A 90-Minute Plan for Personal Effectiveness

For nearly a decade now, I’ve begun my workdays by focusing for 90 minutes, uninterrupted, on the task I decide the night before is the most important one I’ll face the following day. After 90 minutes, I take a break.

To make this possible, I turn off my email while I’m working, close all windows on my computer, and let the phone go to voicemail if it rings.

I typically get more work done during those 90 minutes, and feel more satisfied with my output, than I do for any comparable period of time the rest of the day. It can be tough on some days to fully focus for 90 minutes, but I always have a clear stopping time, which makes it easier.

I launched this practice because I long ago discovered that my energy, my will, and my capacity for intense focus diminish as the day wears on. Anything really challenging that I put off tends not to get done, and it’s the most difficult work that tends to generate the greatest enduring value.

I first made this discovery while writing a book. At the time, I’d written three previous books. For each one, I’d dutifully sit down at my desk at 7 a.m., and I’d often stay there until 7 p.m.

Looking back, I probably spent more time avoiding writing than I did actually writing. Instead, I spent an inordinate amount of time and energy making lists, responding to email, answering the phone, and keeping my desk clean and my files incredibly well organized.

There were days I never got to writing at all. It was incredibly frustrating.

You can follow the ‘via’ link above to go to the source if you’re looking for new ideas on personal effectiveness…


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