Increase Productivity: How to Improve Your Focus One Hour at a Time

For a seasoned business coach or an emerging digital course creator, time is your most valuable asset. Therefore, finding effective ways to increase productivity is a necessity, not a “nice to have.”

Why is that? Well, you wear so many hats. You're the strategist, the content creator, the marketer, the administrator, and often the tech support.

And let's not forget, you're also a human being who has personal responsibilities and desires a fulfilling life outside of your business.

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What is Productivity?

So, what is productivity anyway?

Well, when I started on my productivity journey, I initially focused on efficiency. My goal was to get more work done in less time. In other words, I wanted to figure out how to fit 10 hours of work into two.

Sounds ridiculous now that I type that out loud. But it’s the truth. And it was an epic fail!

What I came to understand, though, is efficiency is only a small part of the productivity equation. The other part is effectiveness.

Think of it this way: productivity is being efficient at what is effective for your goal achievement. This will enable you to achieve more with less effort.

Once you master this, you’ll find that you have more time. This could be time to pursue more clients, create a new course, or begin another project you’ve been putting off.

Or you could choose to work a 4-day week with the time you’re saving, leaving more time for family, friends, and fun.

Why Increasing Productivity is Crucial

If any of these things sound good to you, then you’ll want to increase your productivity. However, if you’re still not convinced, here are some other reasons it’s essential for professionals like you.

Maximize Your Earnings Potential

Earning money is one of the key reasons you started your coaching or digital course business. Because unless the business makes money, it’s just a hobby.

An increase in productivity will give you time to focus on more revenue-generating opportunities. Whether you're booking more coaching sessions or rolling out additional course content, your time is directly tied to your earning potential.

Whether you’re aiming to add another $1K to your bank account every month or scale to 6-figures, improving your efficiency and effectiveness will significantly contribute to this.

Optimize Work-Life Balance

Packing more work into your already busy schedule is not only unproductive, but it’s unnecessary. Working smarter will make you more progress than working harder. This involves doing more of what really matters to your business growth and letting the rest of it go.

Optimizing your work will also free up time. This will allow you to truly disengage during your off-hours to rest and recharge or to spend more time with friends and family.

The time you spend away from work will also enable you to be more productive when you come back to it. This is a cycle worth repeating.

Mitigate the Risk of Burnout

Burnout is no joke. I experienced this myself several years ago when I was working 100-120 hours a week. That’s A WEEK!

The symptoms of burnout are awful. And it’s not a good experience — not for you, your clients, or for anyone that cares about you.

However, by consistently implementing methods to increase productivity, you’ll create a protective buffer against the stresses that lead to burnout.

Higher-Quality Work

Your aim is not just to complete tasks but to execute them well. Quality should never be compromised for the sake of speed.

The beauty of optimizing productivity is that it often leads to better work outcomes. With a system in place, you can afford to spend more time doing things like refining your and improving your client or customer experience.

The One Focused Hour Approach to Increase Productivity

And speaking of strategies, you likely have many of them in place for different aspects of your business already. For example, you probably have a social media strategy that lays out where you post, what you post, and when you post.

However, what many coaches and course creators don’t have is a strategy for how you approach the work tasks that need to get done. And you need a strategy for this if you want to increase productivity.

Typically, when you set a big goal, you keep your mind on the big result. With this approach, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and stressed. And the risk is little to no progress on that big goal.

I mean, you’re essentially climbing a mountain. And if you stay focused on getting to the top, it can seem very daunting. And often the risk is never starting to begin with. You just stare at the peak and wish you could be up there.

However, if you stay focused on only the first 100 feet of that mountain, then the next 100 feet, and so on, you soon find that you’ve made a lot of progress.

This is what the One Focused Hour System is designed to do — help you focus on smaller amounts of work and time so you increase productivity and make massive progress.

The One Focused Hour System

The One Focused Hour System is a simple 3-step framework. It invites you to be intentional with your time by breaking down larger, intimidating tasks into manageable, bite-sized pieces.

Then it incorporates an innovative twist on the classic Pomodoro Technique, ensuring you remain fully engaged in your tasks. Basically, you turn every working hour into a power hour of productivity and focus.

The steps of the One Focused Hour System are:

  1. Create Your Game Plan (with intentional planning)
  2. Build Your Fortress (create a distraction-free zone)
  3. Dive Into Action (a strategy for focus)

I’ve broken down the One Focused Hour System in its entirety in another post, so I’m not going to do that here. And you can discover more about intentional planning and a distraction-free zone by following the links above.

But suffice it to say, the first two steps of this strategy are designed to help you take more meaningful action in step three.

So let’s dig a little deeper into the third step of the One Focused Hour System: Dive Into Action.

How to Better Focus On Tasks

The Dive Into Action step of this system is all about leveraging small, hyper-focused pockets of time to get work done.

Whether you use the complete One Focused Hour System or not, you can apply this part of the strategy for any work you want to get over the finish line.

The Classic Pomodoro Technique

Developed in the late 1980s by Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro Technique is a time management strategy that's as simple as it is effective.

Traditionally, the technique involves breaking your work into 25-minute intervals he referred to as “Pomodoros” after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer he used during his university days. These short work sprints, as they are often referred to, make it easier to get started and keep going.

