It’s plain and simple: success comes to those who dare to take action and chase it. It doesn’t come from overthinking or overplanning.

Almost any successful entrepreneur will tell you that it’s better to take action and make mistakes than to overthink which actions you should take. When you act, you move forward quicker and you’re more likely to reach your goals.

Why? Because if you leave yourself too much time to think about how you’re going to tackle your business idea, for example, you’ll start finding reasons not to do anything. This is something that author Mel Robbins, New York Times Best-Seller, has felt in her own life. Through research, she discovered a psychological hack — the 5 Second Rule — that can help you get started on the things that scare you.


Mel Robbins says, “if you have the instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it.” Most of us don’t realize that we only have a 5-second window to take action on that goal before our minds start doing what they do best: talk us out of it. The 5-second rule is a neuroscience hack where you countdown from 5 and once you make it to 1, you must act.


According to Mel Robbins, the reason why you want to accomplish a particular task but can’t seem to get over the procrastination to get it started is associated with one or all of the following reasons:

  1. You are overanalyzing

  2. You are allowing doubt to take over

  3. You are allowing fear to take over

This in turn creates an emotional reaction that we all beat ourselves up over: procrastination. By applying this 5-second rule, your brain will be distracted and unable to make you feel fear, doubt, or overanalyze. This is because all of your focus is on counting down from 5 and the one action you need to take once you reach 1.


The steps are simple. Every time you added a task to your to-do list which is crucial to your big plan but you can’t stop delaying the start, it’s time to bring out the big guns. Without any sort of preparation, what you want to do is start counting backward to yourself from 5 to 1.


As soon as you say the number “1”, you need to take physical action. Whether you head towards your desk or pick up the phone to talk to a prospect, you need to do something. Once you initiated that first action, you should have no trouble finishing the tasks. The hardest part is getting started, and the 5-second rule got you to do just that!

To conclude, procrastination is not necessarily a result of bad time management — it’s about emotional regulation. If you have the right tools to get over the emotional hurdles, like the 5-second rule, you’ll be able to tackle your projects head-on.