🕔 This 5-Hour Rule Can Change Your Coding Habits Forever

Because time is precious and there's so much to do!

🕔 This 5-Hour Rule Can Change Your Coding Habits Forever

We've all heard (and maybe used) the typical excuses for not learning to code or improving our programming skills - "I don't have enough time," "It's too difficult to pick up," "I'm too busy with work and life."

However, what if you were told that by dedicating just five hours per week to continuous learning, you could transform your coding abilities and open up new career opportunities?

Yep just five hours, that’s literally less than an hour a day.

And there’s a name for this concept too, it’s called the 5-Hour Rule.

What is the 5-Hour Rule?

The 5-hour rule is a practice that has been embraced by highly successful individuals like Benjamin Franklin, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates. The premise is simple: spend one hour each working day focused on learning, experimenting, and reflecting.

By making this a habit, you'll be exercising your mind, enhancing your skills, and practising the discipline that’s essential for growth.

Why 1 Hour Each Working Day?

This dedicated time slot ensures that self-improvement doesn't get swept aside by the endless demands of our busy lives. One hour is manageable enough to fit into most schedules, yet substantial enough to make real progress over time.

During this hour, you'll focus on three key elements: learning, experimenting, and reflecting. Learning involves absorbing new information through reading, watching tutorials, taking courses, or whatever method works best for you.

Experimenting means getting those hands-on coding reps by building projects, exploring new technologies, or contributing to open source. And reflection is all about reviewing your progress, identifying areas for growth, and reaffirming those lessons.

Who came up with this 5-Hour Rule?

The 5-hour rule is an idea that's been around for ages - it all started with none other than Benjamin Franklin himself.

Can you imagine waking up at the crack of dawn to spend time reading, writing, and chatting about big ideas? That's exactly what ol' Ben did back in the day.

These days, major tech giants like Elon Musk and Bill Gates are carrying the torch. Even with their insanely busy schedules and groundbreaking accomplishments, they still make time to learn new things and expand their skills.

Now, I get it - setting aside an hour every weekday to focus on your own development might seem a bit much at first. But the payoff can be huge!

In the next few sections, I'll share some super practical tips on how you can start fitting the 5-hour rule into your coding journey today.

5-Hour Rule Learning Techniques for Coders

Now that we've got the basics down, let's look at some specific ways to spend that daily learning hour.

The beauty is that you can mix and match techniques to keep things engaging.

Daily Coding Practice

They say practice makes perfect, and coding is no exception. Setting aside consistent time to write code is crucial for building muscle memory and reinforcing concepts.

Work on personal projects, contribute to open source repos, or tackle coding challenges - whatever helps solidify those skills.

Reading Technical Books

There's a wealth of fantastic programming books out there covering everything from coding fundamentals to specialised domains.

Reading code examples and explanations is an excellent way to deepen your understanding.

Build up a reading list of industry classics as well as the hot new releases.

Watching Educational Videos

The internet is brimming with high-quality video tutorials and coding walkthroughs. Platforms like YouTube and Udemy offer thousands of hours of free and paid content.

Videos are great for visual learners or when you need an explainer on a specific topic.

How to Get Started With The 5-Hour Rule

Making the 5-hour rule a habit takes some effort in the beginning, but the outcomes and benefits are huge.

Here’s some tips on how to get started effectively:

1. Keeping a Coding Journal

Documenting your coding journey is incredibly valuable. Start a journal to record new concepts learned, solutions to challenges, and "aha!" moments of clarity.

Over time, these entries become an awesome reference for tracking your progress.

2. Setting a Consistent Routine

Consistency is critical for reaping the full benefits of the 5-hour rule.

Schedule a recurring time slot each day dedicated to learning activities, even if it's just 30 minutes in the morning or after work. Treat this like an important, unbreakable appointment.

3. Breaking it Into Chunks

An hour can feel overwhelming if tackled all at once. Instead, break it up into smaller, distraction-free segments spread throughout the day - 20 minutes here, 15 minutes there.

Mixing up activities like reading, watching videos, and hands-on coding can also keep your brain engaged.

4. Learning by Doing

Theory alone won't cut it - getting some hands-on practice is crucial.

As mentioned before, dedicate time each week not just to tutorials, but building personal projects, contributing to open source, or tackling coding challenges.

5. Reflecting on Wins and Setbacks

Growth requires reflection and self-awareness. Analyse your biggest successes and failures, pinpointing areas to improve.

Celebrate small victories along the way to stay motivated and reinforce good habits.

Taking the time to thoughtfully review your progress is what separates stuck coders from those who continue levelling up their skills.


The road to becoming a skilled programmer requires consistent effort and a dedication to never stop learning.

And the 5-hour rule provides a structured way to get you on that successful path. By spending just one hour each working day focused on learning, experimenting, and reflecting, you'll be building the same habits that inspired the greats like Benjamin Franklin, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates to incredible success. Stick to a routine that works for your schedule - read books, watch videos, practice coding challenges. The keys are balancing theory with real hands-on work and embracing the power of reflection to identify areas for growth.

The 5-hour rule is no quick fix, but a lifelong practice in self-improvement and mastery.

It takes discipline, but the payoff is the ability to tackle any coding challenge and seize new career opportunities.

And if you’ve spent 10 minutes reading this, you’re already getting started!

From your fellow ever-growing dev,

Cherlock Code

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