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The Rule Of 5

This fella is General Sherman, the largest living tree. He is a giant sequoia, is 83.8m/274.9 feet tall, whilst his girth near the ground is 31.3m/102.6 feet in circumference: the first branch starts at 40m/130 feet! He's big, got it; but now you're wondering what General Sherman has to do with the Rule of 5.

As a hypothetical exercise, if you were asked to chop through 102.6 feet of General Sherman's trunk with an axe, you'd blanch at the prospect, because the task would be so vast. But if you were to take five swings with a very sharp axe every day, even the greatest tree on earth would fall eventually. It may not happen quickly, it may not be easy to achieve, but it would happen.

So here is The Rule of 5 principle. Whatever your task, be it developing your business, finding a new job, raising your level of fitness, losing weight or furthering your education, do five specific things every day that will move your desired outcome closer to completion. Then keep plugging away with your goal kept firmly in your mind.

Help yourself to hit the ground running every morning by making a To Do list at the end of every day. Detail exactly the five things you will achieve during the next day, then apply concentrated effort until they are done. Concentrated effort is when you apply this (also hypothetical) principle to a task:

If I had to do X [the task] before Y [the deadline] or I would die, could it be done?

Obviously you are giving yourself grave hypothetical consequences here if the task remains incomplete, so you may have to excuse yourself from a night out with the boys/girls, or forgo your favourite TV programme for the greater good. Jack Bauer never sat down to watch a movie during any episode of 24 that I saw!

Do five things every day to move you closer to your goal. Take five swings with a very sharp axe and your task will eventually fall. Write five pages of your book today, swim five (extra) lengths, make five sales presentation appointments, connect with five influencers on LinkedIn or during a networking event - you get the gist. Five is doable, so go do!


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