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The Five Hour Rule

Post Date: 05/12/2019

The Five Hour Rule

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Benjamin Franklin

Did you know you need five hours of deliberate learning a week to stay relevant? Michael Simmons, founder of Empact, coined this notion “The Five Hour Rule” after researching the most successful and busy people in the world, finding they shared a pattern: They devoted at least 5 hours a week to deliberate learning.

The rapid rate in which industry is advancing creates an environment where it’s not about lack of jobs or not having enough people to fill positions. It’s about having enough people with the correct skills to fill the jobs. This means you must be constantly consuming information and learning to stay relevant.

Currently, the future of work follows two trends:

  1. Life of Knowledge: The rate at which knowledge becomes outdated is predictable and growing exponentially. Therefore, just to stay relevant in the wake of this rapid evolution, we need to keep updating our knowledge. Think about how much technology has changed over the past 10 years, how much more we know about diet and health compared to 40 years ago, and how now the periodic table has 118 elements instead of 106 in 1970.
  2. Law of Increasing Learning: Professionals are increasing how much time they put toward learning. Given that we are competing in a global economy for jobs, clients, and customers, we need to at least match others just to stay in the same place. If other people are learning more, then you have to learn just as much as them to stay relevant. If you stand still, you will fall behind. If you’ve been in your current job awhile, you might not be aware of how far you’re falling behind. If you try to transition to a new field or re-enter the market after a break, you’ll quickly realize your skills are probably outdated.


How can you implement this Five Hour Rule into your daily life? Everyone is busy, but Bill Gates reads a book a week, and Barack Obama reads one hour every day. The key is understanding how to maximize your time so you can practice the Five Hour Rule. While spending time learning advanced material that needs your 100% focus is necessary, remember you can do two things at once and still learn. For example, listen to an audiobook while driving or exercising. Waiting on a phone call or eating lunch, you can do a quick scan of news in your industry.

At VIP Staffing we take the education and training of our staff seriously. Recently, our recruiters attended a Zip Recruiter training session and many of our managers have received OHSA training. Additionally, we have monthly education and professional development sessions and are members of the American Staffing Association (ASA,) who has numerous continuing education programs and events.

How will you change your routine to incorporate the Five Hour Rule so you don’t get left behind?