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The 5-Hour Rule That Turns Ordinary People Into Successful Ones

The 5-Hour Rule That Turns Ordinary People Into Successful Ones

You work hard day after day, but never see any long-term improvement. You feel trapped at your current level, unable to move forward or progress. You see friends and colleagues moving on and getting promoted, and wonder what’s different about you.

If this sounds like you, then you need to start using the 5-hour rule. Followed by successful people around the world, including Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and Mark Zuckerberg, this simple rule can help you transform from ordinary to successful.[1]

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Read on to find out exactly what the rule involves and how you can implement it in your own life.

Spend 5 Hours A Week On Deliberate Learning

The 5-hour rule involves spending five hours a week, or one hour each working day, focused on deliberate learning. This means setting aside time to give your full attention to learning and development, without getting distracted by other work. This learning can take different forms and a mix of these will give you the most well-rounded experience.

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Reading

Reading is a habit of many highly successful people and is an easy and convenient way to learn. Try keeping a book in your bag at all times and setting yourself up with reading goals each week. You could aim to read a chapter a day or a certain number of books each month. The wide availability of eBooks makes reading on almost any topic possible wherever you are. Bill Gates is a famous advocate of reading and reads around 50 books each year, crediting it as one of the main ways that he learns.[2]

Reflection

Reflection is a key part of learning. Trying to consume too much information without reflecting on it can lead you to feel overwhelmed and prevents you from picking up new skills. It’s important that your reflection time is structured, or you could get distracted. Try keeping a journal, which will allow you to reflect on what you’ve learned through reading. It will also give you the chance to think about lessons you’ve recently learned during work and develop ideas you have for the future.

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Experimentation

Experimentation is essential if you want to progress in life. Set aside some time each week to test out new theories or ideas, no matter how crazy they are. Some of the most successful products in the world have come about as a result of experimentation. Innovation never comes from doing the same thing over and over. Even if your experiment fails, you’ll have learned valuable lessons.

Don’t Confuse Working With Learning

It’s easy to confuse working with learning, and this is how you can end up feeling stuck. You might think that working for 40 hours a week should be enough for you to see improvement, but that’s rarely the case. While you’re focused on day-to-day problems, you’re not giving yourself time to develop and grow. The 5-hour rule is about deliberate learning, not about going to work everyday and hoping you might learn something. Set yourself specific learning goals and give yourself time to achieve them, and you’ll see a vast amount of improvement.

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Focus On Improvement, Not Just Productivity

You might believe that the more productive you are, the more successful you’ll be. Productivity plays a role in success, but it’s nothing without lifelong learning. If you’re constantly focused on your current work, rather than on long-term self-improvement, you’ll never see much development. It can be hard to allow yourself five hours a week for learning that doesn’t come with an immediate reward, but you’ll thank yourself for it in the long run. Try to look beyond your daily paycheck and dedicate time to becoming the best possible version of yourself instead.

Take inspiration from some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and spend 5-hours a week on deliberate learning. You’ll soon be light years ahead of your friends and colleagues, and well on your way to success.

Reference

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Eloise Best

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How to Fight Information Overload

How to Fight Information Overload

Information overload is a creature that has been growing on the Internet’s back since its beginnings. The bigger the Internet gets, the more information there is. The more quality information we see, the more we want to consume it. The more we want to consume it, the more overloaded we feel.

This has to stop somewhere. And it can.

As the year comes to a close, there’s no time like the present to make the overloading stop.

What you need to do is focus on these 4 steps:

  1. Set your goals.
  2. Decide whether you really need the information.
  3. Consume only the minimal effective dose.
  4. Don’t procrastinate by consuming too much information.

But before I explain exactly what I mean, let’s discuss information overload in general.

The Nature of the Problem

The sole fact that there’s more and more information published online every single day is not the actual problem. Only the quality information becomes the problem. This sounds kind of strange…but bear with me.

When we see some half-baked blog post we don’t even consider reading it, we just skip to the next thing. But when we see something truly interesting — maybe even epic — we want to consume it. We even feel like we have to consume it. And that’s the real problem.

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No matter what topic we’re interested in, there are always hundreds of quality blogs publishing entries every single day (or every other day). Not to mention all the forums, message boards, social news sites, and so on. The amount of epic content on the Internet these days is so big that it’s virtually impossible for us to digest it all. But we try anyway.

