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Synchronicity

September 8th, 2006

Another topic drilled into me this month is the 90-20-8 (URI) rule.

This states that Adults can:

  • Listen with Understanding for 90 minutes
  • Listen with Retention for 20 minutes
  • Desire Involvement every 8 minutes

That last bullet, I have a hard time remembering how it is stated. But the rules are common in lots of different places, the timing of recess at school, movies are generally ~90 minutes, if longer the audience grows restless (kids movies are always around 90 minutes). Television shows rarely go more than 20 minutes without a commercial, probably if we put a timer on it, a scene in television will rarely go past 8 minutes.

So this is becoming a mantra, especially when planning for a class, or a training ‘event’ (eLearning, Webinar, etc). Then I’m reading around today, and find this article at 43Folders.

Ultradian Rhythms & the 20-minute Break

Which talks about the need for a 20 minute break around every 90 minutes to help ‘balance the ultradians’ or some such.  It quote this guy as saying basically, ‘Heed the 90 minute rule or risk getting sick.’   I’m not going all crystal-newagey on y’all, but there might be some substance to that.  I know that the 90-20-8 rule works in the classroom.  May as well try to link it to my work habits.  Who knows I may become productive.

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  1. Debbi
    September 10th, 2006 at 14:35 | #1

    What you say is essentially true, though like with all things for children, the numbers you quote need to be scaled down for them. Children cannot listen with understanding for 90 minutes, even in a children’s movie that grabs their attentions. That is why most children’s movies you will see are 80 minutes long. Sesame Street was a pioneer in this field: A 55-minute show with segments varying from 30 seconds (or less) to 3-5 minutes. Most segments are about 90 seconds long, I would imagine.
    However, you are talking about adults, not children. Yes, the concepts are true, but you also have to consider the audience. People who come to church are EXPECTING to be passive, inactive, and talked to. Most people don’t approach church, or even Wednesday night activities like they do a seminar or training session. Be that as it may, we can do things better to retain information and increase our appeal to the masses. But I’m just saying that what we do isn’t necessarily a bad thing, nor is it totally unproductive, nor is it totally inappropriate.

  2. September 10th, 2006 at 22:38 | #2

    I’m not saying that what we are doing is bad, totally unprodctive, nor inappropriate, so we are in agreement.

    :D

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