A one hour hot bath

Cyril Peupion
4 min readMay 19, 2023

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

A few years ago, I was listening to the radio. Alan Greenspan, the ex-Chairman of the Federal US Reserve, was interviewed about his new book. During the conversation, the journalist asked him an unexpected question: “Is it true that you wrote this book in your bath?”

What a strange question to ask! Surprisingly, Greenspan confirmed it.

He explained that years ago, due to a back problem, his doctor advised him to take a one-hour hot bath every day. Despite his busy schedule and numerous responsibilities, Greenspan found immense benefit in that uninterrupted hour. It became his sacred time to think, free from distractions and meetings. Since then, even as one of the busiest individuals in the finance world, he prioritized this daily ritual.

Bonjour, in this video I want to suggest three different working modes that, if adopted, can have a big impact on your performance and well-being.

Now, let’s reflect on our work environment. How often is our concentration and focus disrupted?

According to a study by Professor Gloria Mark from the University of California, office workers can stay on track with a task for an average of only three minutes before something interrupts their concentration.

3 minutes…

Imagine the challenges of maintaining focus in such a distraction-filled world.

Interruptions can significantly disrupt your workflow and hinder your ability to concentrate on tasks. They break your train of thought, require mental context switching, and consume valuable time and energy.

I recently had a conference in Singapore, where leaders echoed these difficulties, emphasizing the constant bombardment of emails, WhatsApp messages, Slack notifications, and inquiries that hinder their ability to concentrate.

To address this issue, I propose three different “hats” that you can wear during specific moments of the day.

The first hat is the “process hat.” When wearing this hat, your goal is speed and efficiency. For example, while handling emails, mentally remind yourself that you are wearing your process hat and aim to complete them as quickly as possible.

The second hat is the “thinking hat.” This hat is all about depth rather than speed. When you need to delve into a project or engage in an in-depth discussion, put on your thinking hat. During this time, create a focused environment where you can explore ideas and concepts thoroughly.

Lastly, there’s the “recovery hat,” also known as the breathing hat. This hat is about re-energizing yourself. I recommend incorporating short periods of recovery between transitioning from your process hat and your thinking hat. It could be a five-minute break, during which you take a walk, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, or engage in a breathing exercise. Use this time to re-energize yourself before moving on to the next task or mode.

Remember, interruptions may occur when wearing the process hat, but it’s crucial to eliminate interruptions during the thinking hat and breathing hat phases.

So, my question to you is: How often do you find yourself in your thinking hat phase? Moreover, how long can you sustain that focused state?

I hope you find this week’s Work Smarter: Live Better tip valuable.

Have a productive and fulfilling day!

A bientôt,

P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways I can help you be in control

1. Grab a free copy of my weekly plan
It is a simple tool but very important process to spend 2hrs more per day on your business and personal priorities.


2. Check my video blogs
For my clients, I record regular tips to keep the momentum on challenging their work habits. I have now made the previous video blogs available to all.


3. Get a copy of my book, Work Smarter: Live Better
Pushed by my clients, I wrote a book about practical ways to transform your life by changing your work habits.


4. Work with me and my team privately
If you are feeling swamped: by emails, by meetings, by things to do and you’d like me and my team to work directly with you … just send me an email and tell me a little about your team and business, and what you’d like to work on together, and I’ll personally be in touch!




Cyril Peupion

Cyril is the author of ‘Work Smarter: Live Better’, in the top 10 business books in Australia