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Practice The 5 Second Rule

Practice The 5 Second Rule

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The 5 second rule is a very simple but powerful technique that can help you make decisions without thinking too much. It can help you act to achieve your goals instead of thinking about them over and over again without any action or result.

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Possible Benefits

  • It can enhance your confidence 
  • It can improve your mental toughness
  • It helps to make decisions 
  • It can boost your mood
  • May help to mitigate procrastination
  • May decrease anxiety
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Required Equipment


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How to Do It

When you have to make a decision or have a chance to decide something, count backward from 5. When you finish counting, physically move your body and take action. Do it every time, and you will build a habit of acting proactively and avoiding procrastination.

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Why it works

  • Doubt, procrastination, and over-thinking are the enemies of decision making. The 5-second rule makes making decisions a priority and prevents you from entering a cycle of inaction in your life. 
  • Building a habit of acting instead of just thinking may help to decrease anxiety. Procrastination tends to generate anxiety. 
  • When you don't make decisions often or doubt too much, your confidence decreases. We all need to see that we have the capacity to act and get what we want. Taking control of your decisions will increase your self-confidence and give you more determination, and this will also improve your mood.
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Time Commitment

5 seconds for every decision

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Suggested Frequency

Whenever you need to take action

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Time of Day


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Possible Side Effects

Avoid using this rule in high-risk situations. Your safety always comes first.

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  • This technique was popularized by Author and Speaker Mel Robbins and is very effective.
  • Over-thinking sometimes becomes rumination: thinking about the same issue over and over again without reaching any conclusions.
  • In the long run, you will feel more confident and secure in taking action and making decisions.
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Supporting Studies and Articles

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  1. The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage. https://www.amazon.com/Second-Rule-Transform-Confidence-Everyday/dp/1682612384
  2. Decisions are largely emotional, not logical. https://bigthink.com/experts-corner/decisions-are-emotional-not-logical-the-neuroscience-behind-decision-making
  3. Confidence Is the Bridge between Multi-stage Decisions. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5154755/
  4. A common mechanism underlies changes of mind about decisions and confidence. https://elifesciences.org/articles/12192
  5. The influence of evidence volatility on choice, reaction time and confidence in a perceptual decision. https://elifesciences.org/articles/17688
  6. Habit versus choice: the process of decision-making in health-related behaviour. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12144152
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 Happiness  Confidence  Stress  Productivity  Focus
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