What is 96-minute rule? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Project management glossary:

The 96-minute rule is a productivity guideline recommending that knowledge workers set aside that period of time each day to address their most crucial tasks. 

Essentially, the 96-minute rule says that people should dedicate themselves to their most important work for 96 minutes, avoiding multitasking and protecting themselves from interruptions and distractions such as phone calls, email and instant messaging, web browsing and social media. The first 96 minutes of the work day are generally considered the most effective, although that may vary from one individual to another. 

The rule is derived from the Pareto principle. According to the Pareto principle, 80% of outcomes are determined by 20% of the inputs. In this case, for example, 80% of a worker's output is accomplished in 20% of that worker's time. Randy Mayeux, a corporate trainer, devised the rule by calculating 20% of an eight-hour work day. The 96-minute rule is fairly congruent with management expert Peter Drucker’s claim that 90 minutes is the smallest effective time period required for meaningful knowledge work.

The effects of distraction on productivity have been demonstrated in a number of research studies. A study by Basex, a research firm based in New York, found that workers were distracted or interrupted, on average, every 11 minutes and that it took them an average of 25 minutes to return to their original tasks. 

 

 

This was last updated in August 2013
Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • exit strategy

    - An exit strategy is a planned approach to terminating a situation in a way that will maximize benefit or minimize damage. (WhatIs.com)

  • Chief Risk Officer (CRO)

    - The chief risk officer (CRO) is the corporate executive tasked with assessing and mitigating significant competitive, regulatory and technological risks across the enterprise. (SearchCompliance.com)

  • micromanagement

    - Micromanagement is an approach to overseeing staff that is characterized by a need to control the actions of employees beyond what is useful or effective. (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Project management

    - Terms related to project management, including definitions about project management methodologies and tools.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.