The 5-Hour Rule Used by Bill Gates, Jack Ma and Elon Musk
It is not a secret that the most powerful and wealthy people on Earth think and do things a bit differently. Do you often ask yourself how can you bridge the gap between you and them?
No need to feel nervous about it. Keep in mind that they were once just like you – trying to figure out how to hack the system and triple the revenue. Their brains didn’t get wired into success hacks just out of the blue. They worked on it and they worked hard.
Essentially, people like Bill Gates, Jack Ma, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, etc. do very simple things that keep them in the position they occupy currently.
What are these simple things?
If you follow this text carefully you might get the grip of one of the most efficient “tools” that these people apply.
Ever heard of the 5-hour rule?
You might have even crossed paths with it, but you surely didn’t know it is one of the key things that make you more successful.
So what is the 5-hour rule?
It is the time you dedicate to your self-improvement during the week.
Very simple, right?
Every day you set aside an hour to work on your skills and at the end of the working week, you gather five hours you spent solely on improving your skills.
During his five-year study of more than 200 self-made millionaires, Thomas Corley found out that they don’t watch TV. Instead, they read. They don’t read for fun, but to learn.
Is your dream to become a millionaire?
If the answer is yes, then get into the 5-hour rule immediately.
CONCEPT OF 5-HOUR RULE
As mentioned above the 5-hour rule is fairly simple. Every day over five days you “use” one hour just to improve your skills. One hour a day in five days equals five hours.
To be honest it isn’t much for one day.
No matter how busy you are, you should be able to do this rather easy.
Do you know that the pioneer who first utilized this rule was none other than Benjamin Franklin?
Yes, one of the most respected statesmen, famous inventor, successful entrepreneur and one of the most educated men of his time.
He would never become a founding father of the U.S. if he didn’t skyrocket with this method.
So how did he do it?
To begin with, Benjamin Franklin dropped out of school at the age of 10. He did that to help his father.
He didn’t show any affection towards books nor education in his teen years, but he started reading a lot in his adult life.
The interesting part he only read an hour every day on weekdays.
Instead of working hard, he worked smart.
You should look at this rule as a long-term investment. Unlike monetary investments, you don’t put money into this one. You don’t risk anything either except for the boredom if the book is bad.
One more piece of advice when it comes to reading – if the book is boring after the 50th page, drop it. It’s not doing you justice and you obviously aren’t learning anything. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be boring.
Did you ever hear an expression that time is money?
Well, in the entrepreneurial world, time really is currency that gets converted into money.
By reading, you invest in yourself and the revenue you get is a better version of you.
Plan your day ahead and make room for some reading, some studying and to spice things up – some practice.
It’s not enough to just read. You have to put to use the knowledge you acquire and develop skills from it.
What’s it good for otherwise, right?
It is important to select the desired field you want to be better at. When you are satisfied with what you have accomplished with that field you can pick another one. Just don’t do two at the time!
The idea of 5-hour rule goes way back, maybe even before Ben Franklin, but the guy to really thank for it is the guy who monetized it. Michael Simmons, the co-founder of iEmpact popularized the rule and earned from it which is what entrepreneurs really do.
They don’t just work for themselves, they make a better world out there, but they’re not just working for others either.
That is also the basis of the 5-hour rule. 5 hours is not too much to take weekly, but you draw the line and you take that time only for yourself.
That’s the way it’s done.
THE THREE CORE STEPS TO EMBRACE AND UPHOLD THE 5-HOUR RULE
It’s a rule so it’s kinda heavy to deal with if you’re the liberal type.
Even when it’s the easiest rule to follow, you still hate following it because you feel it’s imposed on you.
What you need to do here is focus on the fact that it’s a self-imposed rule and do consider it a guideline more than a rule.
That doesn’t mean you’re allowed to disregard it though!
1. Think of Reading as Fun
He does it because he knows it’s fun. If you think of it, he can have all the parties in the world and probably throw a best one there is, but he still reads instead.
Engaging in activities that you don’t really learn from is a fool’s errand. Not only that, but it’s also boring.
That’s why they have alcohol at parties – to numb the mind in order to distract it from the utter boredom of not doing anything productive of purposeful.
Fun is essentially getting moved, inspired, growing, learning, experiencing something new, expanding the horizon of your thought, feeling and imagination.
Bill Gates is not the only one on the reading list. People like Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Cuban, Elon Musk, etc. all read and they read a lot. What can we conclude from this information?
