The most successful, busy people in the world dedicate at least 5 hours a week to deliberate learning.
The 5-Hour Rule is the most critical practice we can all adopt for long-term career success. However, almost no-one takes it as seriously as they should.
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While you are happy that you've prepared for your profession, the knowledge you've learned is fast becoming outdated. We can safely assume that in 10 years, 50% of the facts in the field would be outdated.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.
When we consider the future of work, there are two trends we should keep a note of. They are:
The rate at which knowledge is becoming outdated is predictable and growing exponentially.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.