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The 90/90/1 Morning Routine: Your Secret to Success in 2024?

January 15, 2024

Reading Time: 10 minutes

The 90/90/1 Morning Routine: Your Secret to Success in 2024?

Is it time to revamp your morning routine? The 90/90/1 routine might be a great fit… or it might not be. In this episode, you’ll learn how to use this buzzworthy morning routine to make huge progress towards your goals – even if you have an unpredictable schedule. Shownotes for Episode 209!

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There’s something about the start of a new year that just screams reset to me. It’s like we’re all collectively hitting the reset button, reassessing our routines, and figuring out how to make this year our best yet. And as cheesy as it may sound to talk about 2024 being your best year yet, I literally have never heard a single person say “I hope this year is worse than last year.”  And let’s be real, we’re always on the lookout for that secret trick that’s going to help us juggle our careers, our families, and our personal goals without dropping the ball… or losing our minds even when it’s NOT the new year, am I right? 

So, in the spirit of new beginnings and making the most out of our precious time, today we’re diving into a routine that’s been making waves in the world of productivity and personal development – the Routine that was featured in an Everygirl post. It’s called the 90/90/1 Morning Routine. Or the 90/90/1 Rule. 

Now, if you’re sitting there wondering what on earth I’m talking about, don’t worry, you’re in the right place. We’re going to explore what this routine is all about, why it’s gaining traction, and most importantly, how it can fit into our busy lives.

But here’s the million-dollar question – is the 90/90/1 routine truly the missing piece in our quest for a balanced and fulfilling life? Or is it just another fad that sounds great on paper but doesn’t really work for us real-world folks? Stick around, because we’re about to dive deep into all of that and more.

So today, we’re talking about

  • Why the 90/90/1 Rule can be a game-changer for redefining your morning routine
  • How the 90/90/1 Rule can dramatically accelerate your progress toward achieving your big goals
  • How to overcome an “all or nothing” mindset and embrace flexibility and consistency 
  • 3 Ways to Adapt the 90/90/1 Routine to fit even the most unpredictable schedules

So, let’s dive into this buzz-worthy routine that’s been catching everyone’s attention – the 90/90/1 Rule. Now, if you’ve been anywhere near the productivity and self-improvement circles lately, you might have heard some chatter about this. And there’s a good reason for that.

In our fast-paced world, where multitasking is the norm and our to-do lists never seem to end, finding time to focus on our most important goals can feel like an impossible task. We’ve all been there, right? Scrambling to meet deadlines, juggling family responsibilities, trying to squeeze in some personal time – it’s a lot.

Simplicity

And here’s where the 90/90/1 Rule starts to shine. It’s like this beacon of hope for those of us craving a bit more structure and significantly more progress in our lives. But why has it become so popular, especially among professionals and, yes, busy moms like us?

Well, it taps into a universal desire – the need to accomplish something meaningful amidst the chaos of everyday life. This routine promises not just productivity, but focused productivity. It’s about dedicating a specific time to what truly matters, uninterrupted and undistracted. And let’s be honest, that’s pretty appealing in a world where our attention is constantly being pulled in a million directions.

The beauty of the 90/90/1 Rule lies in its simplicity. It’s not about overhauling your entire day or adding more to your already full plate. Instead, it’s about carving out a dedicated slot of time for your most significant work, your passion project, or that big goal you’ve been nudging to the back burner.

What is the 90/90/1 Rule?

So, what exactly is this 90/90/1 morning routine, and why is it becoming a go-to strategy for people looking to make real strides in their personal and professional lives? Let’s break it down.

The 90/90/1 Rule is a concept created by a guy named Robin Sharma, and he covered it in his book The 5AM Club. Side note, I do NOT recommend that book, but I do like a lot of the principles covered inside it. If you want to know more about why I don’t recommend it, shoot me a DM on Instagram, and I’ll tell you all about it. 

So Imagine this: for the next 90 days, you dedicate the first 90 minutes of your workday to your number one priority. 