Successful people read. Every keen reader is not a leader, but every leader is surely a reader.
Reading is an excellent way to learn. If an hour a day of reading seems too much for you, try to read for at least 20 or 30 minutes. Find out what best sticks with you and go with it.
Gradually increase your reading time until you can reach the one-hour time.
It must be stressed out how important it is to read in every opportunity you have.
Waiting for the bus, waiting in the line, waiting at the airport, those are all the perfect moments to dig into your book and go for a read.
The time you spend in the interim is a sheer waste if you don’t do anything useful so stop looking at your phone and swiping. You won’t improve yourself like that!
With the pace of our technology, it’s easier to read than ever before. If you can’t carry the book with yourself all the time you can read it online or even listen to audiobooks.
Be careful though. Audiobooks can easily switch you to autopilot mode and we don’t want that, do we? The point of reading is to become more aware and focused.
That way you can experience life to the fullest.
Reading can also induce a sense of flow or an intense focus that results in an optimal state of human performance.
Flow is a psychological term, it’s not slang. It’s when you actualize your capacities to the fullest that you’re in the flow so read away.
Mere reading is not gonna work. Reading is not the point. Learning’s the point.
Now, wandering through the lines like a distracted half-wit won’t do you any good. Neither will bluntly memorizing the content.
In order for it to be useful, you need to really understand it and make an effort to interpret it!
Critical thinking is a keyword here!
Examine everything, question everything, think about all the possibilities and analyze the content from every possible aspect.
Going through your past and realizing your mistakes is very useful too.
Note that we don’t want you to overthink. In the end, bring it all back to the level of practical use.
A study conducted by the University of Texas in 2014 shows that mental rest and reflection are key parts of a successful learning process.
How should you do this? Similar to reading, start thinking for 15-20 minutes a day inside of “your hour”. It helps if you utilize this on a specific day of the week (e.g. Wednesday).
The second thing you should keep your eye on is not to get distracted! Plan your thinking time carefully and keep a journal of your thoughts.
Writing things down in a journal helps with connecting the first step with this one.
So, when you write down your thoughts you can read them on your reading day.
Your journal isn’t only useful for the reading part, but you can easily write down new ideas that you get, as well.
After a few weeks of adjusting, you can try increasing your thinking time.
Eventually, an hour of thinking will be a piece of cake.
Just take a glance at Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LINKEDIN, who spends two hours in a think-tank every day.
Putting your reading and thinking to the actual scenario comes through experimentation. You need to try these things you processed in your mind, you need to bring them to life.
Don’t be afraid of failure! Even if your experiment is a total disaster you can take some valuable lessons from it.
Innovation comes from doing crazy things no one else was brave enough to try. Don’t restrain yourself when it comes to experimenting. Just be sure that no one gets hurt and experiment away!
Are you using Gmail? If no, you surely have heard of it. Guess what? Gmail came to life because Google let their employees’ experiment.
So why should you do experiments? To start with, you need to see what is working in your head only and what is really working out there in the “real world”. In other words, you need to get to basic, material facts.
Putting your ideas to the test isn’t time-consuming. You can try them in your everyday tasks or at work.
Doing something different isn’t necessarily better, but maybe it could be. You won’t know if you don’t try to get to work!
POSITIVE CHANGES YOU WILL BE AFFECTED BY
The idea behind the 5-hour rule is to put learning first. The majority of people put things done as the only measurement of a successful day. This is wrong.
It will make you speed things up and do it sloppier instead of doing it better and better over time.
Remember “Slow and steady wins the race”.
The fact is you will learn a thing or two every day till you die. Come ahead of this and put the matters into your own hands. Master a field to be a king of the hill.
The quest for knowledge never ends. The best way to gain some advantage in today’s cruel world of business is to grab your fingers around a 5-hour rule. You must perform it according to your routine and lifestyle to make it successful.
If you think the most successful people are also the smartest one you are wrong. They are only the hardest working ones.
By focusing on learning as a lifestyle, we get so much done over the long term. Learning sharpens us.
Instead of going as a passenger through your everyday life you can be more involved and pay more attention to things.
You may catch something which will benefit you and keep the cycle of learning.
Productivity is what your boss wants? Not a problem! With the 5-hour rule, you get that as well.
Developing habits for learning isn’t just useful for learning. Utilizing knowledge gathered through learning is a guaranteed way to increase your productivity, too.
At the end of the day, you’ll find yourself going to sleep much happier and much more fulfilled.
