The 5 Minute Rule



We like positive habits. We don’t like negative habits. Positive habits are good. Negative habits are bad. Everyone understands this. We also know that we don’t like wasting time when we’re trying to be productive. I’m not talking about procrastinating, that’s a subject for another article and I have a great deal to say about that. I’m talking about distractions, going pulled off on a tangent or being interrupted. Distractions that take our attention off something we consider important abound. In fact, life is one great big hailstorm of distractions…and they can ruin an otherwise productive day or string of days. Ugh!


The 5 Minute Rule is a Get-R-DONE Habit designed to keep you on the path to success every day. Here’s how it works.


A few times a day, you stop what you’re doing, pause, take five minutes, and ask yourself this question. What Am I Doing? If the answer is—just what I want to be or should be or planned to be doing—then keep on doing that. But if your answer is—something urgent but not important, or I’m chasing something that has distracted me and working on it is keeping me from being productive, from pursuing what will make my day today a success—then stop doing that thing and refocus your attention and concentration on the important things you have to do or should do with the rest of your day.


This simple little habit can be one of the best focusing and re-prioritizing routines you’ve ever embraced.


Now, here’s what some people do make this work splendidly. We all have computers and many of us have smart phones. It is eminently possible to make these devices remind us, with a friendly beep, when it’s time for an appointment or some such thing. So, I recommend you set your computer or smart phone to beep you twice a day, at 10:30 AM and 2:30 PM. The beep is your cue to stop what you’re doing and ask yourself the What Am I Doing Question.


The rest is easy, refocus and get more done that day.