Learn the rule of five

This article first appeared on May 16th, 2012.


Old Taskmaster is always interested in little rules that you can use as sort of guiding principles in your life. Many turn out to be rubbish, but occasionally some stick.


For example, an anti-procrastination rule I learned early in my career involved getting one task done before I sit down at my desk each day.


It might be a phone call I’ve been meaning to make, or a conversation I’ve been meaning to have or some sorting I’ve been meaning to do.


Whatever it is, I always try to start the day with a minor achievement.


I was reading a great article on Inc a while ago, which included an interview with Jack Canfield, author of the famous self-help book Chicken Soup for the Soul.


It seems Jack is a big guy for life rules, but I did like one that he had called the Rule of Five.


“Know your priorities and identify the five powerful action steps that you intend to take to move your initiatives forward each day,” Canfield says.


“If you go to a tree with an axe and take five whacks at the tree every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s an oak or a redwood; eventually the tree has to fall down.”


It’s a nice idea to think about if you’re stuck for ways to attack a specific goal you might have. Take five steps – baby steps are fine – every day and you will get there.


I’m going to try it this week. You should too.


Get it done – today!


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