The Quick Report

Need a Productivity Boost? Try the 90/90/1 Method


What is the 90/90/1 rule/resolution/method? Every January, scores of people focus on new goals for the new year and try to kick the month off on a positive note with new habits and/or ceasing others. However, because the enthusiasm for setting New Year’s resolutions tends to quickly fade, people are always looking for new methods to help them increase productivity and stick to their goals.

“The enthusiasm that comes with setting resolutions can start to wane when the initial new year adrenaline wears off,” Deb Harrison, a coach and consultant told Today.

Enter the 90/90/1 Rule (90 Days, 90 Minutes, 1 Goal). This trending productivity hack also called a resolution or method, is designed to help people crush their goals.

“It’s not that your goals are too ambitious,” Brian Pulliam, founder of Refactor Coaching told Today. “It’s that you need new tactics to achieve them more effectively.”

How Does the 90/90/1 Rule Work?

The 90/90/1 Rule (90 Days, 90 Minutes, 1 Goal), was first introduced by Robin Sharma, a leadership expert, motivational speaker, and author of several books. 

The concept is centered around allocating 90 minutes every day for the next 90 days to work on the top (i.e. “one big”) goal that you want to achieve. 

The idea is to focus on a specific task related to your top goal without focusing on other thoughts. It can also be multiple tasks as long as all of them are directly related to your single goal.

Many practitioners of the rule are proponents and execute the 90/90/1 method in the morning. They state this is the best time because most people are at their peak ability to maintain focus. Productivity coaches say to try to execute the rule before you check email or begin your work day.


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Putting the 90/90/1 Method to Work

Deb Harrison gave the example of writing a book, something many people harbor as an unrealized dream. Harrison suggests allocating 90 minutes every morning to work on tasks related to the book. This might include writing, revising, or editing. It can also be spent on other tasks associated with getting published. Working on the cover, polishing your blurb or proposal, researching publishing houses, working on your author’s website, planning a marketing strategy, developing marketing materials, and so on. Each of these numerous tasks is related to the single task of writing and getting the book published.

Variation on 90 Minutes: 30 x 3

Another variation of allocating ninety minutes suggested by Brian Pulliam is to break the 90 minutes up into three 30-minute sessions. This is perfect for people who can’t find an open 90-minute slot in their schedule and/or need to do multiple tasks. It may consist of 30 minutes in the morning before your other work, 30 minutes before dinner, and 30 minutes before bed.

Using this variation, decide on three tasks for the day and allocate 30 minutes to each of them. 

Back to our example of a goal of writing the book, it could be divided as follows: 30 minutes writing new material, 30 minutes revising previously written material, 30 minutes on writing material for your author’s website blog.

Read More: For Your New Year’s Resolutions, Try “Streaks”

How to Stick to the 90/90/1 Rule

Whether you’re calling it a resolution, rule, or method, creating and sticking to it is always easier said than done. However, experts and coaches have advice for staying on course and achieving your goal.


“A calendar, pen, and timer can be tremendous assets,” says Harrison. She also recommends setting a 90-minute alarm and reminders on your phone.

There are also Gantt Chart tools and various free templates that can help you plan, prioritize, and track your progress.

Staying Accountable

The experts also recommend aligning with an accountability partner who will check in with you each day. In turn, you can be an accountability partner for someone else. The goals can be entirely different, but you can help one another stick to them, as well as be there for advice.

Harrison says that for those who can’t find an accountability partner, journaling about your progress might help you hold yourself accountable.

Focus on Successes, not Struggles

Experts also advise that you should focus on the successes you are making rather than allowing yourself to be consumed with what’s not working. Learn from what is working and apply it to the areas you are still struggling with. Ask yourself: “How can I apply these lessons?”

Read More: How to Accomplish More by Doing Less

Room for Flexibility with 90/90/1

Lastly, the experts say that if you find yourself significantly struggling to work on your goal “every day” for 90 days, you can modify the rule/method/resolution. Sometimes you can benefit by extending a little compassion to yourself.

Instead, modify your rule to be “every weekday for 90 days.” Allowing yourself weekends off might be necessary to fulfill all your other obligations, as well as not burn out.