer or you can create your own.

When planning, be mindful of that Pomodoro Technique we shared earlier. Remember that you'll have two 25-minute, focused blocks within one hour to get work done.

In the beginning, plan to do one task per 25-minute segment.

It's best not to overestimate what you can accomplish because planning too many tasks can backfire. Having time left over at first is better than having incomplete work.

If a task is going to take longer than a 25-minute segment to complete, then see if you can break it down into smaller chunks.

To create your plan of attack:

  • plan in advance
  • know what you need
  • write it out
  • break larger tasks into smaller steps

Step 2: Set the Stage

Your next step is to Set the Stage. This step is all about creating the right work environment so that you’re ready to leverage your time and attention.

I suggest creating what I like to call a Distraction Free Zone.

What is a Distraction Free Zone?

I suggest creating what I like to call a Distraction Free Zone. This is where you “go to work”.

It could be a home office, your kitchen table, or even the library. Choose a consistent workspace. Working in the same location is a signal to your brain that it's time to work.

You also want to make sure that you choose a location that works for you. In other words, it should be a space where you can be productive.

But being distraction-free doesn’t only mean having a space. It’s also important to create the right circumstances and be in the right frame of mind.

You can set the stage further by doing the following:

  • remove as many distractions as possible
  • turn off your phone
  • turn off all notifications (Mac users, check out the Focus feature)
  • only open programs, websites, and documents you need for that task
  • keep materials at an arm's length
  • communicate your needs with others (where applicable)

Being both physically and mentally prepared before you sit down to work will help with FOCUS.

Step 3: Take Focused Action

This brings us to the last step of Your Perfect Hour Formula — take focused action.

Taking focused action is the key to getting work done. But putting limits on your time (this is why we’re using the Pomodoro Technique) is just as important because of Parkinson’s Law.

Parkinson’s Law states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

This means if you leave yourself an hour to complete something that should take 10 minutes, you’ll end up taking the entire hour.

It's totally true! I've done it. Leaving too much time available to complete a task will allow distractions to creep in and derail you.

So take full advantage of the Pomodoro Technique to keep you in control of your time.

Set a timer for 25-minutes and GO. Focus all of your attention on the task at hand.

At the end of the 25-minutes, take a 5-minute break. A real break. Don't do other work!

Breaks are just a form of rest. There are so many benefits of building rest into your day.

So, get up, stretch, move around, take some deep breaths, rest your eyes, or whatever else is going to refresh you. After the break, set your timer for 25 minutes and take focused action again.

It’s that simple.

Working More Effectively in Your Business Makes a Difference

While there’s a lot for you to do in your business as a solopreneur, there’s no reason why you can’t work smarter.

Using Your Perfect Hour as the structure to get work done will put you well on your way to working more effectively, wasting less time, and finding more satisfaction in your work.

Which strategy above are you going to try this week? Let me know in the comments below.

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