In Stumbling into My Operating System, I mentioned about my first job after college:
More importantly, because I was traveling or working well into the evenings, I missed out on the kinds of social events most normal 22-year-olds in a big city were attending. And on the weekends, I often didn’t have the energy to plan something or go out.
Well I returned to that same job after business school, and the dynamic was just the same. Being a little bit older, it was even more clear that leaving my social life to chance was a losing life strategy. The solution: start making plans on Monday morning, and they’d materialize by the weekend.
At the time, I was also doing a tour of The Washingtonian top 100 restaurants in the Washington, D.C. area. So practically, I would have to make reservations weeks in advance. And on Monday, it’d email friends to see if they could make whatever dinner or brunch that was coming up soon.
And because I was doing all of that scheduling and planning work then, I figured that I might as well schedule doctors appointments, pay bills, etc.
I say all that to underscore this: Administrative Power Hour was always about getting stuff done in my personal life.
The Power Hour now
Administrative Power Hour is 60 minutes on Monday mornings that is dedicated to getting as many administrative tasks done — and, critically, out of my mind — as possible. While it started as a personal life tool, mine also includes all of the admin stuff from work as well. The core goal is avoid having to revisit these tasks throughout the week.
Typically, that time will include a variety of personal and professional tasks, like:
- Scheduling meetings and appointments
- Doing expense reports
- Making dinner reservations
- Buying presents for people
- Responding to any emails in my inbox that haven’t been previously dealt with
- Ordering groceries
- Visiting the post office and pharmacy
I find that it is especially helpful to deal with these items in a batch fashion for two reasons. First, they distract and drain mental energy from more important tasks. If I have to start each day scheduling appointments, I’m less likely to get into a creative, deep-focus mindset.
Second, many of these administrative tasks are themselves critical to achieving important goals. They are critical to giving a natural momentum. If I schedule a doctor’s appointment for some time in the future, it will happen without any additional effort. And because health is an important priority, it’s worth acting upon…right now.
I want to hear your thoughts!
This is a “living post,” in that I’d like your help to add to make it more valuable. What have you tried that is similar? Have any stories about the impact of using a tool like this? Please share!
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