This day was doomed from the start

Last week in the newsletter, one of the chosen items was a book by Mel (Melanie) Robbins called the 5 Second Rule. The basic premise of the book is that if you want to make a substantial change in your life, it starts by making the right choices at the right time.

What is the right time? It's sometime between right now, and 5 seconds from now. After that, you're fucked.

Ok, maybe that's a bit much, but Robbins' makes the case in her book that you and I have a finite amount of time to make the right choices about our lives, and if we do not make them quickly, then we may lose those opportunities

I won't go into all the details about how this process works, but let me reassure you, that if you apply the technique, it will effect change. I have witnessed it my own life already, and it started with something so simple, it borders on ridiculous.

I stopped hitting the snooze button

Just as Mel tells it in her story, I made a choice that instead of sitting in bed hitting the snooze 2 or 3 times, then rolling over to look at my phone for 30 minutes, I decided I would pop out of bed (as quickly as I'm able to pop anymore) and get my day started.

And it worked! Since starting this, I have been more productive these last two weeks than I have been in the past 2 years.

Except for today.

I also made a decision that if I was going to get up promptly at 7am every day, and I wanted an adequate 7 hours of sleep each night, then I needed to be in bed by Midnight. Truthfully, I'm not as good at that as I can be, but I'm getting better each day.

Except for last night.

Last night I went to be at almost 2am, and then while in bed, I justified that I would allow myself to sleep in because it's Sunday after all.

Now normally, my body will not let me sleep much later than 8am. Even on nights when I'm burning 2am oil, I still have this biological tendency to get up around 8am.

Except for today.

Apparently, my body decided that I really did need upwards over 7+ hours of sleep, because I woke up at 9:45am. That never happens, and it shocked me, not just because it was late, but also because that's usually when I head to the gym so I can get there when it opens at 10am on Sundays.

Except I didn't leave for the gym until after 11:30am.

I made excuses in my head about why I didn't need to hop up and head out.

  • It's Sunday!
  • I haven't had my coffee
  • I didn't get to spend enough time with my son
  • I want to get at least one thing done on my to-do list before I go

Want to guess what happened during my slow start? I didn't get any work done, that's for sure.

I finally made it to the gym, and worked out for about 45 minutes, before heading out to try and recoup my productivity for the day.

I drive myself back home just in time to see my wife and child run off to the beach, and for a split moment, I entertained the idea of going with them, but for the first time today, I 5-second ruled myself into staying home to get work done.

Except that didn't happen either

Yep, I continued to find ways to not do what I needed to do, and did other things that felt like productivity, but didn't allow me to put any check marks down on the day's to-do list.

Finally, after guilting myself for being a slacker, I cracked open Notion (my productivity app of choice) and started cranking out this post.

OK, that's not entirely true either, because before I started, I actually futzed around for 20 minutes organizing my Notion to allow for more productivity later, but I swear, I started this post immediately after that.

The point is that I made this day happen the way it did. I could have made other choices, but these are the ones I made, but now I have to get back to making new, better choices.


Building muscles outside of the gym

In her book, Robbins explains that as you implement the 5 Second Rule, over time you will start to notice the implementation becoming almost automatic. Not every day will be productive as the last, but you will establish a muscle memory around getting off your ass and getting to work.

I have nobody to blame for my lack of ambition today except myself. It happened because I let it happen, but the beauty of this simple technique is that it only takes 5 seconds to kick it back in gear and get moving. If you look at this graphic, you'll see that I don't have a lot of time to mess around.

And that schedule is loose to put it lightly. That's only the content creation stuff—I didn't even put in spots for any of my creative projects yet. Which is why I gotta go.

See you next time.

Oh, and go get that book. Don't hesitate. You only have 5 seconds to make the right choice.