48 Minutes To Being Productive

Any Digital Clock Will Do
Any Digital Clock Will Do

Can 48 minutes make a difference in your day? I’m willing to bet it can.  Why do I ask?  Because sometimes, we just need to force ourselves to focus to get through a tough project and quit procrastinating.  A year or so ago, I went to the local discount store and picked up a digital timer with the large numbers similar to the one at left.  I placed it on my desk and set the timer to countdown 48 minutes.  After hitting the “start” key, I began work on a project I had been delaying simply because I didn’t want to do it.  After the 48 minutes expired, I was surprised at how much work I had gotten done.  I took a twelve minute break to get a drink of water, stretch a bit outside, and walk up a few houses down and back.  I then went back to my office for another 48 minute session and was pleasantly surprised when I completed the task before my time was up.  In less than two hours, I had finished something I had put off for weeks.

Sometimes, our minds get the better of us and we find other busy work to occupy us while that ugly task sits in the corner waiting to be completed.  It’s not going away.  We see it every day but just choose to turn our heads.  I’ve found when these types of tasks now come up I simply need to plan 48 minutes to get it done.  Many times, I can bundle tasks into segments that I can complete within this time frame.  It’s amazing how much more productive I feel and how relaxing it is to get those things done you thought might take forever.  Larger tasks might take more than one session and the key here is to take a break.  The 48/12 rule of breaking up one hour (48 minutes on task and 12 for a break) works wonders to clear your head and keep your focus.  Don’t skip this step or you will burn out!

Try it for yourself.  Go to the store, pick up a timer (you can get them for under $10), plan a few tasks, and have at it.  You might be pleasantly surprised at the “Power of 48”.

48 Minutes To Being Productive

2 thoughts on “48 Minutes To Being Productive

  1. martyschmidt says:

    A few questions:

    how tempting is it to stare at the timer while you are working on your project?
    how tempted are you to check your e-mail during this time?
    how much coffee do you go through in this 48 minute time span?

    Reasons why it might not work for me:

    to busy checking Scott Cheatham’s blog to see if there are ways to better utilize my time.
    my son wants to wrestle every 23 minutes.
    i would set the timer 12 minutes and take a 48 minute break.

    Great post Scott!

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