The 52 Minute Habit


One of the most popular articles in Fast Company magazine last year presented the magic formula for achieving perfect productivity.  The formula is this: scope out a task, focus on completing it intensively within 52 minutes and then immediately take a 17 minute break.

Now consider this; groundbreaking research into the science of habits indicates 40%-45% of what we believe are decisions we are making are actually based on our hard-wired habits. You can watch the author of the research, Charles Duhigg, provide a really entertaining Ted Talk on habits below. (His book is excellent btw).

Collectively, everyone’s habits have a major impact on the performance of a business. Yes, the senior team set the strategy, but then the habits of everyone in the business come in to play – in the execution of the strategy – which will ultimately have an impact on whether the strategy succeeds or fails.

Just let this sink in for a moment…short, sharp bursts of intense, focused activity create massive productivity returns and the combined, routine habits of everyone in the organisation strongly influence business performance results.

And when it comes  to transformation and change, our habits play a really crucial part.  Ken Blanchard, one of the gurus on management and change says this; “If people can’t see the need for change, they don’t want it, won’t stand for it and will go out of their way to avoid it, if not sabotage it”.

And it gets worse: without getting things right – including really engaging people – the deck is literally stacked against those looking to transform and change a business; research by Blanchard indicates 70% of all change initiatives are “doomed to failure from the start”.

And here we get to the raison d’être of this blog!

I think there is a really strong synergy at play here. So I’ve merged the concepts of intensive 52 minute bursts of focused activity and the power of habits together and applied this to how organisations approach business transformation – through business process improvement, change management and employee engagement.

I passionately believe in the “52 Minute Habit“. It’s a new way of thinking about how people can adopt new habits that can help enable the business strategy and deliver amazing business results in just 52 minutes. It’s all about breaking down what is needed into bite-sized chunks in an intense, high energy, outcome-focused way.  And by the way – taking a faster paced approach to work could actually reduce stress levels.

I want to target the 40-45% of time that we believe are decisions we are making but likely to be routine habits.  This is about building fresh and new habits that help provide intense focus and attention to the transformation task at hand and introduce supporting cues and rewards to enable success.

Coming soon is Habit #1; where I’ll cover a technique that I’m very passionate about and one that I have seen deliver great results – The High Intensity Improvement Challenge.

So, whether you are:

…part of the top team wanting to turbo charge your transformation programme to support your business strategy…

…or you are a member of an operational team involved in process, change or engagement and looking for some new ideas to refresh your approach to helping your business…

…or the world of transformation, improvement, change and employee engagement appear to be dark arts and you want to help your business just do things better, then the 52 Minute Habit can help you.

“We become what we repeatedly do” – Sean Covey

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