90 Days / 90 minutes / 1 priority. 

The core idea here is focus. For those 90 minutes, your world revolves around one project, one goal, one big dream that you’ve been itching to bring to life. It’s not about checking emails, scrolling through social media, or even tackling the daily chores. It’s about giving your undivided attention to something that’s truly important to you.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, ‘Anna, where am I supposed to find an extra 90 minutes in my already packed schedule?’ Believe me, I get it. As busy professionals, we’re constantly being pulled in a lot of different directions. We’ve got emails, Teams messages, Slack messages, more emails and people knocking down our door to ask questions.

But here’s the thing – the 90/90/1 Rule isn’t about adding more stress to our lives; it’s about rethinking how we prioritize our time.

And why 90 minutes? Why not 2 hours or 30 minutes?  Well, 90 minutes is long enough to get something substantial done and short enough to be feasible for most of us. It’s about quality, not quantity. Those 90 minutes are your golden window to make progress on something that can significantly impact your life, whether it’s growing your business, writing a book, or even pursuing a personal passion. You’ll be surprised, 90 minutes will pass faster than you think. 

But the real question is, when does it make sense to implement this routine in our hectic lives? Is it for everyone? Let’s take a closer look.

When to Use the 90/90/1 Rule

The 90/90/1 Rule shines in scenarios where you have a clear goal that needs dedicated time and effort. Think about that one project that, if accomplished, could really move the needle in your life. It could be professional, like launching a new product or service in your business, or personal, like getting into a healthier lifestyle or learning a new skill.

This routine is for those of us who feel like we’re constantly putting out fires and reacting to the demands of the day, leaving little room for what we truly want to achieve. It’s for the dreamers who are ready to become doers. It’s for the moms who want to show their kids what it looks like to chase after a goal with determination and focus.

But, as much as the 90/90/1 Rule can be a game-changer, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times – time management is not a one-size-fits-all thing. You have to find what works best for you, and There are times when this routine might not be the best fit, and that’s okay. Let’s explore that a bit.

When Not to Use the 90/90/1 Rule

So, when might the 90/90/1 Rule not be the ideal choice? It’s important to recognize that while this routine can be incredibly powerful, it’s not for everyone. 

For instance, if your life is currently in a phase of significant change or unpredictability – maybe you’ve just had a baby, or you’re caring for a family member, or your work schedule is all over the place – trying to commit to a rigid routine like 90/90/1 might add more stress than value. And that’s the last thing we need, right?

If that’s you, file this one away for the future and come back to it later when it makes more sense for you and your life. 

Also, if you’re someone who thrives on variety and finds strict routines suffocating, this method might make you feel boxed in instead of free to focus on your big goals. We all work differently, and the key is to find a method that energizes rather than drains you.

That’s exactly what I do with my time management coaching clients – we start by analyzing your personality and really dialing in how you make decisions, where you get your energy, what drains you and how you think about time. It’s almost like a fast pass, or a shortcut to figuring out what time management methods are going to work best for you.

All-Or-Nothing Thinking

Now, before we move on, let’s tackle a common mindset that often holds us back – it’s called all-or-nothing thinking. It’s that little voice in our heads saying, ‘If I can’t do it perfectly, then why bother doing it at all?’ This mindset can be a major obstacle, especially when trying to implement something like the 90/90/1 Rule.

I get it. We’re high achievers, we’re perfectionists, we want to do it all and do it well. But here’s the thing – life is rarely perfect, and neither are our schedules. Waiting for that ‘perfect’ time to start working on your goals means you might be waiting forever.

Embrace Imperfection

So, what do we do? We embrace imperfection. We recognize that some progress, no matter how small, is infinitely better than no progress. Let’s say you planned for 90 minutes but only got 30 minutes today. That’s okay. Those 30 minutes are valuable. They’re 30 minutes you’ve moved closer to your goal.

Breaking free from all-or-nothing thinking is about flexibility. It’s understanding that life will throw curveballs, and our ability to adapt is far more important than sticking rigidly to a plan. It’s about celebrating the small wins and understanding that consistent, imperfect action is often more impactful than sporadic, perfect efforts.

And remember, your best is enough. Some days your best might be an hour of focused work, other days it might be just getting through your emails. That’s not failure; that’s life. It’s all about finding a balance that works for you, and not beating yourself up when things don’t go as planned.

As we think about implementing the 90/90/1 Rule or any productivity strategy, let’s remind ourselves: progress, not perfection, is the key. It’s about doing what we can, with what we have, and growing a little each day. That’s how we make real, sustainable changes in our lives.

