2 Hour Rule
I've adopted a '2-hour rule' based on the habit that led Einstein, Darwin, and Nietzsche to brilliance -- and it's had the highest ROI of anything I've done | ZAT RANA AUG 28, 2017
At their core, a healthy amount of daydreaming and reflection enable memory consolidation, and they allow non-linear connections to form, which both help our ability to break down and target issues and look at them through a new lens. /// The daily mind-wandering that occurs here and there for most of us helps with this, but a deeper and more purposeful effort can yield a disproportionately greater reward.
Introducing the 2-hour rule
Once a week, usually on Thursdays, I block out a 2-hour period of my day just to think. /// In the evening, I remove all possible distractions, especially electronics like my phone and my laptop, and I basically lock myself in a room to question my work and my lifestyle with a pen and a notebook. 2 hours is a long time, and some of it will feel unproductive and not all of it will be structured, but I have a few general things that I almost always start off with to set me in motion.
Here are a few questions I reflect on:
- _Am I excited to be doing what I’m doing or am I in aimless motion?
- Are the trade-offs between work and my relationships well-balanced?
- How can I speed up the process from where I am to where I want to go?
- What big opportunities am I not pursuing that I potentially could?
- What’s a small thing that will produce a disproportionate impact?
- What could probably go wrong in the next 6 months of my life?_
I can quite honestly say that this is the highest return activity in my life. It forces me to balance the short-term with the long-term. I catch problem before they become problems, and I’ve stumbled onto efficiencies and ideas that I wouldn’t have come across otherwise. /// Interestingly enough, much of the value doesn’t come out of the routine questions, but from the time I have left after I run out of things to think about. It’s when I let my mind wander.
Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Oprah all use the 5-hour rule — here's how it works
In the article "Malcolm Gladwell got us wrong," the researchers behind the 10,000-hour rule set the record straight: Different fields require different amounts of deliberate practice to become world class. /// If 10,000 hours isn't an absolute rule that applies across fields, what does it really take to become world-class in the world of work? /// Over the past year, I've explored the personal history of many widely admired business leaders like Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Mark Zuckerberg to understand how they apply the principles of deliberate practice. /// What I've done does not qualify as an academic study, but it does reveal a surprising pattern. /// Many of these leaders, despite being extremely busy, set aside at least an hour a day (or five hours a week) over their entire career for activities that could be classified as deliberate practice or learning. /// I call this phenomenon the five-hour rule.
How the best leaders follow the 5-hour rule
For the leaders I tracked, the five-hour rule often fell into three buckets: reading, reflection, and experimentation.