Reading INC magazine online I saw an article on what they’ve termed the five hour rule. That is, you PLAN the time for deliberate and continuous learning, one hour per day each weekday. It’s a technique that was used by Ben Franklin and brought back to life by time management gurus such as Tim Ferriss. It’s a great way to be able to fit learning into your daily routine.
The article was timely as I’ve been trying to build a learning culture within the team. So far the reaction has been for folks to say “I wish I had an hour a day to to read/learn/take a class”. To this i say, sit down and really look at how you spend your time. Can you cut down on the amount of TV you watch? Get up a bit earlier when the house is still quiet?
The key is to PLAN the time. It isn’t given, found, or made.
You will never FIND the time, something else will always find the blank spots in your schedule first.
You cannot MAKE time (but don’t you wish you could!).
But you CAN be deliberate and PLAN an hour a day, block off your schedule, and focus on bettering your life through continual learning.
Personally, I plan an hour a day to read or do some other form of learning either during my work day or in the evening. I also plan 20 minutes each morning to pick up on industry buzz on one of the thousands of sites on healthcare and technology. And I promise I don’t have 27 hours per day! I just cut down on some things (television!) that I decided were not as important.
So here’s a challenge – for five hours each week, one hour per day, block off your calendar and use that time on focused learning, practicing a new skill or reading that book you keep hearing about (Can I suggest Disrupted by Dan Lyons?). Do this until it becomes second nature. Keep a journal of your successes and setbacks. In a few months look back at how much you have learned, and grown, and revel in your accomplishment!