Skip to main contentA logo with &quat;the muse&quat; in dark blue text.
Advice / Succeeding at Work / Productivity

The 90-90-1 Rule Will Help You Reach Your Big, Crazy Goal

We all have it.

That billion-dollar-business idea that just might work.

That stretch assignment that just might pave the way to your promotion.

That back burner project that just might make your job a whole lot easier.

Problem is, we don’t all have the time to do it. With the zillions of emails, meetings, and to-dos on our agendas, those longer-term, not-so-pressing tasks tend to stay on our plates, patiently waiting for us to get to them.

The good news is, no matter how busy you are, you can get to them if you want to—it just takes a plan and (for most people) a system.

Leadership expert Robin Sharma recently suggests such a plan to realize your idea or dream: the 90-90-1 rule. He writes:

For the next 90 days, devote the first 90 minutes of your work day to the one best opportunity in your life. Nothing else. Zero distractions. Just get that project done. Period.

That means: Sign out of email, turn your phone on silent, mark yourself as busy or invisible in your chat client, and do anything else you need to do to make sure you’re uninterrupted. Then, whatever that project, that vision, that idea is—focus on it for an hour and a half. Do it for a period of three months, and guarantee you’ll have made a significant amount of progress in whatever it is you’ve been dreaming of.

And if 90 minutes (or 90 days) sounds daunting (we’ll be honest—it does even to us), try adapting this rule to 30-30-1 or 45-45-1. Nicole Antoinette of Life Less Bullshit even suggests that devoting 13 minutes a day to your passion project is enough to get started.

The point is, get started. And set up a system that’ll make sure you keep going.

Photo of clock courtesy of Shutterstock.