The power of learning: how it guarantees your triumph
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If you are still thinking business is a reasonable reason for not reading and learning, then you have to reconsider your thoughts from the grounds up. Today, it is needless to say that it does not matter how busy you are, you can allocate enough time to learning throughout your day.
We can list here multiple businessmen who are absolutely busier than you, yet schedule time for learning on a daily basis. From Barack Obama and Warren Buffett to Bill Gates and Elon Musk, all had and have a certain amount of time allocated solely to reading and learning.
Why do they care as much as this about learning? The answer is not difficult: learning and knowledge is the best investment we can make in our time. If you invest your time in learning, not only aren’t you losing anything, but you are also planning to gain money in addition to wisdom.
Once you really discern the high value of knowledge, you will reschedule your days and see how much free time you have to learn new things.
One of the best methods to help you commit to a self-improvement plan is to hire the 5-hour rule.
The 5-hour rule and how it works
The term was first employed by Michael Simmons. The 5-hour rule is a simple rule about dedicating 5 hours a week, or one hour per working day, to learning new things. This rule can simply deviate an unsuccessful person toward a luminous future.
Keep in mind that during these 5 hours you should be totally focused on the learning process. You need to use your full potential for the sake of learning. Consequently, you should not let any external factor distract you from the target you have set.
The juicy process of learning comes in different shapes. They mostly include trading time for reading, reflection, and experimentation.
Reading is probably the most convenient method to learn new things. Many successful, well-known people are used to reading a lot. You need to read as much as you can, especially in your dead time.
Carrying a book or two everywhere you go is a simple, effective way to expose yourself to reading opportunities. With the progress of technology, no one can neglect reading under the pretext of not having enough time or forgetting to carry their books. You can take advantage of millions of eBooks available these days if you are a fan of Kindles or iPads.
Allocating even an insignificant proportion of your time to reflection helps you assess the past. This way, you can detect what you did wrong, and what you could do even better. As a result, reflection leads to an improvement in your performance. If you find it difficult to put this stage in your schedule, you can start with short time periods of, say, 10 to 15 minutes.
One way to do this efficiently is to make use of a notebook. You can use it to reflect on what you have learned through reading stuff. This will help you think about what you have recently done and discover new ideas to accomplish them even more sufficiently.
Experimentation is what turns an innately worthwhile idea into reality. It has made the invention of numerous products possible during history. You should implement what you learn from reading into the real world to see the power of experimentation.
What they advise in this area is to set aside some time to examine new ideas and theories, regardless of how viable they are. Even if you fail in it, at least you learn what leads to failure.
Set aside time for learning
We are not as obsessed with learning as we are with productivity and efficiency. We need to allot a certain amount of time to learning, just the same way as we do it for exercise. The experts believe that those who do not spend 5 to 10 hours a week learning new things online will find themselves detached from technology in the foreseable future.
You need to formally recognize the learning process as a massively crucial portion of your life that will push you toward success. Taking the process seriously can definitely lead to squeezing it into your daily plans, no matter how tough it is.
The 5-hour rule is not about going to work and hoping to learn new things effortlessly; it is about recognizing the process as a serious matter and dedicate enough time to it.
Working does not equal learning
Yes, maybe you work 40 hours a week, but it does not necessarily mean you are learning anything new. For that reason, you may not see any significant progress. When you are at work, you are focusing on how to handle different work-related tasks. This is why you cannot give yourself enough time for self-improvement.
The 5-hour rule as we previously described is about “deliberate” learning. You are not going to wait for learning to happen, you need to seize it. Set specific learning goals and stick to them. If you are fatigued with your work, it does not mean you do not need to allocate separate time to learning. Otherwise, you are going to be like running on a treadmill.
Do not be obsessed with productivity, focus on self-improvement
Productivity plays a vital role in the road to success; however, lifelong learning is much more integral. Productivity makes you get rewarded fast for what you have done, but a far-sighted, wise man tends to focus on self-improvement as it holds productivity in it too.
