Learn Constantly to Achieve Success – The Five Hour Rule

Learning new things is the best investment you can use your time on. So, instead of obsessing on becoming productive with routine tasks today, focus on learning. Learning pays back in the long run by opening new possibilities and making yourself more valuable for employers and society. Most successful people have committed to lifelong learning, from Benjamin Franklin to Bill Gates and Elon Musk.

The “Five Hour Rule” says that you should set aside at least five hours a week for learning (one hour per weekday).

Ways to learn constantly:

  • Dedicate time for learning and thinking.
  • Set goals for learning and improving yourself, not just tasks and achievements.
  • Read. Concentrate on reading e.g. books, instead of skimming the latest blog posts.
  • Be curious. Diversify yourself. Be curious about what the world needs and wants.
  • Experiment. Test what is possible in your field. Learn from your experiments.
  • Treat every event as an opportunity to improve. Don’t settle on automation and doing “okay”, but figure out ways to learn, experiment and improve.
  • Practice deliberately. Do new things, challenge yourself and get feedback.
  • Solve problems as you face them, instead of leaving that for later. Learn from the problems.
  • Stepping away from your normal work and location might stimulate thinking. Go for a walk, do some gardening or work in a coffee shop.

Never stop learning. Commit to this.


Michael Simmons: Why Constant Learners All Embrace the 5-Hour Rule

Empact: Why the Smartest People Are Constant Learners

Elle Kaplan: How to Use the “5 Hour Rule” to Radically Improve Your Intelligence and Success

Create a Productive Organization in Modern World

The world has become more complex, so cooperation has become more important and the “holy trinity of efficiency” less so because they don’t promote cooperation.

So, ignore these outdated “rules”:

  • clarity: everything is not clear and simple, but may change case-by-case
  • accountability: creates complexity
  • measurement: if single worker’s effort is measured, (s)he will concentrate on that and not on cooperation

And, in order to be productive in modern world, create organizations that:

  • make cooperation useful and desirable from an individual’s point of view
  • has not complex structures and measurement systems
  • go for fuzziness instead of clarity
  • remove most measurement systems, and instead look for cooperation


Yves Morieux: How too many rules at work keep you from getting things done