Google famously implemented a time-management rule allowing employees to use 20% of their work week for any project.

And it’s during this “fun” time that revolutionary products like Gmail and Google Maps were born. Yes, the email service provider we use so often was pretty much someone’s passion project.

So why not take this “20% time” concept beyond corporate culture and implement it to manage your own time in a more powerful way?


Photo Credit: Mike Wilson on Unsplash

The hidden reason behind the success of Google’s famous productivity rule

Mashable just broke down the genius of the rule in a new animation video series based on the award-winning “Masters of Scale” podcast and produced in partnership with the WaitWhat content incubator.

Here is an important idea narrated in the video:

“The tendency of high-performing employees to use their 20% time productively is the well-documented genius of the program.

But there is also a hidden genius of 20% time: It allows reasonable employees to defy unreasonable managers.”

Defy the “unreasonable managers” of your own life

So how is this relevant to you if you don’t own a business? It’s all about using it as a time-management tactic to focus on the projects that energize you and might actually inform life-changing outcomes such as changing careers or deciding to start your own company.

We all have our own “unreasonable managers.” Who in your life is currently making you feel emotionally drained? Do you have a way to limit your time with these people and free up 20% more time for yourself?

Are you your own unreasonable manager? Do you push yourself to pursue things you don’t actually have to do or want to do just because you think you should? Could you say no to certain things?

Do you feel swamped with family-related responsibilities? Could you ask for help?

Once you’ve identified the unreasonable demands competing for your energy, you can start pushing back in order to carve out 20% of your week’s time to dedicate to personal projects you feel passionate about.

This can be broken down in small daily chunks of time. The important thing is to block it in your schedule as a priority.

Once you’ve carved out your 20% time, spend it pursuing things you actually LOVE doing. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself feeling more energized, creative and inspired — all ingredients necessary for reaching untapped levels of success.