So, I encourage you to look at your goals and your routines with kindness and flexibility. Give yourself the grace to adapt and the courage to keep moving forward, even if it’s just one small step at a time.

If you love the idea of the 90/90/1 Rule but find it daunting or impractical as written –  let’s adapt it to fit your life. Let’s go all or something, instead of all or nothing. If you’re intrigued by it, you don’t have to copy and paste it – you can bend the rules to work for you.

How to Adapt the 90/90/1 Rule to your Life

Here are three different ways that you can adapt the 90/90/1 rule to work for you.

  1. Carve out less than 90 minutes each day 

Let’s say you can’t spare the first 90 minutes each morning. You’ve got a team meeting on Thursdays at 9:30, or you’ve got to check in with clients by 10:00 – that’s okay! 

Let’s bend the rules. What about 45 minutes? Or even 30? The magic isn’t in the number; it’s in the consistency and intention behind it. It’s about carving out whatever time you can to focus on what matters most to you.

  1. Work with what you’ve got

And what if your availability in the mornings is a little bit different every day? Bend the rules. Work with what you’ve got! Maybe on Monday you do an hour, Tuesday is 45 minutes, Wednesday is 90, and so on. 

  1. Be flexible about your time slot

And then, what if your schedule is unpredictable? Again – flexibility is key. Let’s bend the rules. Maybe your 90 minutes comes in the evening when the kids are in bed, or during a lunch break at work. The idea is to find a slot in your day – any time of day – that you can consistently dedicate to your most important project.

Remember, this isn’t about all-or-nothing thinking. It’s about making small, sustainable changes that can lead to big results over time. It’s about giving yourself the grace to adapt and adjust as life happens, while still keeping your eyes on the prize.

So, remember the 90/90/1 Rule is a powerful tool, but it’s not a magic bullet. It’s a framework that, when adapted to your individual needs and circumstances, can help you make meaningful progress towards your goals. Maybe it makes sense for you. Maybe it doesn’t. It’s up for YOU to decide. 

Real-life Examples

Alright, let’s get into some real-life examples and practical tips on implementing the 90/90/1 Rule in our wonderfully unpredictable lives as working moms.

Picture this: Sarah, a mom of two with a full time job, was struggling to find time to work on her side gig. Between her day job and family commitments, her dream of growing her side business into full time income was always taking a backseat. Then she found  the 90/90/1 Rule. Sarah started waking up an hour earlier each day. Those quiet morning hours became her sacred time for working on her business plan. Fast forward 90 days, and she’d made tons of progress 

But let’s keep it real. Waking up earlier isn’t feasible for everyone, and that’s okay. I certainly don’t want to wake up an hour earlier. So take Michelle, a single mom and freelance graphic designer. Her mornings are a whirlwind of breakfast and school runs. So, she tweaked the 90/90/1 Rule to fit her schedule. Every evening, after her kids went to bed, she dedicated time to developing a new design course. This routine helped her launch her course in just three months.

How to Implement the 90/90/1 Morning Routine

Now, let’s talk about how you can make this work for you. First, identify your top priority. What’s that one project or goal that’s going to make a significant difference in your life? Got it? Great. Now, let’s figure out how to carve out time for it.

If mornings are hectic, can you find time during a lunch break, after work, or once the kids are in bed? Even if it’s not 90 minutes, can you start with 30 or 45? The key is to be consistent. It’s not about how much time you spend each day; it’s about how focused and dedicated that time is.

And remember, life happens. There will be days when your routine gets thrown off. That’s totally normal. Don’t beat yourself up about it. The important thing is to get back on track as soon as you can. It’s about progress, not perfection.

Implementing the 90/90/1 Rule isn’t about overhauling your life overnight. It’s about making a commitment to yourself and your dreams, one day at a time. It’s about finding those pockets of time where you can focus on what truly matters to you and making the most of them.

As we wrap up today’s episode, I encourage you to think about how you can apply the 90/90/1 Rule in your life. What could you achieve if you dedicated focused time to your most important goal for the next 90 days? And if the 90/90/1 rule – even with bending the rules isn’t a good fit for you, I’d love to know what you’re doing instead! 

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