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The 5 Hour Rule

Ben Franklin was a constant learner, and while he may have sacrificed some productivity daily, it certainly paid off for him in the long run. His daily schedule consisted of spending 1 hour per day of intentional learning, 5 days a week, so 5 hours a week (hence the 5 hour rule).

Learning time consisted of:

  • Waking up early to read and write

  • Setting personal-growth goals (i.e., virtues list) and tracking the results

  • Creating a club for “like-minded aspiring artisans and tradesmen who hoped to improve themselves while they improved their community”

  • Turning his ideas into experiments

  • Having morning and evening reflection questions

There is a direct correlation between constant learning and long term success. What does it look like to implement this into our daily schedules?

The core of the concept revolves around creating “empty space” or “slack” in your daily schedule, this allows us to:

  • Plan what/how we want to learn (identify websites or sources)

  • Practice learning (start with 5 minutes a day)

  • Ruminate (have a journal or app to write thoughts)

  • Set aside time just for learning

  • Test your ideas

Learning doesn’t have to look like being hunched over a textbook, we need to be careful not to let our preconceived notions of learning discourage us from practicing this concept. Leaning can look like painting or playing music or trying a new workout or many other things. We will reap what we sow, so the more time we spend “learning” the things that are important to us in life, the more we will be satisfied with our lives.

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