What is The 5 Second Rule?

1. It has nothing to with floor food

The concept

I was very wary of this book initially because it sounds to me like the advice is going to be “suck it up” or “just do it” or something else that I personally don’t find very helpful. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that there are actually some science behind why this works.

What is the Prefrontal Cortex?

Its the part of your brain that plays a major role in rational thinking, decision-making and focus. When you don’t want to do something your brain has an emotional response. When you switch gears and activate the prefrontal cortex you change your brain from having an emotional response or feeling and turn it into it into action mode. It interrupts your thought process at the critical moment of making a decision.

When was The 5 Second Rule first discussed?

Mel Robbins first presented the idea in a TED Talk which I highly recommend. She spoke about being in a difficult stage of her life and not wanting to get out of bed in the morning. This is something that I personally struggle with. I am not a morning person. I have a long and co-dependent relationship with my snooze button.

Did the 5 Second Rule Work for Me?

Yes! After the reading the book I decided that I would give it a crack thinking it can’t do any harm. The very next morning I woke up at about 7:30 am (Early for me). Completely unexpectedly my brain said 5–4–3–2–1 and I got out of bed. I was amazed. I had been skeptical that this would actually work but and I didn’t even have to think about it. It just happened.

The book

I listened to the audiobook. I generally prefer audio as my migraine condition has affected my ability to sustain focus when I’m reading print. Mel Robbins read the book herself which was great as she is an engaging and relatable speaker. She explained some of the science and gave some examples of how you could use this approach to address lots of different behaviours.

Brenda Moore (MBA, BPsych) has been working in health and community services for over 30 years and shares her insights on management, leadership and improvement