Industrious Framework - Be Industrious Without The Industry

Charlie Greenman
August 25, 2020
5 min read

5 Hour Rule

The 5-hour rule with regards to reading states:

"No matter how busy successful people are, they always spend at least an hour a day — or five hours a work-week — learning or practicing. And they do this across their entire career." - Michael Simmons

The 12-15 Hour Rule

There is another rule elsewhere, that I am going to bring into the fold. It is called the 12-15 hour rule. It states, that if you want to get ahead in your craft, you need to dedicate 12-15 outside of work hours per week. I first saw something along these lines in a book called Clean Coder by Robert C. Martin. The hours I am sure are not exact, but the principle is the same. There is a need to spend time honing in your craft, outside of work. So that just further complicates the 5-hour rule, if you want to be super ambitious on this one.

The Dilemma

If we combine the above, we are talking about 20 hours alone per week spent on the 5 hour rule, and the 15 hour rule. For the average person with a 40 hour work week, 10 hours of commute, and an outside life, it's difficult. The attempt of this article is to present proven tactics towards getting in reading, in places you wouldn't.

At the gym.


By using a compound bike, or a bike in general, you will be able to read while doing cardio. Personally, I've tried reading while jogging, it just work, nor does this method work with any other fitness equipment. So if you modify your cadio, to use a bike, and you read during that time, you can potentially give yourself an extra 1.5 hours per week. Try it at the gym. If you can hack it, adding this machine to your apartment, will make it, so that it is a worthwhile investment.


Weight Lifting / Weght Training

If you are doing a weight training program, find one that allows intervals in between. Lean Creativity as a framework recommends "Bigger Leaner Stronger". In this program, there are 3-minute intervals in between workouts. Sometimes there is and sometimes there isn't. For instance, sometimes I will be doing leg presses in between shoulder side raises. However, I have found bringing a book to the gym, gives me about an extra 15 minutes per workout. This only equates to about 45minutes - 1 hour a week. However, this seriously adds up.


^ this is me reading at the gym.


I like yoga a lot for stretching. As it uses the body purely for stretching and usually frees up a hand or two. It gets creative, but this is the program I use.


Audio Books While Walking

This one is my favorite, because I think I'm uniquely qualified to talk about it. I love music, and walking around listening to audio instead of music (expletive goes here) (other expletive goes here). Nonetheless, I would like to challenge you to think about how many minutes a day you spend walking around. Personally, for me that number is at 40 minutes a day. I barely get outside. When I do, it's in the gym.

I'm still working through this one, but the approach I'm taking in order to get better at this one is to have an mp3 player dedicated specifically to books. Also, just hardcore discipline. You'll end up tripping up over yourself, trying to find what chapter did you finish reading at, and note-taking will be more difficult this way. However, if you can squeeze in 1 hour a week this way, you are way ahead. Try the mp3 player approach, spend the money on audio and the book, and try to get ahead. The entire world will be a better place for it.

Reading While Commuting - Depends

I for one am actually against reading while commuting. As will be expressed elsewhere, use commuting time to advance in career. Commuting as a rule of thumb can be done in multiple mediums, and due to it potentially allowing you to use a laptop, follow the 12 - 15 rule while commuting.

Subway - Read book related to career Cab / Uber - Work on laptop Bus - Work on laptop(I have not once had my laptop stolen)

Driving Car - Read book unrelated to career Walking - Read book unrelated to career

Keep It Consistent: Night or Morning

"Consistency leads to habits. Habits form the actions we take every day. Action leads to success" - Anonymous

Everyone has a different work schedule. However, one thing is for certain. Keep it consistent. I try and set up 3-4 hours consistently every week from 8:30 pm-9:30 pm, wherein I write notes during this time. As an entrepreneur such as tonight there are some nights wherein that doesn't happen. That is NOT ok, and I'm totally being hard on myself right now, but that needs to happen. I need to get that into my reptilian brain reading is no joke. So it's a struggle, but I work towards this. The reading material I've been reading the past two weeks has been really intense and I've only covered 100 pages. Nonetheless, that's 100 pages I would not have read otherwise. Slow and steady wins the race.


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