Surely you've heard about the 10,000-hour rule - the golden rule that dictates if you want to become seriously talented in any area, you need at least 10,000 hours of practice. Well, a recent report by Medium's Michael Simmons has determined that the most successful people in life stick to a crucial '5-hour rule.' This rule dictates that if one wishes to be performing at their peak, they must set aside at least five hours a week of dedicated, focused practice. This practice can come in the form of three main areas.
Your English teacher was always right - reading equals success. Warren Buffet spends five hours a day just reading newspapers and financial reports while Bill Gates insists on reading at least 50 books a year. And although Gates isn't plugging through the Harry Potter series repeatedly, any reading can have a positive impact on your day-to-day life.
Most successful men and women suggest reading books that help improve your education, AKA non-fiction. However, psychological studies confirm that reading fictional novels can improve your understanding of social interactions, as well as expand your vocabulary. It's always handy to sound smart around smart people.
Very rarely do humans use our spare time to just sit (or stand) and just think. Too often we busy our hands and minds with the funny little device in our hands, blasting the latest trash song we've had on repeat for a week. This 'idle time', as it is known to professionals, can be the source of many great ideas or the period for recollection of past failures. So next time you're on the train, it may be worth actually using your brain instead of staring stupidly out the window.
AOL CEO Tim Armstrong makes his team spend four hours a week just thinking. Linkedin CEO Jeff Weiner sets aside a whopping two hours every to just sit back and reflect. Once guys allow their ideas to populate their mind, they then hold themselves accountable by calling friends or writing down what they've learned.
For more on the benefits of journalling and written reflection, see TVG's 'How Keeping A Journal Repurposed My Thinking.'
You've gathered all your ideas from the books you've been reading; you've had a good think about how you could improve yourself and your business, and now its time to put your theories to practice. No new great idea was ever really formed without radical experimentation. This is constant and painstaking practice to find the perfect idea.
Although Thomas Edison was notoriously genius, his method of finding his newest innovation was through a painstaking process of elimination. According to longtime rival, Nikola Tesla, Edison's entire working day consisted of constant experimentation:
The 5-hour rule should be approached with dedication and consistency, ideally setting aside an hour of every day in the pursuit of perfection. Rather than working blindly toward a goal you're unsure of, follow in the footsteps of CEO's and billionaire's that have come before you and engage in deliberate practice.