The 5-hour rule used by Gates, Jack Ma and Musk

The 5-hour rule consists of reserving at least one hour a day or 5 hours a week throughout your professional life for activities that can be classified as learning practices.

You just got home after a tiring day at work. You’re hungry and exhausted, you just want to catch your breath for a minute. You grab something to eat and then sit in front of the TV. Suddenly you realize that you have watched five episodes of “Luis Miguel, the series”.

While that’s okay from time to time, we all need ways to decompress and “cool off” from the day to day, this is not a Healthy habit. That’s why the most successful people in the world spend their free time learning.

This is not exactly something new. During his five year study Of more than 200 millionaires, Thomas Corley discovered that they do not watch television. Instead, a whopping 86 percent said they spent time reading, but not just for fun. Additionally, 63 percent indicated they listened to audiobooks during their morning commute to the office.

Productivity expert Choncé Maddox writes: «It’s no secret that successful people read. It is said that the average millionaire reads two or more books per month.. As such, it suggests that allRead blogs, news sites, fiction and non-fiction during downtime so you can immerse yourself in more knowledge.”. If you are constantly on the go, you can choose to listen to audiobooks or podcasts.

You might be thinking: who has time to sit and read? Between work and family, it is almost impossible to find free time. As an entrepreneur and father I can understand you, but only to a certain point. After all, if Barack Obama could make time to read while he was in the White House, what excuses can you have? Obama even thanked books for helping him survive his presidency.

The former president of the United States is far from the only leader who attributes his success to reading. Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey, Elon Musk, Mark Cuban and Jack Ma are all voracious readers. As Gates said to The New York Timesread “It’s one of the main ways I learn, and has been since I was a child.”

So how do you find the time to read every day? They adhere to the five-hour rule.

The five-hour rule was coined by Michael Simmons, founder of Impact. The concept is wonderfully simple: no matter how busy successful people are, they always “set aside at least one hour a day (or five hours a week) throughout their career for activities that can be classified as deliberate learning practices.”

Simmons traces this phenomenon back to Ben Franklin. «Throughout Ben Franklin’s adult life, he consistently invested about an hour a day in deliberate learning. I call this Franklin’s five-hour rule: one hour a day on each day of the week.“Simmons wrote.

For Franklin, his learning time consisted of waking up early to read and write. She set personal goals and tracked her results. In the spirit of today’s book clubs, she created a club for “ambitious, like-minded artisans and tradespeople who hoped to better themselves while boosting their community.” She also experimented with his new information and asked thoughtful questions each morning and afternoon.

Today’s successful leaders have adopted Franklin’s five-hour rule by breaking the rule into three categories.

1. Read: Self-made millionaires like Mark Cuban and Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, read one to three hours a day. Elon Musk learned how to build rockets, which lead to SpaceX, by reading. In addition to expanding knowledge of it, Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba, says that “Compared to others, readers are more likely to know other strategies and tactics from other industries.”

Even if you can’t commit to an hour or more of reading every day, start with 20-30 minutes. I always have a book with me, so when I’m waiting for a meeting to start or in the waiting room at a doctor’s office, I can read instead of wasting time on my smartphone. You can also try audiobooks during your daily commute or while exercising.

2. Reflect: Other times, the five-hour rule includes reflecting and thinking. This could be just staring at the wall or writing down your thoughts. Jack Dorsey and LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner are well-known practitioners of this.

Analyzing the past gives you the opportunity to learn from the mistakes you have made, as well as evaluate what you did correctly. As a result, you will be better prepared to achieve your goals and improve your life. The University of Texas He also discovered that rest and mental reflection improve learning.

Need help getting started? Schedule reflection time in your agenda. I have found that the 15-20 minutes after lunch are ideal for meditating for me. But start small: Allocate five to 10 minutes a day to reflect, and then work your way up so you don’t feel overwhelmed.

Know the questions you want to ask. Stick to just two or three questions focused on a specific day. For example, if you attended a conference, ask yourself, “What were the key takeaways?” and “How can I apply this to my business?”

3. Experiment: The third and final point of the five-hour rule is rapid experimentation. Ben Franklin and Thomas Edison became major inventors and thinkers because of their experiments. We have Gmail because Google allowed employees to experiment with new ideas.

The reason experiments are so useful is because you have facts, not assumptions. Experiments show you what is working. You can learn from your mistakes and get feedback from others. Best of all, experimentation is not that time-consuming. Most of the time, you are trying the same activities you would do without testing.

Jack Ma even recommends applying the knowledge you’ve learned to a real-life scenario. For example, after reading a book about collaboration and teamwork, you could take on a new volunteer job to use that knowledge.

When you turn learning into a habit, you are more successful and productive in life. By investing in a reading habit, you can ensure that you are growing your business and yourself.