The rule of five is a practical tool to effectively master tasks where you do not know where to start.
Last summer, Jeanine followed the Regie & Demand Management program.
Two intensive days in which she received a lot of information about managing and successfully delivering outsourced services.
Tired but satisfied she was on the train home and she started thinking about what she was going to do.
The closer she got to home, the heavier her mood became.
The action list became very long and where would it be best to start?
And how did she get the management, the management, and the supplier?
She saw a mountain with work, actions and efforts coming upon her. And on Monday morning she ran into a full mailbox and a full agenda. Jeanine did not know where to start anymore.
The trap that Jeanine stepped in and where many of us regularly step in
The moment you decide to work on a goal and want to take action, you can easily be overwhelmed by all information that is available in 2015. The problem is if you can already decide which information best fits your situation, that you are then confronted with paralysis of your thinking (analysis paralysis).
You no longer know what to do next or where you can best start. Jeanine used our Q & A Tuesday service (free for members of this site) and asked us for advice. By return mail, we informed her about the successful method that was developed in the 1990s.
How can you effectively and simply realize goals that generate a lot of work?
Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen had a goal in 1993: to make their book, ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’, a bestseller. They won advice from fifteen best-selling authors (including Ken Blanchard and John Gray), but no matter how good the advice of these men was, Canfield and Hansen remained overwhelmed with information.
Canfield writes in a later book: ‘To tell the truth, we became a little crazy. We did not know where to start. “Overwhelmed by options, Canfield and Hansen asked advice from trainer Ron Scolastico.
Scolastico told them the parable of the woodcutter. ‘If you walk into the forest every day to flay a giant of a tree and you give that tree five firm hits every day with a sharp ax, then on a beautiful day, no matter how big that tree is and how thick its trunk may also be, that tree fall over. ”
With that advice, Canfield and Hansen created the rule of five: they committed themselves to taking five daily actions for their purpose (turning their book into a bestseller). For Canfield and Hansen, the rule of five included:
- One day five radio interviews (this played in the USA) would give “chickensoup for the soul”
- Or one day they would find five reviewers, who would then send them a copy of their book with the request to publish a review.
- Or one day find five sales training agencies and send them the book with the suggestion of recommending the book as a motivation tool for course participants.
- Or one day to provide a (free) seminar for at least five people, then praise and offer their book afterward.
They had to realize one of these activities on each working day of each week.
What matters: How do you apply the rule of five in every practice?
The rule of five is effective because it leads you to think outside of your standard patterns. In my own practice (which for 20% of my time consists of authorship) the rule of five is that I:
The five-year rule applied by Klause once a week silently a few minutes to the question: what have I seen, seen, read that I can use to inspire my readers or with which I can make something difficult easier;
read something about my field every day;
making notes daily, putting a newspaper article aside or taking notes in a book (usually a book that does not cover my field), because I can probably use that information later;
to sit down for a few hours once every five (working) days to write about a topic that concerns me or about which I have found something interesting;
ask a lot of questions and questions about everything I encounter and everything that is told to me. Through questions and answers often new insights arise.
The rule of five is effective because it forces you to think outside your regular patterns. After a few months, Canfield and Hansen had reached the limits of their options with the above four options.
The book had not yet reached the top of the bestseller list, so the five-line rule forced them to explore new options. If you are very ambitious or like to keep overview and control, then you can create an Excel sheet on which you keep track of the activities and progress.
Personally, I do that when I start something new. When I started writing in 2007, I applied the rule of five I described above and tracked my actions and progress. At a given moment, however, these actions become an automatism and I have not kept them for a long time. It goes without saying, without thinking about it.
Thinking outside of your standard patterns, that’s what I have to do myself every now and then because before you know it, your new actions are your new standard patterns. My fifth line helps me to keep thinking outside those standard patterns.
The holder wins, also with the rule of five
the process of O.J. Simpson in this picture with his wife in happier times Jack Canfield describes how sticking to the five rules brought their ultimate success and produced initiatives they could not have imagined beforehand.
For example, on a nice day, they sent books to the judges of the months-long process of O.J. Simpson, with the request to give these books to the jury members.
The jury members were not allowed to read newspapers or watch TV during the trial because this would influence their judgment in an undesirable way.
The process lasted from 24 January 1995 to 3 October: a month and a half. Preventing jury members from becoming bored is an issue in such lengthy processes.
The judges honored this unusual request. In the following days, the press noticed that several jurors were reading the book.
The result was media attention for the book that has worked absolutely favorably for achieving their goal.
These authors applied their rule of five for two years. For two years! But then they had also achieved their goal. The book was a bestseller in the USA. Afterward, the book has become a bestseller worldwide.
Conclusion: many success stories are the result of a lot of small actions that have been consistently repeated day after day.
Perhaps this inspires you to answer the questions: “What can I do? Which five simple, practical and applicable rules can I think of to realize my goal? ‘
Good luck and call or email me if you can use the help.