Hi, this is Neil Waterhouse. Received an email from Isabel Mitchell saying “Neil, I’m the world’s biggest procrastinator. I know what I have to do, but I just can’t even seem to find the time to get started.” Another thing she says, “Does this happen to you? And if so, how do you get through it?” Well, Isabelle, I guess this certainly happens to me, however I think I have a solution for you. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not saying I’m never guilty of procrastination, but I have found a solution which sure helps. I even have a pop-up that comes up my computer every week reminding me of what I’m gonna share with you right now. Anybody who has known me for a while, they would have heard me talking about this strategy, so apologies, but it really is worth repeating. Okay, one of my favourite strategy in life is the 5-minute rule. And it’s a way I tackle procrastination. Procrastination for me comes up every day in every week. But this is the rule that sure helps me If I can put one rule down as being one of the biggest contributing factors to achieving my business and personal goals, it’s simply, it’s gotta be the 5-minute rule. The five-minute rule allows us to complete almost any project in life which at the onset of the new project is giving us the feeling of overwhelm. This can often lead to procrastination. Instead of being overwhelmed, the five-minute rule allows us too break down the project down to small tiny baby steps so we can then enjoy the project by just doing five minute chunks everyday or every business day. Yes, the 5-minute rule of course can be increased, but it’s all about setting yourself up to win. If we tell ourselves we have to do 30 minutes or an hour of something in one sitting, we might not bother. And then we get the feeling we have not achieved our goal for the day but if we only have to do five minutes to win, we can then sleep at night knowing we have completed our daily goal. The five-minute rule it’s simply dedicating five minutes consistently as a habit to any project. This project can be a work project like building an eBay or Amazon business or building a big Lego set like, with the kids like a death star or could be training a dog, renovating a car or a boat, or a house, building a veggie patch, reading, or improving your health. The five-minute rule can be applied to any project that that can be broken down into small steps. And in most cases, most projects can be broken down to small tiny baby steps. Let’s take a simple example of building a big Lego set Let’s say you wake up one morning and have a need to build a Lego death Star like the one I will put on the screen. At first, the thought of owning the completed death Star gets you excited but you read in the box, it’s got 3803 pieces and you think, “Oh my God, when will I have the spare time or week to build this?” With my full-time job, my six kids, my two dogs, my three cats, my soccer training, basketball training, making dinner, washing the car, etcetera etcetera when will I have the time to do this? Well, that’s exactly what the 5-minute rule is all about. Almost anybody can find just five minutes nearly every day. There are so many ways clawing back five minutes into your day and I will go into some of these in an upcoming video blog. And a lot of this are just using technology that we got going now and it’s quite incredible what we can do these days. Now with every project, the project needs to broken down into small baby steps. In the case of a Lego death Star, the manufacturers would have done this already for you by including a manual with each step labelled. If the five minutes per day is applied consistently to each one of the steps in the manual, it’s not a matter of “Will the death Star be ever be finished?” It now becomes simply only time until the death Star will be definitely completed. Same with every project, if 5 minutes is consistently applied, the project will eventually be completed. It’s all about creating a habit to apply the 5-minute rule everyday. Sure some days you will spend less than five minutes and other days you will spend more than five minutes. It’s all about consistency. Or another word for consistency in this case, a HABIT. The five-minute rule is just like that quote “How do you eat an elephant?” and the answer of course is one bite at a time. The five-minute rule is just the same. If you’re into quotes, I received a great quote last week from one of my coaching clients Mal Hales. Mal saw this quote on the wall at his gym. I think it went “YOUR PROGRESS MIGHT BE SLOW BUT YOU ARE STILL AHEAD OF THE PERSON WHO IS LYING ON THE COUCH” That is such a great quote for a gym! And thanks by the way, Mal, for sending it to me. Again, this is what the 5-minute rule is all about. Like the quote says Your progress might be slow, but you’re still ahead of the person who’s lying on the couch. Without the five-minute rule, many projects can simply seem overwhelming which is just asking for procrastination but breaking them down into small tiny baby steps and then applying the five-minute rule consistently, makes almost all projects manageable and often a lot more fun. I use this five-minute rule for all my larger business projects. If I get a project that. . . I’ll go “My god, this looks overwhelming”, I just put in my diary, 5 minutes to this project I just do five, five, five, and it’s not just overwhelming after that. I do it in all my projects including building new eBay and Amazon businesses, I also use it for my learning like reading a new book every day for five minutes, and I also use it for my hobbies. In fact this is where I really got to learn and understand and appreciate the power of the 5-minute rule. Those that have known me for a while know that my favourite hobby is building and flying radio control planes and they would know this story but it’s really worth repeating as it always serves me to remind me of the power of the five-minute rule. Many years ago my model planes in my workshop started collecting dust as I was finding there wasn’t enough time in my life to build my planes. Not having a hobby in life is not a good thing Eventually my wife read the riot act to me and told me I had to start building and flying my planes as I was too much of a grump when I wasn’t flying regularly. I came back and said I don’t have enough time and that’s when the realisation came that I could just do 5 minutes per day. Of course on some days, the five minutes might turn into longer, but the bottom line is I always spend at least five minutes a day building my planes whenever I am at home. These days my planes have got bigger and a lot more complicated with computers etc and without the five-minute rule there is no way I could ever see myself allocating the days and weeks to building them and learning about the electronics but I can always find five minutes a day. In fact the rule has worked so well that I’ve now built too many planes and I’m currently selling some to clear some space. I think currently I have 26 model aircraft which I’ve built over the years. and that’s after all the ones I’ve smashed or sold. Exactly the same with building eBay and Amazon businesses. It might be slower to build the business at only five minutes a day but they consistently keep getting built. Or as Mal said in his quote, YOUR PROGRESS MIGHT BE SLOW BUT YOU ARE STILL AHEAD OF THE PERSON WHO IS LYING ON THE COUCH. Don’t forget though… when building eBay and Amazon businesses, it’s not all about you doing all the work, it’s about learning a procedure and then using either software or low-cost outsourced $1.50 per hour labour to continually repeat the task for you . The job as a business owner is to build a business which works without you and not a job which requires you . That’s all for this week, please leave a comment below. If you’ve seen this video anywhere else besides my blog neilwaterhouse.com, please come on over from more eBay and Amazon hints and tips. If you think this video might help somebody else, please give it a share from the links below. Until next week, list more, sell more, this is Neil Waterhouse.