The 3-second rule

I don’t know about you, but for me I was thinking about this post I am about to write when I realised: why is it SO hard to get up and do something that is positive for ourselves but so easy when it’s something not as “good”. For example, why is it easier for me to get up from my chair to go make my 6th cup of coffee but much harder to do so when it is my first bottle of water. It’s like my arse has this love-hate relationship with the seat of the chair. It’s as if when it’s something “not good”, like the 6th cup of coffee, my arse and seat of chair have had an argument and arse walks off in a huff. When it’s something “good” for me, like practicing Qi Gong or getting that bottle of water..arse and seat of chair can’t get enough of each other.

So yes.  My arse and seat of chair must have been in the throes of wild passionate love-making one morning while my mind kept bugging me about the laundry that needed to be taken out to dry and the other things I had planned to do for the day – writing out SIX blogs posts to carry me through the week (yes, I know. No, this plan of not doing this to myself yet again hasn’t taken off quite so well..hehe), cleaning my room and completing an art piece I’ve yet to complete.

I was unfortunately on YouTube. I was also fortunately on YouTube, because I stumbled onto this video:

The title seemed like a message from the Universe. One always knows not to question messages from the Universe. And anyways, the arse and seat of chair were still at it.

Here’s what I learned from this video:

  1. There will be times when we feel like doing something like going to the gym or making a salad for dinner instead of ordering take out or avoiding the 6th cup of coffee and going for the water instead. Or in my case putting out the laundry to dry.
  2. There will be times when our good friend, lazy pops in to say “Hi!”. These will be the times when instead of heading out to the gym, you sit on the couch in your gym attire fiddling with the phone, or when you keep clicking the next video link on YouTube instead of attending to the laundry.
  3. Now, according to what ModernHealthMonk says, there is some thing called the “in-between” time. This is this really, really tiny window of opportunity for you to get up and DO what you have been feeling of doing BEFORE lazy settles in comfortably.
  4. The time frame… 3 SECONDS.
  5. So in those 3 seconds, from the time you say to yourself “Hmm, better get to the gym” or “Hmm..the laundry is done, better get that sorted”…you gotta do it!

I thought that was very interesting indeed. In fact, I felt that it would really help me not be such a procrastinator that I…clicked on yet another video. This one had an even better title: How to stop screwing yourself over. To top it of, it was a Tedx video. That means good quality stuff! It also spoke to me because I do tend to sabotage myself a lot of times. So, the 3-seconds passed and the laundry waited while I watched this video:

In this video, Mel Robbins talks about getting whatever it is we wanted. Anything. Whatever you want, you can have it. Before I list down some of the things she says, I just want to say that this isn’t really about EVERYTHING. Well, it could be..but I feel it has to be balanced by our life circumstances as well.  She also focused on getting your ideas off the ground, getting the CHANGE that you want in your life. You’ll realise why when you read the points below.

  1. The reason we don’t get what we want from life – be it the career we want or going after an awesome idea that we have is that we don’t ever FEEL we have to go get it.
  2. It’s because a lot of times, our conscious or sub-conscious mind tells us that we are fine. We are absolutely fine where we are. For those of you who have been in a rut, you know how comfortable that rut gets. It’s a weird paradoxical situation. You KNOW it’s NOT fine. You know it’s not doing you any good. But to even make that first step out of our comfort zones can be one of the hardest things to do. I know, because I’ve been there and sometimes, I know I am still there…in different degrees and in some areas of my life.
  3. If we wait till we FEEL like doing something, we won’t do anything. If we wait till we FEEL like wanting to do things that we don’t really want to do, we won’t do it. And because we don’t do these things, we lose the opportunity to be “all that we are supposed to be”.
  4. She says something really interesting in the talk. She says that after the age of 18, no one teaches or tells us that we have to parent ourselves. That when we were kids, our parents made us to the things we didn’t feel like doing or want to do like doing our homework, or cleaning up our rooms. When we are adults…there really isn’t anyone telling us to do things.
  5. The way to get over this inertia is to use FORCE. To FORCE yourself to get up and DO something physical about that idea that you have or the thing that you want. This force, she says is called activation energy. It is the energy that is required to get from “autopilot behaviours” to becoming the change that you want.
  6. Instead of the 3-second rule, Mel states the 5-second rule. It’s basically the same thing as the 3-second rule, but she at least gives you an extra 2-second breathing space.

Another really interesting thing said was: It is very important to marry the ideas that we have with doing something physical, even if it is writing it down in a notebook or sending yourself a text. It’s still “doing” something with the idea.

Wanna hear something cool?

I tried it. After watching Mel Robin’s video, the thought about hanging out the laundry came back. I didn’t wait. I got up from the chair within that 3 to 5 seconds time frame and went straight to the washing machine. I didn’t stop there. I grabbed the dust cloths and furniture spray from the kitchen as I headed back into my room. Got the cleaning done! Kept doing it…and it kept working.

However, how WELL I work with this is a completely different thing altogether because I am not only the great procrastinator, I am also that rubber band tree, the one that swings from one end all the way to the other. So…we shall see how it works. We shall…see.

If you are pressed for time, I’d encourage you to watch Mel Robbin’s video instead of the other one because she does say a lot more interesting and helpful things.

So, how about you? Are you lazy like me? Or a procrastinator? Would you want to try the 3 or 5 second rule?

Check out the other fabulous Nano Poblanos!
Check out the other fabulous Nano Poblanos!

6 thoughts on “The 3-second rule

  1. Oh I need to print this. I’m trying to change my life around. Proffesional procrastinator! I’m going to try this all day. My problem is that I have a very stubborn mind. In math tests I’d make the first problem. Then get bored and won’t do it. I can’t do dishes but helping someone else I’m very structure and organized. Clean my own room is like LOTR..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Inertia is difficult to overcome. That’s where routines can really help out. Even if you don’t like to do something, you do it because it’s part of your routine. You do this on Monday, and that on Tuesday, etc…. And like you said, you don’t give yourself time to question it or else you’ll come up with many excuses for not doing it.


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