Few weeks ago I started applying this rule to my life called the 5 second rule after I heard it on a podcast. I made a short post about what it is and who came up with it but in summary it was created by complete accident by Mel Robbins, a television host, while her life was in complete turmoil. The rule is simple, any time you have a thought or impulse about something that you know you should be doing in that moment, you count back from 5 and physically move your body towards the objective. Simple, easy, but yet rarely anyone does it.
A lot of young people today procrastinate, I’m no different, I know there are things I should be doing but what do I do instead? Scroll further into my Instagram or Facebook feed. How many times have you found yourself in a similar situation? You’re sitting there in your living room, you know you should be cleaning the house, but what do you do instead? You continue to sit there and think about cleaning the house until eventually you get bored and move onto something else, or the day ends.
Some things just suck to do, and they’re always going to suck, like waking up in the morning. In my case it’s waking up in the afternoon because I work nightshift, but when the alarm goes off and I’m laying there in my cozy warm bed do I want to get up? Of course not! I just want to hit the snooze and go back to sleep. But the 5 second rule changes that, when my alarm goes off I lay there annoyed, but I count back from 5 and launch out of bed, just like Mel says and next thing you know I’m off about my day. It works like magic but it’s not. These past few weeks I been using the 5 second rule much has changed, and the more I use this rule that change will snowball.
I’ve been wearing Invisalign for years now and the treatment is only for about 6 months, but I use to get lazy, procrastinate, and just think about wearing my aligners until the day just ended and I had fallen asleep. These past few weeks I’ve been counting back from 5 and moving my ass to brush my teeth, pop in my aligners, straighten my teeth and get this over with.
I work nights and waking up in the afternoon in winter was becoming increasingly difficult and I was finding myself getting to the gym later and later, or just missing it altogether. I would hit the snooze and wake up later in the day, go to the gym tired as can be, and by the time I’d get home I’d barely have enough energy to shower, and by the time I’d get done showering it was time to go back to work!
Using the 5 second rule changed that. When the alarm goes off, I open my eyes, and let me tell you it fucking sucks, I want to go back to sleep, I even debate wether to hit the snooze. But I don’t. I count back from 5, hop out of bed, walk over to the dresser where I keep my phone and turn off my alarm, and by that time I’m already awake and getting ready for the gym. Ultimately this has given me more energy and more time in the day to focus on other projects which I would otherwise ignore or put off because “I work nights, and I don’t have time for that”. False. I have time and so do you.
I’m betting you can relate to my story as it is the story of millions of others. To all reading this, life chaining decisions are only 5 seconds away, it may start from making the decision to putting on your aligners, or waking up on time, or going to the gym. Just imagine where it could lead if practiced and applied daily.
-Sumit Singh Randhawa