Some people are night owls. Other people are early birds. I people am not a fowl of any kind, thank you very much. (However, I am a male seahorse named Spikey, but that’s a different story…)
Do you ever get that jolt of inspired activity, where you suddenly want to do this thing and then you do it? Well, capture the nature of that jolt and ask yourself if you have a time of day where you’re likely to be as productive, relative to this jolt. This is your Power Hour! Now, apologize to yourself for asking yourself another question, then ask yourself: When is your Power Hour?
For me, if I can plop myself in front of a computer from the moment I wake up, I am super productive. Also, between 8:30 and 9:30 before my first meeting seems to be when I get lots of stuff done. Such times are usually ones where I am least prone to interruption and have a strict deadline. In the latter example, that Power Hour ends with the morning Scrum at work, whereas in the former example, that Power Hour ends when I start getting hungry. These are moments of sheer focus and Matrix-like clarity.
These times of day may not happen every day, but I wager that more often than not, much like for night owls and early birds, there is a time of day where you’re naturally more efficient. If you don’t know this for yourself, find it, even if it is by process of elimination, e.g., you’re useless after dinner or before your third cup of coffee.
After determining your Power Hour (and this is more a time of day than a strict 60 minutes), think about which tasks/stories you would want to have done during this time. Also, think about this somewhat physiological logistic when setting the day’s game plan during the Scrum. Besides prioritizing to work with your natural inclinations, this visualizing of getting a set of things done during that magical time feeds the good kind of self-fulfilling prophesy, and I’ll take a positive feedback loop like this whenever I can.