Why Oprah’s Five-Hour Rule is Essential for English Majors Who Want Good Jobs

Writers need to stand out. It’s hard to get a job when you’re writing blends into the array of bloggers on the web. How do you set your writing above the rest? The secret is “The 5 Hour Rule”.

What is the 5 Hour Rule?

Inc.com explains it this way:

“Many of these leaders, despite being extremely busy, have 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.”

There are three basic parts to the 5 Second rule.

  1. Read  
  2. Reflect
  3. Experiment.

Each of these parts plays a role in helping the English Major develop needed skills to excel in the job field. Without these skills, English Majors will struggled to break into the job market.

Why English Majors Need It

As writers, we like to think our talent is perfect and just pops out, but the truth is, constant improvement is what makes an amazing writer. Compare J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book with her last. You can see improvement in all aspects of her writing from book one to seven. If an English major wants to stand out in the sea of writers in the job field, they need to learn how to do this.

Each section is important to helping the English Major learn the needed skills. In fact, you may find your classes require a lot of these ideas already. Learning how to use them in your regular work will set you apart from the rest.

  1. Read – Reading is of extreme importance to any writer. It’s how you study your craft. It’s also as one meme says it ‘how people download new software into their brains”. English majors need to read not only other great writers to see how they work the art, but also to learn new elements of the trade. Many authors find reading books on different writing styles, publishing, and grammar extremely helpful.
  2. Reflect – This is where the magic happens. Writing is all about sharing ideas and information. The writer has to have the information in their head before they can write about it. Reflecting is where that happens. Taking a moment to just sit and think about your writing can make an huge difference to you work. No matter what you write about, taking time to get the ideas right in your head will make your writing that much more powerful.
  3. Experimenting – This part can take many different forms for different writers. The most common is trying new styles in your work. For example, if you normally write informational pieces try writing a few poems or a short story. Experimenting with new ideas will refine and improve your main work in vast ways.

These three simple ideas done for at least five hours a week can change your career. Leaders like Oprah and Bill Gates use this technique regularly and see where they’ve gone. If you want to be the Bill Gates in your field, use the 5 Second Rule to excel above the rest.

Billionaire entrepreneur Marc Andreessen explained it perfectly in a recent interview. “I think skill acquisition, literally the acquisition of skills and how to do things, is just dramatically underrated. People are overvaluing the value of just jumping into the deep end of the pool, because the reality is that people who jump into the deep end of the pool drown. There’s a reason there are so many stories about Mark Zuckerberg. There aren’t that many Mark Zuckerbergs. Most of them are still floating face down in the pool. And so, for most of us, it’s a good idea to get skills.”

What 5 Hours a Week Do For You

It’s not a hard habit to get into. You maybe using parts of it already. But making sure to take those 5 hours a week will allow you to make more money than you would just being ‘productive’ in those five hours. It’s all about having skills. A writer who can write a poem one moment then write a detailed contract will have the best chance in the job field. English Majors who use this tip will have skills beyond their peers and have a better shot at getting their dream job.

English Majors who have already applied this rule have found improvements in their grades and in their writing jobs. English majors are likely already doing most, if not all, of these in their classes. The real secret is doing it outside of classes. Experiment with a new style you’re interested in, read a book about a new topic you’ve not tried before. When you do this, the skills for success will be acquired more easily, and, frankly, it’s a more fun way to gain them. What heights can you achieve with just a few more skills?

Guest post by Bekka Donaldson

Source: Inc.