Daily 50 Minutes

I have been amazed at the power of working in a focused manner for a significant amount of time. Since my post on the power of 48 minutes, I’ve been testing different time intervals and doing different tasks. I added the ability to combine shorter tasks with focus cards that are marked with shorter time periods. This system works very well for me and I have found that 50 minutes is optimal before taking a break.

The question now comes up… how can I optimize a 50 minute time period on a daily basis? When I look at some of my long term goals many of them fit well into this type of daily focus. Tasks like writing a book, daily blog posting, and speech preparation all lend themselves to a structured work environment.

It is easy to see how a daily 50 minutes could really tie together into a weekly structure to create something really significant. I could write a chapter a day for a book project. This could yield significant results in a rather short period of time. Within three months it would be possible to complete the writing, editing and self publishing of a 150-200 page book.

Looking at other opportunities, it would be possible to develop a weekly structure that would allow a small blog network to flourish. Take a five day work week and develop a posting schedule for each day. You could configure the schedule to include up to three different web sites with a major emphasis on one and a lesser focus on the other two.

These ideas really resonate with me. I have two hours available every morning. The more I think about the power of focused work, the more I realize what is actually possible. The problem that usually arises is those activities that come up that conflict with this structured time. Work projects, unexpected items, and the expediency of the urgent all seem to come up way too often.

I usually take a step back and say… that sounds good… but it will never work. Something will always come up that will take precedence. I can hear those negative nabobs on my shoulder right now.

But I don’t want this negativity to ruin the power of focused work. When I look at what has worked for me in the past I realize that setting short term goals of 12 weeks usually works well.

What would happen if I set a daily focused work goal for 12 weeks? Can I keep up the consistency? Can I finish the book? Can I blog consistently 5 days a week?

Yes I can… but will I?

Will those negative voices win? Will the book be written?

Can important overcome urgent?

The 12 week period starts October 1st…


  1. says

    I must say I admire your diligence and willpower with this John. You have coached me into quite a bit of introspection on how much time I am frittering away because of my lack of focus, or because I get so charged up about certain projects that I overdo them, and cannot leave well enough alone. It’s that content versus discontent balance that Tim Milburn has been teaching us about in our JJL’06 forum.

    We’ll be looking forward to your book news when your 12 weeks are up!

  2. says

    Thanks for the encouragement, Rosa. I’ve got 5 chapters into the document minus editing. The 50 minute focus time really helps with this project. I’m learning a lot about MS Word and book development. The built in outliner really helps.

    Good luck on your new project. I’m looking forward to some amazing things!


  3. says

    Hello John,
    Long time listener first time caller. If you have not looked at the latest version (9) of Dragon Naturally Speaking I have found it to work great. It has come a long way and as writer you should find it invaluable and a great time saver. It costs ~$200 but you can easily reach your ROI with as much writing as you do.


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