The five hour rule
The main premise of the 5-Hour Rule is that no matter how successful or knowledgeable you are, spending at least five hours each week learning something new
Dedicating a certain amount of time each day to consciously learning or practicing new skills can have a positive impact on your life and career. Regardless of your industry, using the five-hour rule allows you to broaden your knowledge base and skill set.
Being able to use the five hour rule to your advantage can be an important factor in your personal and professional development.
In this article, we discuss what the five hour rule is, how it works, why you should use it and explain how to use it to improve your knowledge.
What is the five hour rule?
The five-hour rule is the concept of spending at least one hour each workday consciously learning new things or doing different activities.
Doing so can help you gain new skills and knowledge, which can lead to personal and professional development.
It can also help you keep your knowledge up to date on certain topics.
How does the five hour rule work?
The main premise of the 5-Hour Rule is that no matter how successful or knowledgeable you are, spending at least five hours each week intentionally learning something new can have long-term benefits.
Most people who practice divide time into three separate categories:
Reading: Spending time each day reading can help you relax and grow your knowledge over time.
Using this time as efficiently as possible requires that you have reading goals, which can refer to a certain number of chapters per day or books per month.
Thinking: Thinking is the practice of analyzing and processing information. Besides thinking about different events at work or in your personal life, you can use five hours a week to read and then think about the information you got from books.
Experiment: In addition to absorbing and processing information, you can also use five hours to test new ideas and theories.
Putting your theoretical knowledge into practice can improve your creativity and help you innovate, so you can use unsuccessful experiences as lessons on how to improve.
Why should you use the five hour rule?
Some of the main reasons using the five hour rule can be beneficial to your life and career are:
Helps you gain new information: Spending time each day reading about topics you’re passionate about is likely to greatly expand your knowledge as you constantly receive new information.
Helps You Refresh Existing Information: Over time, people may forget what they learned before, so constantly reading about topics you want to learn about can keep this information fresh in your memory.
Also, existing knowledge gradually becomes outdated over time thanks to new research, so spending time each day researching different topics can expose you to the latest developments in the areas that interest you.
Helps you develop your existing skills: reading, thinking and experimenting with topics that interest you, you can refresh and improve your existing skill set.
Helps you develop new skills: Continuously absorbing new information can enable you to acquire new skills that you can then use for personal or professional development.
Helps you improve your learning speed: Continuously learning new things can help you develop your learning skills and over time you’ll likely learn more in the same five hours each week.
Helps you discover new passions and hobbies: In addition to expanding your skill set and knowledge base, taking time to learn, think, or experiment can help you discover new things that you like and enjoy doing.
Helps you improve your personal life: Being knowledgeable about a variety of topics and having a diverse skill set can help you in conversations and enable you to become more confident.
How to use the five hour rule?
Consider following these steps to implement the 5-hour rule into your daily routine:
- Set the right time each day
You can begin to implement the five-hour rule by determining the best time of day for you to spend an hour learning, thinking, or experimenting.
This can depend on your schedule, peak productivity hours or any other factors that affect your schedule.
Setting a specific time of day and making room in your schedule for these activities is the first step toward successfully using the five-hour rule.
- Find sources of information
Besides books, there are many other sources of information that you can use to learn about the topics you are interested in.
Audiobooks are an effective way to get information from a book while doing a repetitive activity, such as driving, playing sports, or cleaning your house.
You can also use other ways to learn besides reading, such as watching informative videos and listening to podcasts.
- Find ways to think
Once you have taken the time out of your day to think, the next step is to decide what to think about and how to do it.
The most common technique is to write your ideas in various forms, such as articles or journals.
Alternatively, you can use online forums to share these ideas and receive feedback from others.
- Explore a variety of topics
Learning about things that can help you grow professionally and personally means discovering topics that interest you and enable you to grow your skill set and knowledge base.
You can use some of your five weekly hours to think about what you should learn and experience.
Although it is generally a good idea to spend most of your time during these five hours learning about topics that are directly related to your work, learning about completely new topics can help broaden your mind and expose you to new ideas.
- Make sure you are consistent
The 5-Hour Rule can only produce positive results if practiced consistently over a long period.
This means that you need the self-discipline to resist different opportunities to spend that time in different ways, which may not be beneficial to your long-term development.
You can improve your chances of staying committed by setting short- and long-term cognitive goals.
How to manage free time according to Bill Gates and Warren Buffett
As the CEO of Microsoft at the time, Bill Gates had a busy schedule, even sending out 2:00 am requests to employees.
Warren Buffett’s Journal
It wasn’t until he saw Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett’s journal that Gates learned to give himself and his workers some slack.
According to CNBC, Gates told journalist Charlie Rose in an interview with Buffett in 2017, “I had every minute full, and I thought that was the only way to do things. I remember Warren showing me his calendar. He has days when there are none.” .
Buffett’s schedule taught Gates an important lesson, namely, “You control your time. It is no substitute for the seriousness of your life that you fill every minute of your schedule.”
As Buffett points out about the reason for downtime, he can buy whatever he wants – basically – but he can’t buy time.
Buffett’s motto is “work smarter, not harder.” This mantra is actually backed by science. A 2014 Stanford University study found that workers’ efficiency drops sharply when they work more than 50 hours a week.
The research revealed that people who work up to 70 hours a week get the same amount of work done as those who sit on top of their laptops for 55 hours.
Gates isn’t the only CEO who learned this lesson the hard way. For example, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla — who previously said he regularly pulled people through the night to work — now sleeps at least six hours every night.
“I’ve tried to sleep less, but even though I’m awake more hours, I spend less time working,” Musk said. Because the level of pain in the brain is bad if you get less than six hours of sleep per night,” referring to head pain resulting from lack of sleep.
Getting there may not be easy for some people. Gates said in his final commencement speech at Northern Arizona University that it took him years to find a healthy work-life balance.
Gates added, “When I was your age, I didn’t believe in vacations. I didn’t believe in the weekend, I didn’t believe the people I worked with should do it either.
And Gates said in his speech: “Don’t wait while I learn this lesson, take the time to nurture your relationships, celebrate your successes, and recover from your losses. Take a break when you need to.
Deal easily with the people around you when they need it too.