Are you determined to get more things done and see better results in your life? Luckily, productivity is a habit that can be learned no matter what your situation is. The problem with many of us is that laziness and excuses often sink in before we can act.

Failure to act is why the 5-second rule can help you combat laziness when used correctly. The 5-second rule was created by Mel Robbins as a habit to help you act on positive and effective impulses right away. Mel believes that once you get a good idea or impulse that urges you to move in the direction you want to go, you only have seconds to act before you begin to hesitate or second guess yourself.

To use the 5-second rule, simply be mindful of when an impulse is present. When you feel yourself hesitate before doing something that you know you should do, count 5-4-3-2-1-GO and move towards action. Sounds easy enough right? Well, it’s also important to know exactly how the 5 Second Rule will help you become more productive and reach your goals especially if you feel you procrastinate and let laziness sink in too often.

You’ll Train Your Brain

Your brain is one of the most fascinating parts of your body. It retains important information, decodes signals from your hormones and emotions, and it can also be trained and rewired to help you get what you truly want in life.

The 5 Second Rule helps you actually rewire your brain to go after opportunities you really want instead of turning away or second-guessing yourself. The 5 Second rule, also, prompts you to take action and move whether that involves walking up to someone you admire and asking advice or applying for that speaking opportunity that scares the crap out of you in a good way.

Naturally, our brains are trained to avoid danger and move away from whatever might cause us pain or discomfort. With this rule, you can retrain your brain to be receptive to new things and taking action. Once you start getting results from being more productive, your brain will grow more receptive to you acting on the thoughts that will bring you closer to reaching your goals.

Realize You’re Never Going to Feel Like It

Mel Robbins did a Ted Talk about her 5 Second Rule and I think one of the most powerful parts was when she said how you’re never going to feel like doing some things.

More specifically, she said: “If you do the things you don’t feel like doing, you’d have everything you ever wanted. The areas where you’re happy is simply because you do the work.”

I think once you realize this fact, you’ll feel more inclined to use this rule. There’s no point in waiting for the right time or to feel motivated. Often times, I’ve found that if I get started on a project or take the first step in pursuing a particular opportunity, I will start to feel more motivated and dedicated to seeing it through.

Parent Yourself

When you’re feeling lazy or procrastinating, it could be because you don’t have any accountability or authority telling you what to do. As someone who is self-employed, I have the freedom to set my own schedule. However, this can backfire if I don’t actually do the work and meet my deadlines.

Using the 5 Second Rule allows you to parent yourself by being the person who says “get this done now or else”. Think about a parent telling their child they have just 5 seconds to come downstairs and take out the trash. An adult who’s tired or not in the mood may not take out the trash at all that night.

While it feels great to set your own schedule and choose your priorities, it’s also important to know exactly when you act and get things done so your to-do list doesn’t pile up.

Overcoming Excuses

Finally, overcoming excuses is one of the best ways to use the 5 Second Rule to combat laziness. We all have excuses from time-to-time. Some of them are pretty good while others are not. Regardless of the circumstances, 5 seconds is not a long time to dwell on what is holding you back.

If your alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m., being tired won’t really matter if you use the 5 Second Rule. If your goal is to get up and go to the gym, the fact that it’s cold outside won’t matter. When it comes to sending a pitch to a particular client or starting that difficult project, you’ll be challenged to move past your excuses and get to work ASAP.

You’ll only start seeing results once you overcome your excuses, stop talking and start doing. The 80/20 Rule is, also, a good rule to take note of.


The 5 Second Rule sounds easy to execute but you really have to commit to it. It can help you push past laziness and start to be productive. Remember that there will be many times when you don’t want to do the work. When this happens, you just need to get up and start moving. Use this rule to push yourself past your limits and excuses.

Get clear on your goals so you can know which thoughts or impulses to apply this rule to when necessary.

What are your thoughts on the 5 Second Rule? How can you use this rule to gain clarity and get more things accomplished in your own life?