After completing each Pomodoro, you take a short, 5-minute break to relax and recharge.

So, originally, the hour is structured as follows:

25-minutes of work + 5-minute break + 25-minutes of work + 5-minute break

This cycle continues until you've completed four Pomodoros, at which point you take a longer break of 15-30 minutes.

Introducing the Pomodoro Technique 2.0

Truthfully, the original version of the Pomodoro Technique is awesome. While it works great as is, over my years developing my own productivity methods, I’ve modified it some.

It begins with 5 minutes of prep. During this time, you plan out your hour:

What work are you committing to doing for each 25-minute work-sprint?
And what materials do you need to complete the work for each session?

Having a prep period not only allows you to plan how you’ll spend your work sprints, but also to transition into work mode.

Next, you’ll move into a 25-minute work sprint. Here you’ll put all of your attention on the task at hand.

After 25 minutes, you’ll take a 5-minute break. This is not time to do othe work, but get up, stretch, listen to your favorite song, refresh your water, grab a snack, or whatever else will give you a refresher.

There’s so much research on the benefits of work-day breaks. So don’t skip out on this step!

Then, you’ll get back to it with another 25-minute work sprint.

So, the Pomodoro 2.0 version looks like this:

5-minute prep + 25-minutes of work + 5-minute break + 25-minutes of work

A final note on the topic: you can stack up to three hours together in this modified Pomodoro Technique after which you’ll take a break of at least 30 minutes.

Whether you work one single hour or stack three together don’t forget to celebrate your effort. Because progress is progress, no matter how small.

Why the One Focused Hour with Pomodoro 2.0 Works

You might be wondering why I blend the first two strategies of the One Focused Hour System with a modified Pomdoro technique. Also, you may be thinking that the first two steps of the One Focused Hour on their own would help you increase productivity. I mean, why involve the Pomodoro Technique at all?

And while that is a fair question, the answer is simple. When these highly effective strategies collide, the result can be exponentially powerful.

Creating Laser Focus

The genius of the One Focused Hour System lies in its name. The system challenges you to devote a complete, uninterrupted hour to your work. However, if you struggle with focus, you may find this to be a challenge.

That's where Pomodoro 2.0 comes in. The short, intense bursts of activity, combined with brief intervals for relaxation, keep your brain engaged and sharp.

Essentially, it's like giving your mind a workout—you're pushing it hard for a bit, and then allowing it time to catch its breath. You’ll be more effective and you’ll stay energized.

Efficient Planning and Execution

The One Focused Hour starts with planning. In other words, knowing exactly what you're going to work on and how you're going to do it. And it’s not just planning for the sake of planning. It’s purposeful, goal-oriented planning.

That 5-minute prep in the Pomodoro 2.0 is your chance to set the stage for the entire hour. When you prep, you're reducing decision fatigue, as you will already know what to do next during your work sprints.

It also streamlines your focus and attention to one thing—execution.

Streamlined Workflow

You’ve likely experienced workdays where you're constantly shifting gears, leaving you mentally drained at the end.

The beauty of combining One Focused Hour with the Pomodoro 2.0 is the systematic approach to work. By compartmentalizing your tasks and time, you reduce the mental fatigue and ineffectiveness that comes with multitasking or context switching.

You increase productivity because you work smarter.

Built-In Self-Care

Let's not forget those breaks! In the hustle culture we live in, taking a break often feels like a sin. But not taking care of yourself is the sin here.

And as I mentioned earlier, there are numerous studies that affirm the power of taking short breaks to recharge and enhance productivity.

The built-in 5-minute breaks serve as small yet significant self-care moments, giving you a mental breather and resetting your focus for the next work sprint. Think of breaks as a gift you give yourself.

Scalability

Another striking benefit of folding the Pomodoro 2.0 into the One Focused Hour System is the adaptability of this combined approach.

Need to work more than an hour? No problem. The system scales elegantly—you can stack up to three of these powerful hours together, ensuring you’re working at peak performance for longer periods.

But remember, after those intense sessions, take that well-deserved longer break. Your brain and body will thank you.

In short, when you combine intentional planning with a distraction-free zone and add the structure of the Pomodoro 2.0, you get a match that’s uncompared. You’ll improve time-management, increase productivity, and reduce overwhelm.

This trifecta can propel you towards absolutely crushing your business goals.

A Small Step for Big Productivity Gains

I get it. Taking on a new productivity system might seem overwhelming when you’re already juggling numerous roles in your business. But the good news is you don’t have to overhaul your entire schedule to see a massive impact.

Start with just one focused hour. That's right! One hour to dip your toes into the One Focused Hour System where you

  • plan intentionally,
  • create an environment with minimal distractions, and
  • take action with focus, using the Pomodoro 2.0

If you find it tough at first, no worries. Just go easy on yourself. Change doesn’t happen overnight. So don’t expect to be different tomorrow. Take the consistent, small steps that pave the way for transformative, lasting change.
As you ease into this method, you’ll notice not just improved work output, but better work-life balance. Spare just one hour to start a journey that could reshape how you work and live. Your future self will be grateful, and honestly, you've earned this change.

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