#208 The 10,008 Hour + 36 Min Rule

The #2 Factor on What Makes Great Performers Great

At this stage, most of us are familiar with “The 10,000 Hour Rule” Malcolm Gladwell made popular in his book Outliers.

The research that inspired Gladwell was conducted by Anders Ericsson. Although it’s a bit more nuanced than “go put in 10,000 hours of hard work and you’ll be great!” Anders’s #1 finding in his research is clear: The best performers in any field have put in the most deliberate practice. Period.

This is exciting because, as we’ve discussed in prior +1s, that means that greatness isn’t a matter of winning the genetic lottery per se. It’s about using the gift of adaptability to tap into our ultimate potential growth-mindset style.

So, all that’s great.

But, get this: The insight into the power of deliberate practice was only ONE of the big findings from that research.

You know what the second most important variable was that differentiated the best performers?

… How much they slept!!

The best performers slept, on average, 8 hours and 36 minutes every 24 hours—significantly more than the not-quite-so-great performers. (btw: That included an average of 2.8 hours of NAPPING per week—2 hours longer than the average. For the non-math majors, that’s an average of a little more than 30 min of napping per day.)

Why is that important? Well, deliberate practice is HARD WORK. You can’t sustain that level of attention to mastery if you’re tired. And, you need to recharge your batteries when you crush it that much.

Which leads us to Today’s +1.

How’s your sleep? Are you more like the best performers and getting 8.5+ hours of sleep per day? Or… Are you more like the average American who gets less than 7 hours of sleep?


If you want to consistently perform at your absolute best, you’ve gotta know that sleep really really really matters.

So… What’s one little thing you can do TODAY to get a better night of sleep?

Quick Pro Tip: Here’s the #1 thing most people can do: Turn off your phone, leave it somewhere other than your nightstand and get some good sleep.

As we’ve discussed, research is clear: If you check your phone right before bed, it will take you longer to get into deep sleep and you’ll spend less time there once you do arrive. So… Turn off your phone! At least an hour before your ideal sleep time.

Remember The 10,008 Hour and 36 Minute Rule.

Count your Zzzzz’s and watch your performance soar.

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