Successful professionals today can learn a lot from the personal habits of Benjamin Franklin, one of the most successful people in American history. According to Inc.com, throughout his life, Franklin had a custom of setting aside an hour a day for intentional learning. Today, professionals refer to this practice as the “5-hour rule.” For those who seek maximum career growth, following Franklin’s example can create a tremendous return on the investment over a lifetime.
Types of Learning on the Job
The 5-hour rule can apply to many different types of learning on the job, not just to attending a class for an hour a day. Professionals can spend time each day working on hard skills like mastering a computer program, learning to code, practicing a foreign language or learning accounting. They can also improve soft skills through deliberate study and practice — skills like communication, conflict management and project organization.
Learning while working a full-time job can mean an hour each day reading books on business or self-improvement or even listening to audiobooks or podcasts while commuting or exercising. For those interested in more specific career growth, the benefits of formal education in an online degree program, such as an MBA, offer immediate and long-lasting personal and professional development.
Increase Productivity in the Long Term
Following the 5-hour rule takes discipline and self-sacrifice, but the benefits outweigh the costs. In some instances, you might need to give up leisure time after work or sacrifice sleep to prioritize learning. In other cases, you might need to carve an hour out of each work day. Regardless how you arrange the time, consider it a short-term loss. The time you spend learning is an investment in yourself and your future.
Learn With Others
One way to simplify learning while working is to do it with someone else. Whether you learn in a formal classroom or an online environment — or even start an informal book club at the office — learning with others provides valuable encouragement. If you are working on particular skills with team members at your job, you can give each other feedback and suggest areas for improvement. Working together can also improve motivation and commitment.
Set Long- and Short-Term Goals
The most successful professionals know that they must never stop learning. They must continue to set short- and long-term learning goals to improve their minds, their skills and their careers. By setting and achieving personal learning goals, you make goal-setting a habit and achieve more.
Enrolling in an online MBA program is an excellent way for working professionals to further their education and improve critical skills in management, marketing and business strategies. The coursework and the collaborative environment of an MBA program help professionals expand their minds and learn in peer groups. The experience you gain in an MBA program can benefit a professional career for decades to come.
Learn more about UT Tyler’s online MBA program.
Growth Engineering: 5 Ways to Leverage Informal Learning in the Workplace
Usable Knowledge: Learning to Learn at Work