5 Hour Rule

Reading is one of the most common habits among highly successful people. Warren Buffett spends 80% of his time reading and Bill Gates takes a yearly two week reading vacation.

Why do the world’s smartest and busiest people find one hour a day for deliberate learning, while others make excuses about how busy they are?

What do they see that others don’t?

The answer is simple: Learning is the single best investment of our time that we can make. Or as Benjamin Franklin said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

Deliberate learning is fundamental to succeeding in knowledge economy, yet few people realize it. Luckily, once you do understand the value of knowledge, it’s simple to get more of it. Just dedicate yourself to constant learning.

The 5 Hour Rule
The 5-hour rule involves spending five hours a week, or one hour each working day, focused on deliberate learning. This means setting aside time to give your full attention to learning and development, without getting distracted by other work.

Don’t Confuse Working With Learning

It’s easy to confuse working with learning, and this is how you can end up feeling stuck. You might think that working for 40 hours a week should be enough for you to see improvement, but that’s rarely the case. While you’re focused on day-to-day problems, you’re not giving yourself time to develop and grow. The 5-hour rule is about deliberate learning, not about going to work everyday and hoping you might learn something. Set yourself specific learning goals and give yourself time to achieve them, and you’ll see a vast amount of improvement.

Interesting reads


The learn-it-all does better than the know-it-all

Satya Nadella on growth mindsets: “If you take two kids at school, one of them has more innate capability but is a know-it-all. The other person has less innate capability but is a learn-it-all. The learn-it-all does better than the know-it-all.”

Satya Nadella has been an advocate of the growth mindset for a while, often referencing the work of Carol Dweck and her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.

Dweck has long been writing about what a growth mindset is and how individuals and companies can benefit. In her terminology, a “fixed mindset” applies to those who view talent as a given quality, something they either have or lack, whereas a “growth mindset” refers to those who enjoy challenges, seek to learn, and always see potential to develop new skills. She even wrote about the work Nadella was doing at Microsoft[2] a year before Hit Refresh was published.


The fact is that we all want to know everything and become experts in our field, this is probably why we learn, practice and master a topic or skill. But it is almost impossible to know everything, especially these days when knowledge is expanding so rapidly.

We cannot know everything as a practical matter, so we must instead dedicate ourselves to being lifelong learners.