That’s when we feel overloaded. If you’re not careful, one day you’ll find yourself reading the 15th blog post in a row on some nice WordPress tweaking techniques because you feel that for some reason, “you need to know this.”

Information overload is a plague. There’s no vaccine, there’s no cure. The only thing you have is self-control. Luckily, you’re not on your own. There are some tips you can follow to protect yourself from information overload and, ultimately, fight it. But first…

Why information overload is bad

It stops you from taking action. That’s the biggest problem here. When you try to consume more and more information every day, you start to notice that even though you’ve been reading tons of articles, watching tons of videos and listening to tons of podcasts, the stream of incoming information seems to be infinite.

Therefore, you convince yourself that you need to be on a constant lookout for new information if you want to be able to accomplish anything in your life, work and/or passion. The final result is that you are consuming way too much information, and taking way too little action because you don’t have enough time for it.

The belief that you need to be on this constant lookout for information is just not true.

You don’t need every piece of advice possible to live your life, do your work, or enjoy your passion.

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So how to recognize the portion of information that you really need? Start with your goals.

1. Set your goals

If you don’t have your goals put in place you’ll be just running around grabbing every possible advice and thinking that it’s “just what you’ve been looking for.”

Setting goals is a much more profound task than just a way to get rid of information overload. Now by “goals” I don’t mean things like “get rich, have kids, and live a good life”. I mean something much more within your immediate grasp. Something that can be achieved in the near future — like within a month (or a year) at most.

Basically, something that you want to attract to your life, and you already have some plan on how you’re going to make it happen. So no hopes and dreams, just actionable, precise goals.

Then once you have your goals, they become a set of strategies and tactics you need to act upon.

2. What to do when facing new information

Once you have your goals, plans, strategies and tasks you can use them to decide what information is really crucial.

First of all, if the information you’re about to read has nothing to do with your current goals and plans then skip it. You don’t need it.

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If it does then it’s time for another question. Will you be able to put this information into action immediately? Does it have the potential to maybe alter your nearest actions/tasks? Or is it so incredible that you absolutely need to take action on it right away? If the information is not actionable in a day or two (!) then skip it. (You’ll forget about it anyway.)

And that’s basically it. Digest only what can be used immediately. If you have a task that you need to do, consume only the information necessary for getting this one task done, nothing more.

You need to be focused in order to have clear judgment, and be able to decide whether some piece of information is mandatory or redundant. Self-control comes handy too … it’s quite easy to convince yourself that you really need something just because of poor self-control. Try to fight this temptation, and be as ruthless about it as possible – if the information is not matching your goals and plans, and you can’t take action on it in the near future then SKIP IT.

3. Minimal Effective Dose

There’s a thing called the MED – Minimal Effective Dose. I was first introduced to this idea by Tim Ferriss. In his book The 4-Hour Body,Tim illustrates the minimal effective dose by talking about medical drugs. Everybody knows that every pill has a MED, and after that specific dose no other positive effects occur, only some negative side effects if you overdose big.

Consuming information is somewhat similar. You need just a precise amount of it to help you to achieve your goals and put your plans into life. Everything more than that amount won’t improve your results any further. And if you try to consume too much of it, it will eventually stop you from taking any action altogether.

4. Don’t procrastinate by consuming more information

Probably one of the most common causes of consuming ridiculous amounts of information is the need to procrastinate. By reading yet another article we often feel that we are indeed working, and that we’re doing something good – we’re learning, which in result will make us a more complete and educated person.

This is just self-deception. The truth is we’re simply procrastinating. We don’t feel like doing what really needs to be done – the important stuff – so instead we find something else, and convince ourselves that “that thing” is equally important. Which is just not true.

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Don’t consume information just for the sake of it. It gets you nowhere.

In Closing

As you can see, information overload can be a real problem and it can have a sever impact on your productivity and overall performance. I know I have had my share of problems with it (and probably still have from time to time). But creating this simple set of rules helps me to fight it, and to keep my lizard brain from taking over. I hope it helps you too, especially as we head into a new year with a new chance at setting ourselves up for success.

Feel free to shoot me a comment below and share your own story of fighting information overload. What are you doing to keep it from sabotaging your life?

(Photo credit: Businessman with a Lot of Discarded Paper via Shutterstock)

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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