The 5-hour rule for learning

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When it comes to empowerment and leadership we can find many tips in books and on the web that we can guide you to achieve our goals and join us on a daily basis when making decisions (no post, MOOCs, etc.). However, sometimes we forget that one of the main engines to become successful people is grown mentally and physically, and how is this accomplished? Very easy, as I see it, we just have to focus on improving our learning.


Rule 5 hours a week

The rule of 5 hours a week, as is now known, is a very simple tool that when applied, and be consistent in its application, can ensure not only improved our level of learning and culture of our mind, but also it can help us to fulfill our personal and professional goals to become success stories. This has been shown by several entrepreneurs, businessmen and public figures who have found an ally in this rule to accompany them on the path to success. For example, people like Benjamin Franklin, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Phil Knight, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, Elon Musk, to name a few.


But what will the rule of 5 hours a week?

benjamin_franklinBenjamin Franklin Comenzamos enumerating among people who have used this tool because he was, as far as I could ascertain, who began to implement it. From a young Franklin he left school to become an apprentice of his father and from his adolescence showed a great love of reading. The interesting thing is that leaving school he was not against learning, or career, but quite the opposite.

Benjamin Franklin is known as one of the most respected statesmen in the United States, in fact, it is considered as part of the founding fathers of this country. This also makes a great “influencer” in the history of world politics, plus inventor, author and entrepreneur.

During adulthood, Franklin spent 1 hour a day to learn. Hence the name of the rule of 5 hours a week. Its learning routine was as follows:

  1. Getting up early to read and write.
  2. Set goals for personal growth (and track).
  3. Create groups of people who want to improve themselves, by improving their network.
  4. Turn your ideas into experiments, and these shares.
  5. Reflective questions raised both morning and night.

Every time Benjamin Franklin made time to apply the rule of 5 hours, probably managed to complete fewer issues of the day, but surely that daily hour devoted to reflection and learning has been the best investment of time bore fruit with the pass of the time.


How can we apply the rule of 5 hours a week?

The routine of 5 steps applied Benjamin Franklin, actually can be summarized in three large blocks that serve as a guide to implement such a valuable tool:


One of the bases to learn and cultivate the mind is read. How about starting reading a book a week or fortnight? Many of the most successful people in the world find time to devote to reading. For example:

  • Bill Gates can read up to 50 books per year.
  • Mark Zuckerberg read at least one book every two weeks.
  • Elon Musk, founder of PayPal grew up reading 2 books per day (according to what counts his brother).
  • Mark Cuban, entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Maverick NBA, read more than 3 hours per day.
  • Oprah Winfrey has said several times that read saved his life and therefore is dedicated to encourage this habit in their reading clubs.



Read useless if we do not dedicate some time to reflect on what they read. For me this is key and in fact, some entrepreneurs as the CEO of AOL, Tim Armstrong, make your team spend at least 4 hours a week in this activity.

Reflection, even, can help us identify what we want to learn, and so not only have goals for things you want to achieve but for those who want to keep in our mind.

Another value of this step is that you can reflect on group and thus achieve one of the daily points Franklin: get together in groups whose goal is to improve themselves through community improvement.



Put ideas into practice through experiments not only allows us to make them a reality, but connects us with the idea of failure and evolution, iteration, etc. I am convinced that philosophy Lean StartUp, I consider it necessary to learn and move forward with advanced small steps. Will always be more valuable an idea held that one that stays in the mind or on paper, because by putting it into practice can see it from another perspective, probably realize that does not work, in order to achieve improvement. I often repeat at every seminar or workshop that ideas are worthless, however good that appear. What counts is to make them reality. This is where innovation happens.

mark_zuckerbergExamples are Google and Facebook, successful companies that allow their employees to spend time experience in order to encourage and develop their learning. Google, for example, offers and asks its employees spend 20% of their working time to personal projects that have nothing to do with their regular work. Of this 20% many real projects of Google, for example, Gmail, or others that have been developed outside of Google and then have re-built have also emerged. It is an enviable and very powerful to develop the spirit of corporate entrepreneurship model.

In fact, the experiment involves having humbled by your own ideas and not be afraid of changes and much less to failure. In fact, you know that “if you are not ashamed of the first product (experiment) you throw the market is that you came too late.”


In essence, the rule 5 hours a week shows that, over time, the most intelligent or at least most successful people are those who have dedicated their lives to cultivate and are constant in their learning.

For many people, success in your daily work is measured according to the amount of things that ended at the end of the day, which makes these workers devote their day to be more efficient but not necessarily effective. The rule of 5 hours a week, focuses on the effectiveness but also personal efficiency, not just in work but effectively. For me, it is much better measure success in terms of the relevant learning that occur every day, both failures, successes and nosabenocontesta.

I believe and argue that engage in life-long learning implies wanting to be a little better every day, so I ask you not to answer but that reflections are you ready to begin implementing the rule of 5 hours a week ?