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​An Hour a Day Keeps Stagnation Away

Bill Gates does it. Warren Buffet does it. So does Mark Zuckerberg. What is “it” though? Many people measure their workday by how much they accomplish, but experts say factoring in “slack” time is key to accomplishing your long-term goals.

Slack time means different things for different people: for these amazing entrepreneurs, it’s making time to read. According to an article, Warren Buffett spends five to six hours per day reading five newspapers and 500 pages of corporate reports, Bill Gates reads 50 books per year, and Mark Zuckerberg reads at least one book every two weeks.

And at the root of this practice is Benjamin Franklin who implemented what is now called the five-hour rule: consistently investing roughly an hour a day in deliberate learning. Doing so led him on a path from a teenager with no particular aptitude to a talented inventor, prolific author, and statesman.

Deliberate learning doesn’t just happen; like other important goals, you need to schedule it. You might apply it to anything you want to accomplish now, or down the road.

  • Consider what you want to learn and set goals.
  • Seek feedback and practice improving your skills.
  • Reflect on what you learn and use it to gain perspective.
  • Set aside time specifically for learning.
  • Test your ideas and see if they pay off. Even if they don’t, it’s part of the learning process.

For more information, read “Constant Learners All Embrace the 5-Hour Rule.”

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