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What is the 5 hour rule, key to the success of Bill Gates, Jack Ma and Elon Musk

Bill Gates, Jack Ma and Elon Musk: all three follow the five-hour rule
Bill Gates, Jack Ma and Elon Musk: all three follow the five-hour rule

The world’s most successful business leaders — Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Jack Ma — have one thing in common: they all they apply the “five-hour rule”.

The concept, coined by the entrepreneur Michael Simmons, it’s very simple: successful people always “They set aside at least one hour a day (or five hours a week) throughout their career for activities that can be classified as deliberate learning practices.”

Benjamín Franklin, America’s scientist, inventor and founding father, famous for his productivity and success, was a pioneer in the application of this rule, according to Simmons. “Throughout Ben Franklin’s adult life, he consistently invested about an hour a day in deliberate learning. I call this Franklin rule of five hours: one hour a day on every day of the week. “, wrote.

“The First American,” as Franklin was nicknamed for his tireless campaign for colonial unity, he devoted the first hours of the morning to learning. He primarily read and wrote, and even created a club for “like-minded ambitious artisans and merchants, hoping to improve themselves while pushing their community forward.” He also engaged in asking thoughtful questions every morning and afternoon.

The world’s brightest minds apply that rule, even in today’s hectic life.

Entrepreneurs and leaders, such as Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey, Elon Musk, and Jack Ma spend their free time learning.

In most cases, the activity they are engaged in is reading.

Obama thanked the books for their help to
Obama thanked the books for their help to “survive his presidency” (Greg Nash via Reuters)

Millionaires like Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, and Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, revealed that they read between one and three hours a day. Elon Musk, founder of the space company SpaceX, you learned everything you know about rockets by reading. Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, assured that “compared to others, readers are more likely to know other strategies and tactics from other industries. ” Bill Gates stated: “Reading is one of the main ways I learn, and it has been since I was a child.” And Obama, for his part, thanked the books for their help in “Survive your presidency.”

Others apply the five hour rule in activities other than reading, although always with the aim of improve your learning.

The founder and CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey and the CEO of LinkedIn Jeff Weiner are known to take time during the day to reflect and meditate, something that helps them make better decisions in your business.

Jack Dorsey, CEO and founder of Twitter (Bloomberg)
Jack Dorsey, CEO and founder of Twitter (Bloomberg)

In addition to reading and reflecting, those five hours can also be used to experiment. In fact, Jack Ma highlighted the importance of this activity because it allows to take the knowledge learned to real life and to business. The advantage is that experiments show what is working, allowing you to learn from mistakes. Also, experimentation is not as time consuming.

It’s not just about the anecdotal. Numerous studies support the efficacy of the habits adopted by these millionaires and leaders. Thomas Corley, author of the book Rich habits: the daily success habits of wealthy people, analyzed for five years the routines of more than 200 millionaires around the world and found, for example, that they do not watch television. Instead, a 86% did say they spent time reading and not just for fun. Further, 63% indicated that they listened to audiobooks during their morning commute to the office. Results that leave no doubt: continuous learning is the key to success.


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About the author

Kim Diaz

Kim recently joined the team, and she writes for the Headline column of the website. She has done major in English, and a having a diploma in Journalism.

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