Hi, this is Robin Sharma, author of The Leader Who Had No Title, founder of the Titan Academy and a giant and loving and respectful and gently passionate welcome to you for being here with me in this episode of The Mastery Sessions. So, this is gonna be relatively quick and I think relatively strong and hopefully, tremendously valuable to you.
I’m gonna actually walk you through one of the exponentially, one of the exponential productivity routines that I teach at Personal Mastery Academy, and it’s called The 90/90/1 rule.
Before I get into it, I wanna give you a little bit of context for why I’m teaching it or sharing it with you here in this episode. So, we do live in the age of dramatic distraction. Most people, and it’s no judgment, just reporting. But most people really are addicted to their phones and there’s a lot of research showing that it is an addiction.
The same part of the brain responsible for our addiction to technology is the same center where cocaine addiction stems from. And I say this with a lot of respect but there are a lot of very smart people in Silicon Valley and at other technology hubs around the world who really are single-mindedly asking themselves this question.
How can we create apps? How can we create games? How can we create platforms that literally hook people? And if you look at some of the social platforms, they are so brilliant, why? Well, from a neuroscience point of view, they trigger and they dial right into our reward centers. And that’s why you see a lot of people, whether it’s in Rome or in a beautiful and a fun NBA game or maybe it’s Paris or maybe it’s a wonderful meal, and rather than experiencing the meal or the moment, they are literally looking at who is liking their last picture on the social platform of the day. You see people walking, they’re not fully present, they’re dialed in and clinging to their technology.
You know, the latest research actually shows the average employee is spending 50% of their time mired in, stuck in, clinging to distractions. And so you have what I call a gargantuan or an unbeatable competitive advantage. Divorcing or leaving the majority and rising into the rare air of the top 5% of performers on the planet and just understanding how to let go of distraction. How to manufacture world-class days with consistency because consistency is the mother of mastery.
And here’s another idea I wanna offer to you. Look at what the 95% is doing and do the opposite and you’re gonna do absolutely fine in business, in productivity, in creativity, in philanthropy and humanity and living your life like an icon.
So what’s this 90/90/1 Rule?
Well, it’s a daily ritual that I teach at Personal Mastery Academy along with the other nine. The model is the 10 core rituals of legendary performers. And we don’t have the time today together to go into the other nine but I did wanna share one of them, which is The 90/90/1 Rule. And when I work with the billionaires, this one morning routine has helped them profoundly, and here it is.
For the first 90 minutes of your work day. I’ll repeat that again because I didn’t say it as elegantly as I wanted to share it and I just run these podcasts raw and real and so let me just share it more clearly for you. So for the next 90 days, your first 90 minutes at work, make it focused on your single most important project. I’ll repeat that again. For the next 90 days, the first 90 minutes of your work day, focus monomaniacally on your single most valuable project.
I call it your game-changing move. So it might be creating a new piece of code that will revolutionize the marketplace. It might be a new product that when you launch it will fill a need within your industry that no peer is currently providing. I don’t know what your game changing move is but this is your poetry. This is your magnum opus for the next 90 days.
So what most people do is, people who are playing at victimhood, people who are in the 95%, people who are making excuses about ordinary results in their life. A lot of them are not doing the things that would give them legendary results. And what they do is they get to the office, and rather than using primetime for activities, they use their best hours watching dancing cats on whatever it is, whatever the video platform is.
They spend their best hours surfing the internet looking at blogs, they spend their best hours playing with notifications, reading notifications, chatting with friends who are not really their friends but really, they’re just bored so they were distracting themselves which is just a form of medication because potential unexpressed turns to pain and they’re in a lot of pain and it’s subconscious, and they haven’t done the work to know it, so really, they’ve created these drugs of choice, like too much email, too much web surfing, too much chitchatting, too much looking at funny-looking videos that make them laugh in the moment, that make them feel happy and give them a short burst of dopamine and maybe a little bit of serotonin which is the pleasure neurotransmitter and that’s how they get through their day.
And all I’m saying is there’s so much distraction available to you out there that if you are not acutely careful, it will dominate your days, but the top 5% are very, very different. Very, very different. I don’t know why I’m whispering but they’re very, very different. Because they have the results only 5% of the population have. You’ve got to be willing to do what 95% of the population are just not willing to do. And one of those things is this freedom from distraction.
One of those things is building a pocket of time so that you can use your highest value hours which is really 5 am to 8 am or 9 am. You use your platinum hours for your most valuable activities. We could talk about the science that says your willpower is highest first thing in the morning, your energy is highest first thing in the morning and your mental focus is highest first thing in the morning.
And if you, one note, what I’ll call the five precious assets and I also teach this at Personal Mastery Academy, one of them is your mental focus. The second one is your physical energy and the third one is your discipline.
When I work with the billionaires, I teach them the protocols to protect these and scale these because it’s your interior empires that are worth protecting. What I’m really trying to say is this. A ritual for you to run and dial in and hardwire to the point of automaticity. That’s the word the researchers use when a habit becomes your new normal, over 66 days is the 90/90/1 rule. And to give it to you again, so you really remember it.
For the next 90 days, your first 90 minutes, create a tight bubble of total focus so that no one can distract you. Turn off your devices, put them in a little plastic bag, put some reminders on your door, maybe some post-it notes that this is my type bubble of total focus for the next 90 minutes. Tell your team, tell your loved ones, maybe put a do not disturb sign on your door. They’ll laugh and explain it to them, that for the next 90 days, I will spend 90 minutes away from distraction, away from technology, away from interruptions focusing on my magnum opus.
Focusing on the genius project that I wanna bring into the world because I will never mail it in, I will always bring it on and I’m gonna do this for the next 90 minutes and I’m gonna optimize it and integrate it everyday and I’m gonna bring my full bandwidth because what makes a genius, they all have one trait in common.
They were able to spend extended periods of time in isolation. Focused, monomaniacally on their most valuable project. And that’s what allowed Einstein to do what he did. That’s what allowed Jean-Michel Basquiat to produce that art. And they dial into a neurobiological phenomenon that I teach called transient hypofrontality. This isn’t the time to share it. I’m just suggesting to you, install the 90/90/1 rule. It will do amazing things and create exponential productivity. It will give you a gargantuan competitive advantage against your marketplace peers. It will allow you to install the hardwiring of genius.