I was listening to a recent call and the speaker said that your brain responds to the command 5 4 3 2 1 GO!

She had heard about this from Mel Robbins – author of the book The 5 Second Rule.

Which got me thinking.

Let’s imagine that I might be procrastinating about doing my taxes.

It goes something like this:

I’m sitting back chillaxing and enjoying my Starbucks chai tea latte.

Thought:  Crap, I gotta get my taxes done.
Thought:  Ugh!
Thought: Getting up to do my taxes sounds way worse than just staying right.
So Many Thoughts: What if I don’t get them done in time? What if I have to pay a penalty? Where is all my tax stuff anyway?  Do I have to report my Covid Relief money? Why don’t I have a better system?

Thought upon negative thought.

And then…

A Productive Thought: Why not try this 5 4 3 2 1 Go! idea?

Thought: Laurie, go find your tax folder 5 4 3 2 1 Go!  And I did it!
Thought: Laurie, sit back down and organize your file. 5 4 3 2 1 Go!
Thought: Get laptop. 5 4 3 2 1 Go!
Thought: Go online to your investment account and download the necessary statements. 5 4 3 2 1 Go!
Thought: Get any other missing docs. 5 4 3 2 1 Go!
Thought: Stop and breathe. 5 4 3 2 1 Go!
Thought: Enough for today. Make list of what else needs to be done to finish taxes. 5 4 3 2 1 Go!
ThoughtClose lap top, go outside and enjoy the fresh air. 5 4 3 2 1 Go!

Done! Done! and Done!

There really is something to this 5 4 3 2 1 Go! stuff. 

Try This:

Let’s 5 4 3 2 1 Go!  what you have been putting off:

  1. What is causing you stress or worry, right now – what are you procrastinating about?
  2. Ask yourself, “If I were to do the first step on this what would it be?”
  3. Tell yourself, “Do that” 5 4 3 2 1 Go!
  4.  Then ask yourself, “What’s next?” 5 4 3 2 1 Go!
  5.  Now the next step…5 4 3 2 1 Go! 

At some point, and you’ll have to trust me on this one, when you ask yourself what’s the next step, the response will be 5 4 3 2 1 Stop!

Instead it will be time to go eat, exercise, sleep, call a friend, watch Netflix. No more on this project.

Pro Tip: When you get the response that you are done working on the current project at least for now do one more step.  Make a list of all of the next steps you can think of that need to occur to complete this project and then set it aside until the next right time to take action.

5 4 3 2 1 Go!



Stop Procrastinating | Mel Robbins