The One Hour Method


Autumn leaves floating in the wind and a quote from chapter four.

The One Hour Method:

  1. In one minute, determine the goal you’d like to achieve in the next hour.
  2. Spend 2 minutes planning out your steps to achieve this certain goal.
  3. And go.

One simple hour, just an hour--oh but such precious time. I find myself throughout the week scrounging for an extra hour a day, or even just the week, to invest in this new project.

I want to introduce the one hour method to you. It’s friendly and just bite size enough to play with and really make it custom to fit your needs. I hope you find it helpful.

Last week my darling friend, Bekkah, whom you remember from The Next Right Thing, reminded me of Summit Public School’s learning stategies detailed in their book Prepared. (If you’re interested in a great review, Bryan wrote one for you--it’s amazing.)

In short, Bryan writes, “Diane Tavenner, author of Prepared and founder of Summit Public Schools, which operates some of the top-performing schools in the nation, looks to have found the answer to ensuring every child has a successful life."

Tavenner spills all the details to create a nurturing, self-learning environment--yep self. There is so much goodness in Prepared. Tavenner mentions her students begin class with goal setting. In the first minute of an hour long class, each student determines their goal for the next hour, followed by two minutes to plan out steps to achieve that goal. Students have the next 57 minutes to follow through with their game plan.

Yesterday, I spent an hour narrating for Arbor Fall Festival in my closet studio. I’m learning a new program, Audition, so it was a clumsy hour to say the least, might even be my clumsiest yet.

Closet Studio, Audition Mic, Blue Yeti

I used the one hour method, and this is what it looked liked:

GOAL: Complete Arbor Fall Festival Chapter 4 Audio

The Blue Yeti atop a plastic tower in the closet studio. Making it work.

My 2 minute scribbled plan:

It was an ambitious goal to accomplish in only one hour. So, no surprise, I did not finish this in one hour. In fact, I was only able to read through the 3 page chapter in the allotted hour (not to worry, final production is only 9 minutes of audio).

Here is that time optimism again. I was pretty disappointed that I didn’t even get half-way through my list. And then I remembered this conversation I recently overheard between a Vietnam vet and a Baker discussing the most important tools of change. Adversity, patience, and mistakes made the short list.

I paused, thinking of someone unexpected.

So some of my favorite players in history are microbiologists (oh yep), especially Louis Pasteur, a serendipitous character with an artist’s perspective and an excitement for surprises. When things didn’t go as planned, he followed that new path to see where it would lead and what new discoveries awaited him there.

I’m being kind to myself today. So, yes, I certainly overshot and overwhelmed my ambitious hour, that precious, coveted hour. Turns out I have a lot to learn, more than just storytelling. Time management, strategy, goal-setting made my short list.

The candle is lit. The Forest App is set. My fingertips hover above the keys. Perhaps I’m ready. I hope the One Hour Method provides some focused clarity for your new project. I do hope you're well, safe, and cozy.

Keep it up, courageous friend.

Love and Gratitude,