Last Updated on November 17, 2019
The secret to productivity is simple, according to Mel Robbins… take action. But many of us instantly get into a state where we don’t want to take action, and that’s where procrastination comes in. Mel Robbins has a 5 second rule that helps you stay out of your head and take action instead. All you need to do is count backward from 5 to 1 when you feel yourself hesitating about doing something, and, when you hit 1, start taking immediate action on something.
The Explanation Of The 5 Second Rule And How To Use It
In this first video, Mel Robbins explains the 5 second rule and how to use it.
Mel says that you only have 5 seconds to take action when you have an idea because your brain will start listing off why you shouldn’t do what you decided you should do, and then you will procrastinate as the pain of doing it becomes deeper.
So, when you feel yourself hesitating about doing something, count backward from 5 to 1. When you get to 1, take action.
This helps to avoid going into that mental state where you talk yourself out of doing something and insures that you activate your prefrontal cortex where you are willing to just take action.
I tried this while writing this post. I was in mid-sentence and all of a sudden I wanted to see if my favorite food place had made an update on Facebook. This type of thing happens a lot and can cost me a lot of time. I was just about to click the pinned tab for Facebook, and then I counted 5-4-3-2-1 and instantly started writing again. I did feel more focused and present, which helped me quickly continue on with my thought and start writing.
The Science Behind The 5 Second Rule
This video is great. It explains 5 scientific reasons why the 5 second rule works.
So, in short, the 5 second rule beats every trick in your brain that causes you to procrastinate. It helps you avoid the worry and fear and take control back.
Mel says that your brain is designed to stop you from taking action that will promote change. Why? Because change is scary and new and your brain has been designed to stop you from doing something scary and new. Your brain doesn’t get a chance to start the thinking that causes procrastination.
As you continue to repeat the 5 second rule and take action, you start to create new habits and become the kind of person that takes action over making excuses and procrastinating. The 5 second rule helps you interrupt the old behavior patterns and trigger new ones.
What Happens If It Doesn’t Work For You?
In the following video, Mel explains why the 5 second rule may not work for you.
In summary, she says that the 5 second rule always works and that if it isn’t working for you, then you don’t want to change.
I was thinking about what she said, and I realized that it’s about not knowing what you REALLY want. When you don’t really know what you want and why, then you are more likely to avoid change.
I’ve experienced this firsthand. After taking the Lifebook Quest, what I wanted became much clearer, and I was able to do things that I hadn’t been able to push myself to do before. For instance, I was able to post an article a day on this site because I knew that this site fit into my ultimate goals for the year and my life.
5 Seconds To More Productivity
In the end, I love this 5 second rule. We have all instantly made a decision that we don’t want to do what we need to do when it comes time to do it. But, now we have a tool that can help us focus and take action 5 seconds after that feeling of hesitation pops up.