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It takes about 6,400 hours of class time and studying to get a 4-year degree. Assume that it takes you only 5,000 hours to master your field.
While you are happy that you've prepared for your profession, the knowledge you've learned is fast becoming outdated. We can safely assume that in 10 years, 50% of the facts in the field would be outdated. This means that for you, just to keep up in your current field, you'd need to learn 5 hours per week, 50 weeks a year.
The rate at which knowledge is becoming outdated is predictable and growing exponentially. For example:
Informal learning outside of traditional institutions accounts for 70 to 90 percent of all learning.
If other people are learning more, then you have to learn just as much to stay relevant. If you don't, you will fall behind. If you are in your current job, you might not even realize how far you're falling behind. It might only become apparent if you try to transition to a new field or re-enter the market after a break.
You might not think you have five extra hours in the week, but you do. The simplest way is to stack learning on top of your current schedule. Areas where you can leverage double-time every day:
With smartphones and the explosion of videos, podcasts, and audiobooks, you can learn while you do other things throughout your day.
Just as we have minimum recommended dosages of vitamins and minutes of exercise for maintaining physical health, we should understand that we also have to be rigorous about the minimum dose of deliberate learning that will maintain our economic health.
Those who do not keep learning will be left behind, stuck in a job, or unemployed.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
Facts decay over time. And the time it takes to disprove or replace half of it can be predicted.
Data in medicine become half as relevant in 2-3 years. For exact sciences, 2-4 years.
If we want our knowledge to compound, we’ll need to focus on the invariant general principles.
Half-lives show us that if we spend time learning something that changes quickly, we might be wasting our time.
The Pareto principle states that 20% of your activities (even lesser) deliver 80% results (even more) in almost every area of your life.
No matter how busy successful people are, they always spend at least an hour a day (thus five hours a week) learning or practicing. And they do this across their entire career.
Besides expanding your knowledge, reading can give you a good head start; this is often what your peers cannot obtain.
Even if you can't commit to an hour or more of reading every day, start with 20 to 30 minutes.
The five-hour rule also includes reflecting and thinking. This could be just staring at the wall or jotting down your thoughts.
Focusing on the past gives you a chance to learn from mistakes you've made, as well as assess what you did correctly. As a result, you’ll be better suited to achieve your goals and improve your life.