Bloggers have been promoting the 90-minute work cycle lately, among them Tony Scharz in his post at Harvard Business Review and in The New York Times. Tony works on his most important task for 90 minutes every morning, and has felt his productivity increase:
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 turns out that 90 minutes is the optimal period of time to work continuously before your brain and body needs to recharge. That’s why you should also take a break, a snack or a nap between each cycle.
I’ve experimented with this method for a few weeks now. My twist is that I start the first cycle of work as soon as possible after getting out of bed. For me, that would typically mean around 6-6.15am – charged with a cup of coffee. Working from home makes that a little easier than for most people. Even if you don’t work from home, you could make a deal with your boss to work that hour and a half from home every morning.
I don’t really see myself as a morning person. If you’re anything like me, you know that mornings can be painful. That’s why I started experimenting with getting into work-mode as soon as possible to see if my brain would wake up faster. It did!