In the short-term, you won’t feel it but in the long-term, you will be very thankful for the 5-hour rule.
WHY IS KNOWLEDGE SO IMPORTANT NOWADAYS?
Being rich in money is good, but being rich in knowledge is even better. Money can’t buy real knowledge, but knowledge can produce money so do the math yourself!
If you constantly find yourself behind the learning curve and if you think your knowledge isn’t that good, you are in big trouble. With the evolution of technology, we find ourselves in the era of information.
Everything is available, but the first one to get to important information and uses it is the one who wins.
“Ok, fine. I’ll go grab a book and study, I’ll be better and I will catch up with everyone ahead of me.” This is what you might say.
Take a second to realize how bad this is. You will burn yourself quickly doing this and achieve nothing. Getting knowledge on an everyday basis is much more efficient.
Going to work and spending 40 hours a week there isn’t learning.
Don’t count that as improvement of your skills. You need to have 5 hours per week yours and yours only.
Focusing on day-to-day problems isn’t growing and developing.
Giving yourself deliberate learning goals and working around them to achieve them is the best way to go.
You might feel insecure about how 5-hour learning works. It is ok, you don’t have to believe in it. Just try it and see for yourself.
We’ve already said that time is a currency, but if you don’t know what to do with it, what’s it worth to you? You see, knowledge is currency as well. A currency that you choose where and how to monetize.
Try to become the best working version of yourself.
You will not be only proud of yourself but you will also impress your boss which means promotions and a better salary.
The catch is you didn’t focus on the paycheck, but you got to it anyways.
WHAT NOT TO DO?
Usually, when we do something for a while we tend to relax and get cocky.
Relaxing isn’t that bad, but being arrogant is. Don’t lower your guard. We are only human beings! Anything too familiar gets you going on autopilot. DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN!
- DON’T BE LAZY! First of all, and maybe the most important thing. Push yourself every day, look towards your golden hour and be in a state of anticipation. Don’t say it is just an hour and I can catch up the next day. You can’t! Do it the day you wanted to do it originally and according to your plan.
- DON’T IMPROVISE, PLAN! Improvisation is good, but keeping things planed, especially with learning and organizing your time is of greater importance. Planning things ahead set up routine. Doing things routinely helps with learning.
- DON’T DO THINGS AUTOMATICALLY! Already emphasized many times here. It doesn’t hurt if we go over it one more time. So, do things deliberately. Don’t allow your brain to wander off. Put it on the path and make it focus.
- DON’T SCRATCH JUST THE SURFACE! Go deep! When you are in your reflection hour, try to go into deep thinking. Think about your future moves as well as your past ones. Don’t just think for a second and admire yourself about things you did good. See what lead to that.
- DON’T GET DISTRACTED! Within your golden hour nothing, I say nothing can distract you. Focus on whatever step you are on for that day and just think about it.
- DON’T PROCRASTINATE! Don’t put problems under the rug. Solve them immediately as they come up.
- DON’T BE SCARED! Be brave to do your experiments. Just do them Don’t be afraid.
Ask yourself these questions to see how far off are you from becoming the best version of yourself.
- How many hours a day do you dedicate to yourself?
- Do you read books that may help you develop new skills?
- How many hours a day do you read?
- Do you think about things you have read?
- Do you think about the past?
- Do you do things you came up with?
- How successful are you?
- How successful do you want to be?
Answer these questions honestly and see how can you improve.
Stop envying successful people. Instead, start following what they do and copy their behavior.
Best way to start is 5-hour rule. You can achieve plenty with it. Everything is already said but think about it. Just an hour a day. You don’t need more than that.
You don’t need much to be successful. With 5-hour rule there are no excuses. You aren’t that busy and you don’t need much. Start building your confidence.
The 5-hour rule can be personalized however you want to make it comfortable and handy.
Everything needs time, and today time is very valuable. Putting some time into learning is like putting gold aside for rainy days. It’s even better.
We all have bad habits and nurturing good ones is hard.
How many times have you caught yourself doing something out of habit, but you didn’t like it?
Having a chance to do things right and to do them with ease is a blessing.
Don’t be a procrastinator. Instead, strive to be like successful people that use the 5-hour rule.
Embrace the 5-hour rule as soon as possible. Feeling better and smarter doesn’t have a price.
Making things go smoother and giving yourself treatment, you deserve is the best thing you can do for yourself and everyone around you.
Remember, knowledge is power and learning is a tool to get to that power!
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