The 5-Second Rule: Instant Motivation for Chronic Procrastinators

I have this weird, little rule that I use.

I use this for rising early, writing articles, making phone calls & running. I read Mel Robbin’s book 5 Second Rule years ago and inside it, she describes the 5-second rule, where you must:

Commit to taking action once 5 seconds have passed. You can’t fail to take action because if you do, the rule ceases to exist.

Then you count down from 5–4–3–2–1. Begin. Everytime.

Just this little nudge can get you past the inertia of beginning.

That can’t be it, right? It’s too simple.

But if something works for others, why not try it?

Here’s why it works.

#1. 🚀You associate countdowns with beginning. Ever watch space shuttle blasting off? You count backwards toward 0.

#2. 🤝You pre-committed to starting whenever you hit 0. Your brain wants to act in accordance with what it said, even if it was only to yourself. You don’t feel right if your actions self-talk don’t align.

#3: 📈The hardest part is the beginning. Don’t want to floss? Just floss one tooth and then stop. Get used to overcoming that initial bit and many times, you can keep going easily.

The 5-Second Rule is a helpful framework that can remove the tiny barriers to beginning by making you accountable to yourself.

The next time that alarm rings, count 5–4–3–2–1 and then pop out of bed!

This post was created with Typeshare



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Dave Wentworth

Dave Wentworth


Interested in self-improvement, productivity and human potential.