Sticking to a 5-hour learning procedure each week may seem problematic at the beginning, since you may see no reward right away; all the same in the future, you will be grateful to yourself for what you are doing today. Expand your vision further than your daily expenditures and endeavor to be the best version of yourself.
Instead of expecting immediate rewards and productivity, focus on deliberate learning and soon you will overtake all the successful people around you in a flash. Look closely at famous entrepreneurs and successful people to see how they spend at least 5 hours a week and try to copy this brilliant attitude.
The habit of reading
You should make it natural. It is not pleasant to reluctantly squash the reading plan into your daily routines. The best approach is to create a natural habit of reading, such that you feel incomplete in case of forgetting it.
Your life is definitely not as busy as that of famous entrepreneurs and successful people. Start with short times if learning for 5 hours a week is troublesome to you. Gradually, you will succeed to build the habit of learning into your daily schedule, without finding it bothersome.
There are multiple sources of learning new stuff. It is recommended that you experiment with as many of them as you can to see which fits you best. In addition to books and the Internet, you can dig knowledge through audiobooks and podcasts. These two are of fabulous options for those who are constantly on the move.
It is suggested that when learning, you concentrate on the most relevant realms to your career. Learning the right things at the right moment can pave the way toward undiscovered opportunities.
On the other hand, you should bear in mind that focusing solely on the areas directly connected to your current job is not always desirable. Expand your skills to open up new possibilities other than what you currently do.
Perform learning rituals
Successful entrepreneur Ben Clarke used to allocate 6:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. to deliberate learning every day. The process continued for 5 years; that is more than two thousand hours! After his daughter was born, Ben was first willing to replace his learning ritual with father-daughter time. In order not to omit his learning ritual, Ben decided to shorten his working time instead.
Most people could give up at some time in the middle, but Ben Clarke did not. He kept his ritual and the process paid off very well. To shed light on how big his effort was, it is not bad to mind that more than 200 employees work in Ben Clarke’s company. As a result, he is definitely busy and there is no doubt about it; nonetheless, he has never abandoned his learning ritual under the pretext of business.
Therefore, you should also attempt to create a ritual for yourself and stick to it as often as you can. Even if you are a simple employee in a company, no excuse is accepted regarding this. You can find short periods of time for learning during your downtime in your work, such as lunch breaks, commutes, etc.
Even 15 minutes a day will do the trick and is much more valuable than learning nothing. Time and tiredness are no good, reasonable excuses.
Steps to generate your learning ritual
It should have become clear so far that you can set aside time to learning throughout your day, regardless of the business you have. The busiest people in the world have succeeded in doing so, so can you.
Try to perform these three simple steps to create your learning ritual:
- Find the most appropriate time in your day for learning, even if you are too busy to do so.
- Stay persistent in performing your learning ritual every day without wasting time.
- Increase the efficiency of your learning ritual by reviewing what you have learned in order to remember and apply them in your life.
It does not matter how busy you are; you can set aside at least a small proportion of time for learning new stuff every day. Even the busiest entrepreneurs and businessmen do learn a lot every day, without sluggishly finding unacceptable excuses. Try to set your goal for 1 hour a day, and make it 5 hours weekly, as the 5-hour rule explains. Learning new things for 5 hours a week can open up unimaginable destinations.
Keep in mind that working is different from learning. Do not confuse these two areas. Do your job well, but do not believe it replaces learning. Furthermore, you should not be obsessed with productivity and rewards for what you do; stick to your learning procedures and be sure that it will pay off, even if that will be years from now.
Creating a learning ritual can help you stick to the process better. Then, try to create one with a specific start and end time.
What are your experiences regarding learning and its importance? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below.
About Sanan Sanani
Co-founder and CEO of Sanani Holding Ltd and Sterling Property Advisors.
Sanan Sanani is an entrepreneur, a savvy businessman and self-proclaimed workaholic who loves to stay busy and make clients happy.