Most Successful People use the 5-hour Rule – Follow it
On a typical day, you come back from work, feeling tired and hungry. What do you do? You grab something to eat, relax before your TV, watching Super sports. By the time you realize it, you have spent three hours there. The next thing you do is to jump to your bed or even sleep off before the TV. This, if you do it, is not a habit for successful people. The likes Bill Gates, Jack Ma, Barrack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Bezos, who we see as successful people, spend their leisure time learning one thing or the other. They either read or listen to audiobooks for leisure. they apply the 5-hour rule.
This informs why productivity experts like Choncé Maddox hold that “it’s no secret that successful people read.” Everyone who seeks to be successful must be an ardent reader of blogs, dailies, fictions and non-fiction and other related materials that will help one in his pursuit. These successful people usually will apply the 5-hour rule in their schedules.
It was Michael Simmons, the founder of Empact, who coined the term. In his description, he holds that these successful people will always set aside at least an hour a day (or five hours a week) to read books of different genres. Simmons traces this discipline down to Benjamin Franklin who is known for his knack in self-discipline. Benjamin Franklin is said to have invested one hour daily in deliberate learning. In a week, that is 5 hour – with the exception of weekends.
Franklin wakes up very early in the morning to read and write. He set challenges for himself and achieved his personal goals through that discipline. He founded a club for artisans and tradesmen; they would come together to pursue self-improvement. He also experimented with the new information he gathered and then asked reflective questions every morning and evening for further discussion. This improved not just him but those around him.
According to Simmons, the 5-hour rule can be broken into three practical parts:
Generally, working smart obviously beats working hard. Smart working includes taking a little time away to learn instead of just to keep doing with the old knowledge. The good thing about learning, in this case, is that it will help you concentrate on ongoing self-improvement, even as your work on your current workload. As busy as Bill Gates, he reads 50 books a year. This is something he does as a yearly project. Other guys like Mark Cuban and Dan Gilbert, Elon Musk of SpaceX and Jack Ma of Alibaba were all avid readers.
Every intending successful person must follow this. If you are a student, this goes beyond reading class handouts. As much as they are important, the scope of knowledge is beyond that class note you have. Thus, the need to make further research, and read other topics of interests. You can get a book into your Smartphone or have it as an audiobook. Instead of always scrolling social media at every given moment, you can use that time to be acquiring a piece of new knowledge.
Other times, you can engage in reflecting and meaningful thinking. This can feel like an hour of doing nothing, but actually, taking time to reflect has been shown to improve job performance and personal development. The likes of Jack Dorsey and LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner are well-known thinkers in this area.
Reflecting is very important because it enables us to reexamine our consciences and mistakes and evaluate how we can do better. By so doing, you will improve and do better the next time. Observation is important for innovation that is how to turn water into wine. To achieve this, you have to include a quiet time in your daily schedule. I do mine twice in a day – 30 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening. It has helped me a lot in my academic and spiritual life. Ask yourself how best you can incorporate that into your own life, career, studies and business.
After the reading and reflecting, action should follow. You need to take the risk of venturing into those ideas your mind has inspired you into. You may not get the full picture at first; after all, you don’t need to see every pro and con of it before you plunge into action. The experimentation is very important as a way of bringing into life images in the mind.
Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison, the founder of electric bulbs, became prominent inventors and thinkers because of their experiments. Larry Page of Google, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, all experimented with new ideas that became big investments today. Experiments show you what can work and what cannot. You can learn from your mistakes and obtain opinions from others. Best of all, experimentation isn’t that time-consuming. Most of the time, you are testing through the same activities you had performed initially without testing.
Bring that knowledge to life – the world wants to see your originality. Jack Ma even recommends applying the knowledge you have learned in a real-life situation. For example, after reading a book about innovation and observation, you could try stuff with your friends in a garage.
As a note of finality, learning is very essential for productivity in life. By investing in daily studies, it helps one to be abreast with updated and relevant information in his field. You cannot be working with 1995 ideas when your business competitors are using 2020 ideas. How do you think you can still be relevant in that business? Professors have a saying – if you don’t publish, you perish. You can read, and continually develop yourself.