The Power of Momentum: Insights from Suneel Gupta

Gail Davis, 19 January 2023

Momentum! It’s what propels forward progress and keeps you on track to achieving your goals. But talented people and teams lose momentum – not because they run out of talent or time – they run out of energy. When we encounter an impasse, most of us bear down and work harder. But gritting it out – long term – leads to burnout. 

There’s a better way to keep momentum going. Suneel Gupta is an expert in connecting well-being and performance. As the founding CEO of Rise, a breakthrough wellness company, Suneel has helped thousands of people build better habits for life and work. Now, as host of American Express’ Business Class docuseries, bestselling author, Harvard Medical School visiting scholar, and speaker, Suneel is taking his message to audiences everywhere. He helps people achieve sustainable peak performance by bolstering emotional resilience and engagement.

And if Suneel could give you one tip to managing your energy – it’s to 55:5.

Suneel developed the 55:5 model after studying the quality of performance in high-performers. High-performers tend to take mini-breaks throughout the day. In fact, the average studied high-performer takes about 8 mini-breaks every single day, which certainly sounds crazy in the world we live in today. But according to the science, he found that those high-performers that have set recovery times throughout the day actually increase their productivity, improve their quality of work and creativity, as well as achieve their goals more effectively.

What is the 55:5 model? 

The 55:5 model is a helpful productivity strategy that involves setting aside 55 minutes to focus on a specific task or project, followed by a 5-minute break. For Suneel, the idea behind the 55:5 model is to help people get more work done in less time by giving them a structured way to work and rest. By taking regular breaks, people can avoid burnout and stay motivated and productive over the long term.

To use the 55:5 model, you simply set a timer for 55 minutes and work on a specific task or project until the timer goes off. Then, you take a 5-minute break to rest and recharge before starting the next 55-minute work session. The idea is to work in focused bursts rather than trying to work continuously for long periods of time.

Suneel wants people to think about these min-breaks as a way of making all the other minutes in the day count towards being more effective and productive. It may seem like you’re reducing time for work, but what the science tells us is that by taking these breaks, it will help us be more effective and productive, which will only help you be a better leader and creator. 

What would happen if you were taking these 5-minute breaks throughout your day - every single day?

For the people that Suneel has worked with that are using the 55:5 model, many of whom are high-performers and business leaders, they reported after first starting that for the first time ever, they were experiencing days where they actually have more energy at the end of the day than they did at the beginning. That’s the power of a 5-minute break practiced over and over again. That’s the power of making this model a new habit. 

Suneel recommends making a running list of ideas for “5-minutes or less recovery time” and making it easily accessible – like on your phone or as a working Google doc. Some examples to include may be: do sit-ups or push-ups, play with your dog, or go for a walk to the mailbox. Any ideas that come to mind that can help you focus on recovering will help ensure you stick with it and develop this new habit.

What would you do during your 5 minutes of recovery time?

Click here to learn more about Suneel Gupta and how he may help you and your teams achieve momentum and sustainable peak performance.


*In partnership with D'Amelio Network.