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How 5-Hour Rule Can Change Your Life

Apr 23, 2019


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Do you want to be as successful as Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk or Oprah Winfrey? They have hundred million dollars funds, but still, all of these modern geniuses work hard and keep spending a long time learning and discovering something new. And that is why…

famous people

As Warren Buffett once said: ‘The more you learn, the more you earn.’ And we don’t talk just about money. People also long to things like recognition, respect, and admiration, at least these things come to mind first.

All of the people above have something in common which is likely to be a key to their success. And those aren’t longer working hours.

We all spend our lifetimes building our careers and trying to rise to eminence in our profession. Wasting long hours in the offices considering our boss will see our dedication and upgrade us. But does it work like that?  Does working longer mean working smarter?

Certainly not. An important milestone here is working smart. The 5-hour rule suggests that working smart is not about working long shifts, extra hours or accomplishing tasks. It‘s something that involves some time for learning and thinking, instead of doing. When a person gives some time for himself, he invests in his long-term self-improvement. Efficient work is not just about good workflow but also the potential of the person himself. An employee who nourishes himself with knowledge is much more attractive to an employer.

Carving some time for yourself and self-improvement proves to give many advantages. You don’t only expand your perspective, but also make your brain work. Learning to your mind is like exercising to your body. The more you learn, the more intelligent, attractive, sophisticated, creative and resourceful you become which increases your chances to become successful. You need to work hard, invest in your knowledge, put your art into practice and become the best version of yourself. Bill Gates once said a truly motivational phrase:

‘I am not in competition with anyone but myself. My goal is to improve myself continuously.’

Find out how

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A secret to becoming successful

Deliberate learning. Broadening your mind and continually working on yourself is essential. In today’s fast-paced world it can be extremely challenging, but that’s why you should implement the 5-hours rule to your life. It will not only improve your knowledge and skills but also help you improve your time management and as a result help you start soaring to new heights.

What does this principle stand for?

The 5-hour rule was coined by Michael Simmons, co-founder of Empact. He in his turn borrowed the idea from a famous polymath, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States Benjamin Franklin.

‘An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.’
– Benjamin Franklin

What it says is pretty simple: spend 5 hours of learning each weekday, devoting an hour per day for deliberate practice. This means giving yourself time for personal growth apart from the job. The primary condition of this rule is to spend one hour learning each day no matter how busy, tired or lazy you are.

Imagine Bill Gates reading 50 books a year, or Mark Zuckerberg reading at least 2 books per month. Don’t you think they are busy people? They are. But if even they manage to read and learn, why can’t you?

Do you need to practice and revise what you’ve learned?

For sure. According to Tony Robbins, famous author, and life coach, repetition is the mother of skill. Learning something new needs to be revised and implemented in practice. Otherwise, you’ll forget what you’ve learned, and your studies wouldn’t contribute to success.

5 hours, 3 approaches

Premeditated learning is divided into three experiences: reading, reflecting and experimenting. Each of them is special and has its approach. You can use one of them at a time, or mix them. It’s doubtful that choosing just one of the methods would be useful. They are impactful when used together because they complete, not replace each other. The 5-hour rule is a complex of techniques to help you become a polymath.


Nobody can underestimate the importance of reading. So do the most successful entrepreneurs in the world. People like Oprah or Warren Buffett read for a few hours a day. Self-education is something they claim to be a way to inner freedom. If you can’t read an hour a day, you can start from 20 or 30 minutes, as well as you can listen to audiobooks or podcasts. What is also important, you should find something that interests you and is likely to get you involved. It shouldn’t mainly be close to your field of work, preferably something you enjoy.


On the other hand, a good suggestion here would be to focus on why to read instead of what to read. There’s no need to take a book with a smart heading if you’re not into it, this wouldn’t be either helpful or productive. Learning needs to bring you virtue and joy.

‘Learning should be a joy and full of excitement’ – Taylor Caldwell

If you have an idea that sitting in silence and reflecting about your life, things you’ve done or your plans are a waste of time; you need to read this. You’re wrong. This hustle and bustle of career chase are challenging. So if you want to stay sane and ready to work further, and also be efficient, you need to give yourself some time to reflect. First of all, we get so much information every day, so that we don’t have enough time to digest it. Secondly, we don’t want it to overwhelm us. What we need to do here is to get into quiet and structure all our thoughts and ideas by reflecting what’s happening in our lives and around. If you can’t sit and concentrate on your reflections, try to journal your thoughts. It will help you to pattern them and make maximum use of it.


Like William Blake, a famous English poet once said: ‘…the true method of knowledge is experiment.’ And it’s hard to disagree. Testing out your ideas and premises is essential firstly because it’s the only way to check whether it works. And secondly, as it gives you opportunities to learn from your mistakes. Testing things out is scary, but it’s effective and doesn’t take much time. You always get the feedback and can do the most by improving your results. Most of the modern inventions were discovered by experimenting, sometimes but accident maybe. Nevertheless, this method works.

The 5-hour rule is used by the world’s most successful and influential people — individuals who changed the history of the world and humankind. They all are their most significant investments, and maybe that’s their success strategy. You are the one who is responsible for your success. Try to follow the 5-hour rule yourself and, who knows perhaps soon your name will be mentioned next to Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey.

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