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

12 Rituals to Make You Successful

Many successful and famous people share routines, that help in succeeding but which are done quietly and often hidden from the public.

1) Have a morning routine. Start your day with a one hour long calm routine, don’t just start to react to busywork. This helps to concentrate and be proactive.

2) Focus on the important. Choose what to do and forget the rest. Plan what to do to achieve your goals, prioritize and evaluate results.

3) Take action, today. Perfect idea or plan is nothing without execution. Successful people ship.

4) Turn hardships into insight. Look at things with a fresh perspective.

5) Challenge yourself. Do things that are hard and uncomfortable. Stretching your limits makes you learn. Don’t be afraid to fail, just do it again.

6) Trust your informed intuition. When making hard decisions, first learn all possible about it. Then do what you feel is right.

7) Mindfully focus on the positive. Brains perform the best when you are in a positive mood.

8) Create reminders for your goals. This helps to choose to do things that take you closer to that goal, instead of things that are just easy.

9) Keep a journal. Writing things down helps to think. Write what you did, plan to do, what you learned and/or where you made mistakes.

10) Have a mentor who has done what you want to do. This motivates and helps to learn. Observing a successful model can also be beneficial for you.

11) Welcome constructive criticism. Be gracious with it and learn. (Let go of unconstructive criticism.) If you don’t get critiqued, you are too plain and not trying hard enough.

12) Be humble. Don’t pretend to be perfect. Fail. Ask help. Learn from everyone.

Key words: stretch and observe. Push yourself to your limits, do things you don’t master yet. Observe and emulate successful people.


Angel Chernoff: 12 Quiet Rituals of Enormously Successful Humans