Stop Loafting and use The 5 Second Rule

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DYLANKYANG - Random Thoughts Stop Loafting and use The 5 Second Rule 1

Stop Loafting!

No, not with the 5 second rule where germs suddenly halt all contamination on the playground. It’s the other 5 second rule, one that Mel Robbins dubbed to help you gain control of your life. A form of meta-cognition that beats every trick of procrastination that your brain likes to play on you.

Trust me, I have a long history with procrastination. And from personal experience, I know that it doesn’t take any longer than 5 seconds for my mind to come up with alternatives for me to do. My brain can create a sense of anxiety, fear and worry that paralyzes my body to not do anything before I even start a task. So after adapting this ideology, I can confidently say that implementing this thought process, has time and time again proven successful in getting over the hump of procrastination.

The 5 Second Rule

In a couple sentences:

The 5 second rule is a trick that allows you to regain control of your brain and help you get things done! All you need to do is simply count backwards from 5 down to 1 and then start your task.

I know it seems a little far-fetched, however after implementing the technique and seeing its success, I believe it works and that there is a science behind it. I mean if it works it works and if your cool with that, great! But if you’re anything like me, you’re a skeptic, and you need explanations. Now, my writing is definitely not the best. But I’ll give it my best shot to attempt to explain the theory behind it and and why I think it works.

The Science

So what is my explanation for why counting backwards magically helps you get back on track and suddenly help you get stuff done? Simple. Distraction. The main reason for procrastination is that your short term wants are too powerful for you brain to comprehend your long term benefits. Our generation is too tied towards instant gratification and then our minds spiral into overthinking like: you’re either worried about the amount that you need to get done, the level you want to accomplish and achieve or you say “you’re too lazy”.

And then you give into whatever you mind says and you do the easier and short-term fulfilling tasks (browse reddit, scroll install, snap chat, etc). This can probably be a blog post within itself but to keep things short. You procrastinate because it’s easier than doing your task. And what the 5 second rule does is, it gives you a jolt out of the spiral by leveraging the tricks that your brain plays when you procrastinate.

Activation Energy

secondBy counting backwards from 5 you are activating your pre-frontal cortex and as a result you are distracting your brain from the procrastinating thoughts.

Not only does it serve as a distraction, but because you are learning about this process. You’re brain acknowledges that you are counting down and that you have a task you want to accomplish. It forces your subconscious to mentally prepare for your task at hand. And as a result it builds up potential energy for you to overcome the amount of energy it takes to take you past procrastination.

Mel Robbins uses the chemistry terminology of getting past “Activation Energy” The amount of energy it takes to initiate a chemical reaction, similar to how a wheel must surpass the static friction in order to turn, or a ball needs to be raised in order to build momentum to swing faster. By counting down from 5 you are building your inertial energy and by knowing what you want to focus on it allows you to guide that energy towards something productive.

Bonus: Habit Creation

And that’s the basic science behind it!and if you want some more, the cool thing about this technique is that it’s one of the easiest and most productive habits to develop! The basic of habit creation is based on 3 parts: a cue, an action, and a reward! And the 5 second rule has all three!

Cue: your procrastination

Action: Countdown from

Reward: You get stuff done!

The beauty of it all is that the action is actually really easy. You just countdown from 5 and because it’s so easy you can actually steal yourself away from your brain attempting to procrastinate. And that often its easier to count than it is to procrastinate, and that helps you get what you need to get done to be done.

Analogies of Science

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My Thoughts

Honestly, I think this technique is dope and thought I should share. Mel Robbins wrote a book about it so if you want it in further details check out the book here. But, nonetheless it’s helped me a lot and I highly recommend it. Let me know what you think of the technique and how it helped you or if it didn’t.


Thanks For Reading

— Yang 😀


  • When you feel like you’re about to start procrastinating, count down from 5 and start your task at hand
  • It works because science. Just Do It!


The 5 Second Rule – Mel Robbins (Amazon USA | CAN)

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