The five-hour rule

The five-hour rule

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.

Barack Obama is far from the only leader to credit his success to reading. Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey, Elon Musk, Mark Cuban and Jack Ma are all voracious readers. 

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Reflect

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.

Rapid experimentation

Experiments are so useful because you have facts, not assumptions. 

Experiments show you what’s working. You can learn from your mistakes and obtain feedback from others. 

Read

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.

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Set concrete goals

To become successful sooner, you first need a road map for your career. What do you want to achieve in your career?

Long term goals help you create a framework for your career. With them in mind, create smaller goals. Set the bar high to ensure you always have a source of motivation.

Tailor your to-do lists

Use the 1-3-5 rule when putting together her daily to-do list.

On any given day, set nine goals for yourself: 
  • one big-ticket project to tackle
  • three medium tasks
  • five small things. 
Narrow down your to-do list to just those things. 

This keeps you from feeling overwhelmed by an endless list, and also helps keep you focused on just those items.

The concept of servant leadership
The actual term for a leader who upends the power pyramid to put others' needs first was introduced by Robert Greenleaf in his influential 1970 essay "The Servant As Leader" in 1970.

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