Five-hour rule by Bill Gates, Jack Ma and Elon Musk

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Five-hour rule by Bill Gates, Jack Ma and Elon Musk

Most people return home after a long and tiring day of work hungry and exhausted. Quickly grabbing something to eat, then they lie in front of the TV. Sound familiar?

Although sometimes it's okay - we all need to somehow relieve depression. Meanwhile, the most successful people in the world spend their free time to learning.

In five years of working with more than 200 millionaires, Thomas Corley discovered that they do not watch TV at all. In addition, 86 percent of millionaires read books, but not for fun. 63 percent indicated that they listen to audiobooks during morning trips.

According to productivity expert Chons Maddox, "on average, millionaires read at least two books a month." To gain knowledge, in your free time you can read blogs, news sites, fiction and popular science literature.

You may ask: who has time for all these things? Everyone has a family, a job, it's hard to find time to read. However, such successful people as Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Jack MA, Elon Musk succeed. And all because they adhere to the rules of five hours.

What is the five-hour rule?

This rule was invented by Michael Simmons, founder of Empact. The concept is surprisingly simple: no matter how busy successful people are, they always spend at least an hour a day-or five hours a week learning or practicing. And they do this throughout their careers.

Simmons called this regime Franklin's five-hour rule. Benjamin Franklin once he was alive used to get up early to read and write. He set goals and watched the results. He also experimented with new information and asked himself questions in the mornings and evenings.

The three buckets of the five-hour rule

Modern successful leaders have divided Franklin's five-hour rule into three principles.

Millionaires, including Mark Cuban and Dan Gilbert, the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, read from one to three hours a day. Elon Musk has learned how to build SpaceX rockets guided by books. In addition to the expansion of your knowledge, Jack MA, founder of Alibaba says that reading can give you a good advantage in front of your peers.

Even if you can't devote an hour or more to reading every day, start with 20 to 30 minutes. It is necessary that the book is always at hand, you can read it when waiting for a meeting or sitting in the doctor's waiting room.

You can also listen to audiobooks during your daily trip or during your workout.


The five-hour rule also includes reflecting and thinking. This could be just staring at the wall or jotting down your thoughts. For example, Spanx founder Sara Blakely is a longtime journaler.

Focusing on the past gives you a chance to learn from mistakes you've made, as well as assess what you did correctly. As a result, you’ll be better suited to achieve your goals and improve your life. In 2014, a University of Texas study found that metnal rest and reflection improves learning.

Need help getting started? Schedule reflection time in your planner. I’ve found blocking out 15 to 20 minutes after lunch is ideal because I’m coming out of that post-lunch slump. But start small: allocate five or 10 minutes per day, and then work your way up so you’re not overwhelmed.


The third and final bucket is rapid experimentation. Ben Franklin and Thomas Edison became leading inventors and thinkers because of their experiments. We have Gmail because Google allowed employees to experiment with new ideas.

The reason experiments are so useful is because you have facts, not assumptions. Experiments show you what’s working. You can learn from your mistakes and obtain feedback from others. Best of all, experimentation isn’t that time-consuming. Most of the time, you’re testing through the same activities you'd perform without testing.

Jack Ma even recommends applying the knowledge you’ve learned to a real-life scenario. For example, after reading a book about collaboration and teamwork, you could take on new volunteer work to put that knowledge to use.

When you make learning a habit, you’ll be more successful and productive in life. By investing in a reading habit, you can ensure you're growing yourself -- and your company -- every day.