KNOWLEDGE & The 5-hour rule — here’s how it works.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: As a professor at Indiana Wesleyan University for 20+ years, I’ve noticed that students increasingly challenge the amount of required reading in courses. Though the page totals haven’t changed, student reaction has. I can’t help but believe it is due in part to the accessibility of reading shorter articles online (like this article 😉

Yet there is something to be gained by immersing yourself in a longer read. Perhaps serialized TV shows and movies have turned our attention away from reading to watching.

Regardless of the genesis, this article points out that leading entrepreneurs continue to have a robust reading schedule of longer reads. Learn how the 5-hour rule can help you too.

Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Oprah all use the 5-hour rule — here’s how it works.

by Michael Simmons, Business Insider Magazine, 7/10/17.

Over the past year, I’ve explored the personal history of many widely admired business leaders like Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Mark Zuckerberg to understand how they apply the principles of deliberate practice…

Many of these leaders, despite being extremely busy, set aside at least an hour a day (or five hours a week) over their entire career for activities that could be classified as deliberate practice or learning.

I call this phenomenon the five-hour rule.

How the best leaders follow the 5-hour rule

For the leaders I tracked, the five-hour rule often fell into three buckets: reading, reflection, and experimentation.

1. Read

… Consider the extreme reading habits of other billionaire entrepreneurs:

• Warren Buffett spends five to six hours a day reading five newspapers and 500 pages of corporate reports.

• Bill Gates reads 50 books a year.

• Mark Zuckerberg reads at least one book every two weeks.

• Elon Musk grew up reading two books a day, according to his brother.

• Mark Cuban reads for more than three hours every day.

• Arthur Blank, a cofounder of Home Depot, reads two hours a day.

• Billionaire entrepreneur David Rubenstein reads six books a week.

• Dan Gilbert, the self-made billionaire who owns the Cleveland Cavaliers, reads for one to two hours a day.

2. Reflect

Other times, the five-hour rule takes the form of reflection and thinking time

When Reid Hoffman needs help thinking through an idea, he calls one of his pals like Peter Thiel, Max Levchin, or Elon Musk. When billionaire Ray Dalio makes a mistake, he logs it into a system that is public to all employees at his company. Then, he schedules time with his team to find the root cause. Billionaire entrepreneur Sara Blakely is a long-time journaler. In one interview, she shared that she had more than 20 notebooks where she logged the terrible things that happened to her and the gifts that had unfolded as a result.

3. Experiment.

Finally, the five-hour rule takes the form of rapid experimentation.

Throughout his life, Ben Franklin set aside time for experimentation, masterminding with like-minded individuals, and tracking his virtues. Google was known to allow employees to experiment with new projects with 20% of their work time. Facebook encourages experimentation through Hack-A-Months.

Read more at …

Bob W.

(Typ@s by Siri.)