How many times have you started work early and finished late? 

Is lunch at your desk the norm? 

It’s a growing phenomenon where many employees and managers are being asked to do more for less. Working additional hours may look good to the boss but doesn’t necessarily mean increased productivity.

Let’s face it; we tend to be overcommitted to work (in and out of the home) and under-committed to our health, family and friends. There are so many demands on out time; we rarely stop to think about it.

My working life used to mean arriving in the office by 7am and not leaving until after 6pm feeling drained and in need of a carb fix rather than a trip to gym. I gained weight, felt sluggish, demotivated and easily distracted with low levels of concentration. Social events felt more like a chore than a pleasure, with the only solace to be found in mind numbing TV and a glass or more of red wine. I was on the verge of complete burn-out, but how could I change and improve things?

After some research into time management (which by the way is an oxymoron – you can’t manage time, you can only manage the tasks and activities you do within a time frame) I developed a strategy that has improved my productivity, my eating habits, motivation and energy levels. It doesn’t cost anything and requires very little effort – The 90 Minute Rule.

The 90 Minute Rule involves working on an activity for a maximum of 90 minutes then taking a break by physically and mentally moving away from the task that you have been working on.

This could mean a short walk in the fresh air, visit a colleague rather than emailing, have a coffee or whatever moves you away from the task in hand. The important point is to do something totally different for around 15 minutes. 

Activity + Inactivity = Productivity

The 90 minute rule is a tool which can increase productivity with better results. It can help you to feel more relaxed, more productive at work and still leave energy for other aspects of life including your health, family and friends.

Keep it real! – I’m not suggesting that you make huge changes in your daily life; but I am suggesting that you implement a small change that could lead to big results. 

If you are reading this with some cynicism, consider, what have you got to lose by trying it for a month and feeling the benefits for yourself.

If you would like to share details of your 90 minute rule experiences and how it worked for you, I would love to hear from you. 


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