How to use a Speed Hour?
I just returned from a week-long trip back to my parents. Although seeing them was great and the kids had a wonderful time playing with their grandparents, the jarring reality of LIFE hit me hard when we got back home. Re-adapting to the chaos of real life was a bit of a shock and very stressful if I’m being honest. To avoid feeling completely overwhelmed and frustrated, I implemented a few “Speed Hours” to help myself get back on track.
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You can use a Speed Hour anytime you are feeling overwhelmed or unmotivated.
Sometimes we just need to get stuff DONE, and sometimes done is better than perfect.
What is a Speed Hour?
Basically, a Speed Hour is just an hour of FAST and FOCUSED work. You will give yourself only ONE HOUR to do whatever task it is that needs to be done and that’s it. This is a way to get a project done and off your plate.
Will it be perfect? Probably not. This is just a quick and fast way to get something off your to-do list.
How To Use The Speed Hour
Pick ONE thing that you need to do. Maybe it’s clean the kitchen, or laundry, or reply to emails… whatever. Just pick the thing that needs to get done and ONLY work on that task for the hour. Set a timer for one hour and just start working. Don’t worry about perfection, just worry about getting it done. Once the timer goes off, you can’t work on it anymore. Just move on to something else. BONUS: it may not take a whole hour!
Speed Hour Example: Housework
Your goal is to get the house presentable, not spotless. Unless your house is already impeccable, we’re not going to worry about washing baseboards and scrubbing grout with a toothbrush here. No, this is a FAST whirlwind through your house to get it “clean enough.”
So what does this mean? It means picking up floors, taking things back to the rooms that they belong it, vacuuming, fluffing and arranging pillows, wiping down surfaces and dirty kid smudges, and maybe folding some clothes (if they are already clean).
Work room by room and take a basket with you as you go.
Also bring your cleaning supplies with you into each room. (I like this cleaning caddy). In each room, scan and quickly pick up and put away anything that is on the floor or on a surface that it doesn’t belong on. Things that don’t belong in that room go in your basket. You’ll carry this basket with you when you move to the next room and can put the stuff away when you’re working on the other room. Don’t take time away from the room you’re in to go and put something away in another room.
Remember to work FAST.
Try not to stop. Just put stuff away as fast as you can.
Next, wipe down all surfaces with a wet wipe or cloth. Remember, you’re not dusting every little nook and cranny, your just wiping down the surface and getting visible dust and dirt out of sight.
Lastly, vacuum the floor. Even if it’s a hard surface, vacuuming is usually faster than sweeping. Use your judgement here.
Try not to spend more than 15 minutes in each room. You can set the timer in 15 minute increments if you are easily distracted (like me! LOL).
Also, an hour might not be long enough to clean the entire house if you have a lot of rooms. Just pick the four rooms that get used the most. Remember, in this moment the Speed Hour is more for your sanity than for a perfectly clean house.
Using a Speed Hour is also a great way to keep yourself focused.
If left to my own devices I have a tendency to start decluttering and organizing a room that I’m cleaning. That’s great if I’ve got the time to do it but if I need to get more than one room straightened, it isn’t a great use of time. If I set a timer for a Speed Hour I don’t get hung up and distracted while I’m working.
Speed Hour Example: Working From Home
If you work from home or work for yourself you know how easy it is to get overwhelmed.
I use a Speed Hour whenever I’m feeling like there are a lot of little tasks that are piling up. I also like using a Speed Hour for going through emails and weeding out my inbox. I move emails that look like they need more attention into a special folder that I work on later. During the Speed Hour I just go through and handle the emails that need a split second decision, like adding people to my Pinterest group boards, saying yes or no to more info on a collaboration, or other short emails that don’t take too much time.
A Speed Hour is also great when you need to file papers, clean off your desk, delete apps from your phone or desktop, unsubscribe from email lists, etc…
Speed Hours are great for getting mundane but necessary tasks done and out-of-the-way.
Ugh, But I Thought You Were, like, the Productivity Powerhouse or something…
So…. yes, I write a lot about productivity. I’ve even made an entire e-course on the subject. BUT, that doesn’t mean that I’m not human!!! We all get behind, me included! That’s why the Power Hour is so great! It’s like a shot of espresso mixed with Red Bull for getting back into gear.
When life seems just a little off-kilter, sometimes a Speed Hour is all you need to get back on track.
Let Me Know What You Think
Do you already use a tool like the Speed Hour? Or do you have something else that works for you? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear about it.
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11 thoughts on “How Using a Speed Hour Can Help Busy Women : Sometimes Done is Better Than Perfect”
Thanks. 1 hour is doable and can be broken down into 15 minute segments. As you mentioned, sometimes it takes less time! So going to try this today.
Elizabeth – I love this post. I am definitly going to put this in my ‘tool-kit. I often get sidetracked when I’m cleaning or working. I start one thing…the phone rings or someone walks into my office and when they leave I start another. Sometimes I don’t realize that I left off in the middle of the first thing until hours later! Thank you for your really practical advice!
Been using this tactic actually for my blog- I give myself a half hour only to promote on Facebook groups, and an a speed hour to work on a potential e-book- I tell myself that’s the only thing I can work on during the time – it’s never done but I feel like it’s super focused! Great post!
I love this idea and it sounds like a good way to motivate me to get stuff done, instead of being overwhelmed!
I feel like I do this daily without even realizing it was a “thing” haha. I usually take an hour or so before work or else right when I get home and just go-go-go! And then I make myself sit on my butt for a few minutes and spend some quality time with my little lady!
That sounds like a great way to carve out quality time. 🙂
I LOVE this idea! I need to start implementing this into my daily routines. Thanks for sharing it!
You’re welcome! Thanks for visiting!
I LOVE this idea. I feel like I can apply this to almost anything, and it sounds super perfect for those days that I just feel like sitting around but have a ton to do.
Exactly, it’s for those days that you really can’t be bothered but “have” to. 🙂