You entered through the door after a very tiring day… You feel exhausted but your stomach is hungry, you grab something from the kitchen and settle in front of the television. When you come to yourself a few hours later, you realize that you have been watching repeat episodes of a series for a long time. There are times when we all just want to kill time without doing anything… While it is beneficial for everyone to take such breaks once in a while, it is not healthy to turn it into a habit. That's why successful people prefer to spend their free time learning something rather than watching episodes on TV.

What is the 5 hour rule?

The Five Hour Rule was put forward by Empact's founder, Michael Simmons. The concept is actually very simple: no matter how busy you are, you should devote at least an hour each day (or five hours a week) to practicing and learning.

Simmons says this phenomenon goes back to Ben Franklin. “Ben Franklin spent about an hour every day learning something throughout his life. I call this Franklin's five-hour rule: one hour every weekday! " says Simmons.
 
“For Franklin, it was usually morning hours,” says Simmon. “He would get up early every morning to do some reading and take notes. He would set personal goals and track results. They even had a club like today's book clubs, and they regularly met with intellectuals who aimed to improve themselves while developing themselves, and exchanged ideas. At the same time, putting into practice what he just learned and asking relevant questions were among Franklin's daily routines. "

The three essentials of the five-hour rule
Today's successful leaders have adopted Franklin's five-hour rule by dividing it into three items.

1- Read: Millionaires who built their fortunes themselves, such as Mark Cuban and Dan Gilbert (owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers) devote an hour to three hours of reading each day. Elon Musk learned how to build rocket by reading - which opened the doors of SpaceX to him. Jack Ma (founder of Alibaba) says: “Reading is a habit that not only teaches you something but also keeps you fit in the industry. Compared to others, bookworms have a greater ability to understand the strategies and tactics of other industries.

If reading at least one hour each day is difficult for you, start with 20 or 30 minutes a day. For example, I always carry a book with me, so when my friend is late or waiting for my doctor's appointment, I have something to do other than sit idly by. If you don't have time to read, you can buy audiobooks to listen to in the morning while commuting or doing sports.

2- Think: The five-hour rule also includes thinking. It could be looking at the plain wall or putting your thoughts on a piece of paper. Jack Dorsey and LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner are important followers of this trend. Entrepreneur Sara Blakely does not keep a diary for a long time.

Focusing on the past gives you a chance to learn from your mistakes. As time passes, you can look at your actions objectively and see more clearly what you did wrong and what you did right. This will make it easier for you to reach your dreams as well as increase your quality of life. The University of Texas findings also support the claim that taking a break from the day and staying with your thoughts improves your learning ability.

Need help getting started? Make a plan. I think it is ideal to spend 15-20 minutes after lunch, so you can get rid of your complacency after the meal. Start small: work your way up from five to ten minutes gradually so you don't force yourself from the beginning.

Know what you want to ask. Write two or three questions to yourself each day and stick to them. For example, if you attended a conference that day, questions such as what I learned today or how can I adapt it to my work can increase your efficiency.

3- Try: If the third and not the last thing is to experiment. Ben Franklin and Thomas Edison invented their invention that made them famous while experimenting. Today we can use Gmail because Google has given employees the chance to try out their new ideas.
 
The reason experimenting is so useful is that you have facts, not assumptions. Every experiment you do gives you a chance to progress by showing what works and what doesn't. You can learn from your mistakes and improve with feedback. Best of all, it doesn't take much time to experiment. Often times, you will have tried the things that you have already done in a new way.

Jack Ma also suggests that you go one step further and apply what you've learned to real life. For example, after reading a book about collaboration and teamwork, you can take a volunteer job and try it out.

When you turn learning into a habit, you will realize that your life has entered a more successful and productive path. Be sure to improve both yourself and your company while investing in reading!

More Business Posts: Business ideas