5-Second Rule Against Procrastination


The 5-second rule is supposed to enable us to tackle a task or make a decision in the shortest possible time. We’ll tell you how it works and what else you need to bear in mind. When things that should have been done long ago pile up and our to-do list gets longer every day, it can put a lot of strain on us. In the long run, it can lead to frustration, demotivation, and stress. Forcing yourself to do things that you don’t feel like doing can be hard. It is easier to enjoy Bet22.

Fortunately, there is the so-called 5-second rule – a self-management technique. With the 5-second rule, you can finally start tackling something you’ve been putting off within a few seconds.  

By the way: the 5-second rule has nothing to do with the 3-second rule. The latter is about whether food that was already on the floor is still edible. 


The idea behind the 5-second rule comes from the American Mel Robbins, who works as a motivational coach. According to Robbins, procrastination has nothing to do with inability, but rather with a bad habit. The 5-second rule is designed to help you overcome this inner bastard – no matter how little desire you may have for a task.

To make this work, use the 5-second rule to count down from 5 to 1. You do this the moment you realize that you still have something to do or a task ahead of you that you have always put off until now.

Once you have reached one, tackle the task immediately or prepare for it.

Use the 5-second rule again and again if you want to put something off. This will help you change your habits in the long term.

According to Robbins, the countdown should activate the region of the brain that is responsible for conscious decisions – the prefrontal cortex. However, if we do not physically act on an impulse within five seconds, our brain will reject it again, according to Robbins in a TEDx Talk. We then start to weigh things up and lose ourselves in mental games instead of taking action. The task is left undone and ends up on our to-do list again the next day.

The 5-second rule, on the other hand, is designed to prevent your brain from having time to weigh things up or prevent you from leaving your comfort zone.


There is no scientific evidence or studies on whether Mel Robbins’ 5-second rule works. So you can only find out whether it helps you by trying it out for yourself. However, the rule does not work in all cases:

Some postponed tasks are larger or more complex than others and therefore cannot be tackled so easily. The 5-second rule does not always help in such cases.

Experience shapes our decisions. So there may be good reasons why you are hesitant to commit to a task or decision. According to Der Spiegel, a strong sense of perfectionism, fear of exams or failure or family conflicts can also be the causes of procrastination. In such cases, more in-depth measures are necessary.

Every person is different. We all have different characters and have had different experiences. Some people therefore cope better with the 5-second rule than others.

The bottom line is that the 5-second rule can be a good way to combat your inner bastard. It can be particularly useful in everyday situations, for example when you want to get yourself to clean, tidy up, or exercise. However, this motivational trick is not a panacea, as it cannot be applied to every problem. 

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