The Five Second Rule by Mel Robbins – A Brief Review

Mel RobbinsI finished reading this book recently and my first impression of it was that it felt very familiar. There was something within this book that made me nod my head in acknowledgment more often than I can count. This is definitely a very down to earth, informative and well researched book. The author seems to have done a great job in explaining a very common problem in a very easy to understand way, which I am sure will leave you feeling the same after reading this book.

The essential theme behind this book is to act on your instinct to perform a task right away before your ‘feelings’ come in the way and provide a justifiable excuse not to do it. The way you act on this is by counting down – 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 go. The idea behind the countdown as the author states, is that there are no more numbers to count after 1, your brain will automatically make you react once you complete this count down. As opposed to counting up, you can go on forever, kind of like the snooze button on your alarm clock on a cold winter morning!

The author provides many examples of her own personal experiences with procrastination, the pit falls and the successes of her life that led her to stumbling upon this tool. She also provides a lot of science based research behind why this tool works.

Think about a time in your life, which I am sure if you are like the majority of people in this world, you have had a problem with over thinking a situation, and eventually found a way, subconsciously, to get out of it. Maybe it was a doctor’s appointment that you knew you had to keep, but could not bring yourself to actually go, and you created an excuse that you had a late meeting that day, and somehow managed to re-schedule that appointment. Or, maybe you had a topic in mind for a blog post, but you really were not in the mood to write that day, and so you made an excuse to justify to yourself as to why you decided to delay writing the post. It happens to all of us, the main culprit is usually our feelings that creep in within those first five seconds.

The author provides a ton of examples on how you can implement the five second rule to improve productivity, relationships, career etc. What I like about this tool and this book in general is that we all know this, we all know that we need to get something done, but give an excuse to get out of it. What we try to get out of may not be a huge life altering task, or commitment, but as the author states, it’s the small things we try to make excuses to get out of, that this rule will really help alleviate.

I have tried to implement this way of thinking a lot in my personal life, and I was always told never to over think a situation, because your mind will immediately take over and give you reasons not to do it, but it was more of a split second decision for me when I did take action and not let the mind overtake me. This helped me a lot in overcoming laziness and procrastination. That is probably why this book really hits home for me. It’s something we all know, but fail to act on, and this book really brings it to the surface. Maybe some of you are not sure, what exactly it is that keeps you from taking the action you need to get things done, this book will help you find out and over come that obsticle. You know the saying that goes “An idle mind is a devils workshop,” this book reminds of that phrase. When we have too much time on our hands, and we know we have things to do, our mind starts playing tricks on us and before we know it we have spent an entire day thinking, but not doing. This leads to guilt, shame, feeling sorry for oneself, depression and many other unnecessary side effects.

I am convinced that this book will put your doubts and fears in perspective for you and in turn provide a solution to work towards. As mentioned earlier, this book has a lot of useful and practical applications that you could implement right away, and I would definitely look into getting a copy of it as soon as you can.  I know this book has helped me, and I hope it does the same for you.



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