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

Many human beings experience the frustration of working as hard as possible every day and never seeing any long-term, meaningful improvements in their lives. This can make people feel as though they’re trapped in a never-ending cycle of struggle and disappointment; human beings don’t want to have to break their backs and minds to merely survive—but they’re willing to do these things in the short-term in order to be able to thrive in the long-term. However, something called “the 5-hour rule” has been enabling more people to finally experience the happiness and success that they have been working for; in fact, even Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and Mark Zuckerberg utilize this technique to maximize their success. Please read the list below so that you and the people you care about can experience enhanced happiness and success as well.

Spending 5 hours each week on deliberate learning.

This equates to devoting one 1 hour of each weekday to deliberate learning: giving 100% of your focus to learning and development. As long as you do that, this learning and development can take place in a wide array of different forms.


Always keep a book on your person, or always keep an e-book open on your smartphone or pocket e-book reader. More specifically, set reading goals each week—how many pages to read, how many chapters to read, how many books to read, etc.—and actually put forth the required time and effort to adhere to them. Bill Gates strongly advocates for reading, and he himself reads approximately 50 books per year.


If you only read and learn without properly reflecting on what you’re read and learned, then you won’t be able to properly remember or utilize the knowledge. It’s a very good idea to keep a journal—listing what you’ve read, listing bullet points for what you found significant about the work, listing revealing stats, etc.—and to reflect on the journal every once in a while too. It’s amazing how much your ideas and perspectives change over time (and get better!).


Devote adequate time each week to testing out theories and ideas, regardless of how unlikely they are to 100% succeed or prove to be useful. Many of the best ideas of all time failed to materialize after years of testing and perfecting—until they finally did and became million or billion dollar ideas. So, never stop innovating and trying.

Working isn’t learning.

Work problems may utilize all of your brain and be extremely taxing on your energy and sanity, but whatever you learn while working is not sufficient to satisfy a human being’s need for genuinely deliberate learning. You must set specific learning goals, set aside the time required to complete them, and then devote the effort and energy that is required to achieve them.

Improving instead of producing.

It might be surprising to learn that increased production does not necessarily equate to increased success; only the combination of production and lifelong learning will lead to truly lasting and meaningful success, partly because only lifelong learning can reveal long-term solutions for self-improvement, development, and lifetime success. Oftentimes people are better off making less money in the short-term if it enables them to achieve other accomplishments that will result in them making much more money in the not-too-distant future.