from Sahil Bloom | by Sahil Bloom

Sahil Bloom


over 1 year ago

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The secret growth hack of the world’s most successful people. The 5-Hour Rule:

A few months ago, I wrote about Benjamin Franklin’s daily routine. One of the most interesting features I noted is a segment in the morning to “prosecute the present study”. In simple terms, it meant to study and learn something new and interesting, even if unrelated to work.

Every morning, Franklin would dedicate an hour of time to learning. As it turns out, this practice is a common thread among the world’s highest achievers. From Elon Musk to Oprah Winfrey to Bill Gates, the greats all appear to dedicate at least one hour per day to learning.

The "5-Hour Rule" was coined by entrepreneur @michaeldsimmons to describe the practice: Invest at least 1 hour per weekday—5 hours per week—in learning. • Reading • Practicing a new skill • Experimenting/tinkering • Reflecting Think of it like daily exercise for the mind.

By dedicating focused energy towards learning each day, you guarantee personal progress and growth. You'll learn new information, teach yourself new skills, develop existing ones, find new passions, and more. Invest in yourself daily and it will pay dividends forever.

If 1 hour feels too intimidating—it did for me!— start with something more manageable and build your way up slowly. Try 15 minutes each weekday to start (enough to read an article or a few pages of a book). See if you can add 5 minutes each week to slowly expand the window.

To commit the 5-Hour Rule to habit, plan to do the learning at the same time each day. Pick a window of time—just like Benjamin Franklin—and dedicate it to prosecuting the present study. Check the box daily. Investments in learning compound as well as any financial investment.

To summarize: The 5-Hour Rule for Continuous Growth. Invest at least 1 hour per weekday—5 hours per week—in learning. • Reading • Practicing a new skill • Experimenting • Reflecting At the end of each day, always ask: What did I learn today? Embrace lifelong learning!

Follow me @SahilBloom for more writing on growth and personal development. I'm going to write a deep dive on the 5-Hour Rule—including tactics on how to get started—in an upcoming newsletter. Subscribe and join 127,000+ others who will receive it.

P.S. I'm planning to do what @sivers refers to as a "monthly self expansion project" each month in 2023. I'll be documenting it in my newsletter. I may create a community for others to participate as well if there's enough interest. Subscribe for details.

For those who have asked, here’s Benjamin Franklin’s full daily routine (from his autobiography).

And here’s the article I wrote about lessons we can derive from it:

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