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The 5 second rule to stop procrastination
The 5 second rule to stop procrastination

Procrastination does not at all characterize your attitude to work or competence, it is simply a behavior pattern that helps you cope with stress.

The 5 second rule to stop procrastination
The 5 second rule to stop procrastination

When we procrastinate, we avoid not the task itself, but the stress associated with it. Therefore, do not scold yourself, but think about why this or that case scares you so much. What's the worst thing that can happen? Is there a real threat or is it just in your imagination? This is the first step to getting rid of procrastination. However, you can spend several hours trying to figure out the reasons. To prevent this from happening, use the five-second rule.

How it works

Imagine that you are sitting on the beach and notice that a child is drowning nearby. It is unlikely that you will begin to think about what to do - you will immediately rush to help. The prefrontal and orbitofrontal cerebral cortex is responsible for quick decision making. And to break the cycle of procrastination, you need to activate these areas of the brain.

1. Admit Your Stress

Do not analyze or deliberate. Just accept that your condition is not some mistake or flaw, but the body's natural response to stress. And that stress affects the way you make decisions. This will release some of the tension and "unblock" the prefrontal cortex, which shuts down during stress.

2. Give yourself five seconds to make a decision

Don't get hung up on how to deal with stress. Make a quick decision to do the exact opposite - spend the next five minutes working on what scares you. If you've been putting off a phone call, pick up the phone and call. If you couldn't start writing, within five minutes, write whatever comes to mind. You may be able to make nonsense, but you will overcome procrastination.

Five seconds is just enough to activate the brain region responsible for quick decisions. So don't wait. Give yourself five seconds, make a decision, and take action.

Of course, this rule will not get rid of all the problems. But the very realization that this is just a natural reaction of the body to stress and that you are always five seconds from making a decision will help you shed the shackles of procrastination.