Why the 5 hour rule is the secret to success

Are you someone who is super productive every single day yet, you feel like you are no closer to your long-term goals?

Do you feel like you work just as hard as all the multi-millionaires who own some of the biggest companies in the world but, can’t understand why they’re ahead of you?

Are you sat there asking yourself, “what sets apart the most successful people in the world from me?”

Well… to answer these questions simply, it’s because you don’t know the secret to success and they do!

We live in an ever changing world where if you don’t evolve with it, you become extinct. You need to learn how to adapt to your environment and use it to your own advantage.

Manual labour jobs are being taken over by machines, leaving many unemployed and redundant due to this new way of life.

The taxi driver is being replaced with the self-driving tesla, brick and mortar businesses are having to go digital and much of the software that we use in every day life works quicker and more efficiently than humans ever could.

But it’s not all that bad.

If we learn to become entrepreneurs, creative’s and innovators and harness our skills, we can use artificial intelligence to our advantage.

So, what is the secret that all of these super successful people know that you don’t?

They’re all serial learners!

After a long hard day at work, you come home and just want to relax by watching TV, whereas the people who own multi-billion dollar companies, make stressful decisions and change the world, learn in their free time.

They follow the 5 hour rule!

What is the 5 hour rule

The 5 hour rule is a concept first coined by Michael Simmons which explains that many of the rich and successful, past and present are continuous learners. Figures such as Benjamin Franklin, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet spend at least 5 hours a week or 1 hour a week day, dedicated to learning and expanding their knowledge on something they are interested in.

Many of the people who follow this protocol were neither talented or fortunate when they were younger which shows that through hard work and dedication to learn, you can achieve pretty much anything, no matter what your background is.

It sounds simple enough but, how do you put it into practice?

How to use the 5 hour rule in 3 steps


It is a well known fact that leaders are readers. If there is one thing that people attribute to their success it’s that they read, in fact, one study found that 86% of rich people love reading!

If reading isn’t really your thing, no worries! Thanks to the advancements in technology, there are many opportunities and different ways to learn. Audiobooks, online classes, courses, blogs and podcasts are all great ways to digest information.

You can find some priceless wisdom in books, no matter what you’re interested in but, you need to remember it and that’s why we created a post on 10 tips you can use to remember what you read in books.


It’s all well and good knowing all the information in the world but, if you don’t put it into action there’s no point even starting. You need to experiment and put your knowledge to the test.

If you’re learning how to ride a bike, you need to use your skills and push on the pedals and the same goes for everything else.

It’s that simple, don’t be a talker be a “doer”.


When you do your experimenting, you’re going to make mistakes and come across flaws in your knowledge and that’s totally normal, this is why you need to reflect on what you’ve learned about and take lessons from the things that didn’t go to plan.

Find out what you need to change and work on getting the results you want.

How to make time for learning

When it comes to learning, it’s all about working smart over working hard.

You need to understand that deliberate learning takes time and in the short-term, you might even be less productive than usual but, in the long run, the time that you spend learning will accelerate your progress.

The 5 hour rule vs short term productivity

Abraham Lincoln put it best:

"Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe."

So, what are some practices you can use?

Parkinson’s law

Parkinson’s law states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”, which in simple terms means that you will complete a task in the time that you give it.

For example, if you say that you tidying your house will take all day, it will take all day, on the other hand, if you say that you will get everything done within 1 hour, it will take an hour.

So, if you’re following the five hour rule, set aside 1 hour for deliberate learning each weekday. If you want to take it one step further and start seeing the results of the super successful, start adding a few more hours or minutes to the time you spend learning.

Bad habits

Yes, rest and downtime are a fundamental part of living a successful life, however, when things become too unbalanced and you start to choose the easier option more than working on your passion, you can easily end up on a downwards spiral of procrastination.

To stop this, you need to limit your distractions and bad habits. Think about the things that aren’t adding value to your life and cut them out as much as you feel comfortable with.

Here are some common bad habits when done in excess:

  • Drinking
  • Smoking
  • Partying
  • Gaming
  • Scrolling (social media)

Eat the frog

If you struggle making the time to learn, try making it the first thing you do, otherwise known as eating the frog. When you avoid doing your biggest tasks first, it becomes one of those things that you will do one day but, that day never comes.

You could read a book whilst eating your breakfast or listen to an audiobook on your travels to work… or both if you want to maximize your time.

What should you learn about?

Your career

You spend a lot of your time at work and that’s what’s bringing the money in so, you best know what you’re doing. Try to learn skills that can make you a linchpin in the workplace that will set you apart from the rest.

It doesn’t matter whether you work for yourself or somebody else, learn how to work quicker, smarter and more efficiently.

Don’t let them robot’s steal your job!

Your hobbies

Life is so boring if you just do the same thing day in day out and that’s why you’ve got to keep things interesting by mixing things up. Learn something totally new or get more educated on a topic that you are already interested in.

Try pushing yourself out of your comfort zone by learning a new language or watch some YouTube tutorials on how to become a better footballer if that’s what sport you enjoy playing.

Personal development

Personal development is the thing that turns you from ordinary to EXTRA-ordinary! And just by you reading this blog to the end shows that you are ready. These types of skills will help you in all aspects of life, from work to relationships.

There’s thousands of books, blogs and podcasts on things like, how to be a better public speaker or how to be more charismatic.

If you have any further questions, remarks or requests for what you would like to see more of, you can comment here on the blog, or message us on our social media channels below.


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