This sneaky little theory I’ve created, has helped me to form habits like I’ve never been able to before. It tricks the mind into seeing patterns that help it to accomplish a multitude of tasks that might have seemed too difficult.
It’s called ‘Just 5 Things’ and IT WORKS
– well at least it works for me, and hey, that’s important to me.
It has worked so well for me that my life feels like it’s turning around.
I was in a rut.
You see, I’m a workaholic.
What do workaholics do when they get home?
Psychology Today tells us that Workaholics
So, they sit on the couch. Relax. Reward themselves for their hard work. Have a drink or two… my favorite drink is white wine or a Bloody Mary. Which is of course a depressant. So I’m not doing myself any favors there, am I?
What don’t workaholics do when they get home?
They don’t start cleaning, cooking, ironing, mending, mopping, dusting, spring-cleaning and organising, the minute they get in the door. Or sometimes not at all. Well I didn’t.
As a result of my feeling exhausted, things around the home were getting a bit of a mess. And that was getting me down.
Now, I don’t mean that I did nothing – and the house wasn’t a bomb site most of the time… well, it was a bomb site some of the time. I just didn’t have the energy to do anything about it. I’d worked my butt off during the day and the last thing I needed or wanted was to do more work.
Workaholics Want to Relax When They Get Home.
So I relaxed.
But I got nagged. You see, I don’t live alone and the other adult in this house is a professional aged-care cleaner (he goes into Nursing Homes during Gastro attacks and keeps the germs from spreading in an effort to keep other elderly residents from dying). Sadly there have been deaths during these gastro outbreaks, so his is an important job. He’s driven, he’s very tidy, very clean, probably a workaholic himself.
And He nags.
He likes “clean”.
Personally, a little mess here and there doesn’t bother me. But he likes clean.
Nagging brings me down.
And It’s not just the nagging, it’s the constant reminder that “nothing would ever get done around here if I didn’t do it” (the cleaner man). Urgh.
OK, so I know that I needed to get off my butt and clean and organize. But it couldn’t be onerous – I’m exhausted after my workaholic day, remember!
Just 5 things… that’s not going to be too hard, I tell myself.
So I pick up 5 things from near my lounge chair and take them to their rightful place. And put them away. That wasn’t so hard, was it?
I feel pretty chuffed (I know, small things amuse small minds). After months of being nagged to do things and me feeling resentful of the nagging – (I’m not going to do that thing he’s nagging me to do, am I? That would mean he’s won and I’ve lost, wouldn’t it?) I really must work on that petty attitude.
Now I’ve found myself in another room, having put away 5 things and I’m feeling a little bit better about myself. So I look around and there’s immediately evident 5 things I can put away.
Whoops I’ve started something.
I go from room to room, gradually re-homing 5 things at a time.
I’m starting to feel really excited about this. It’s fun and I’m making clean spots in every room!
Watch Out – you may find this addictive!
How “Just Five Things” can help with the smallest tasks
If you’re disorganized in the morning, running to and from the fridge and cupboards and drawers, forgetting which things you need to collect, here’s how “Just Five Things” can help you form the habits that will help you to make this hectic time flow smoothly.
Break all your activities down into groups of five things – you can only really carry, manipulate and take out and put back five things without fumbling.
- First trip: bread, butter, knife, breadboard, utility knife. Just 5 things!
- Then collect the Lunch Box, brown paper bag, put the kettle on, get the toaster and 2 slices of bread on to toast. Just Five Things.
- Next, another trip to the fridge: Juice, Milk, Fruit, Vege Snack (carrot and tomato) and vegemite. Bam… another 5 things.
- Make the sandwich, put it in the bag, put it in the lunch box, put the fruit and veg in the lunch box, put the lunch box in the back pack
- Grab 1 glass of water for the Berocca, 1 glass filled with the Juice, Take your multivitamins, Make the Coffee, Pop and prepare the toast (and serve to the hungry waiting hordes)
- Pick up the bread and butter and fruit and veg and juice and milk (OK, that’s 6, but they’re small and I feel confident I won’t drop anything – I invariably do!)
It’s not efficient if you haven’t got enough “free hands” to open the fridge or cupboard.
That’s the beauty of picking up and putting away only 5 things at a time!
- Take the coffee, juice and berocca to the Laptop, open the 2 x blinds.
- One more trip from bench to fridge/cupboards, and everything is packed away.
See how the tasks above got more complex? Some were not just about picking up and putting away 5 things, some were about doing 5 activities. Each thing can be as simple as picking up or putting away, or can be as complex as you are prepared to tackle. I don’t want you to get overwhelmed, and that is where “Just 5 Things” helps you to build up from simple to more complex.
As you repeat the kitchen activity over and over each day, you start to remember which 5 things are done together – you start to become really efficient and the morning rush becomes organised and FUN.
All my life, I’ve loved efficiency. I love combining things into movements that take the least amount of time. I like doing five things in the same radius, ensuring that when I more from room to room I get as many things done as I can.
I first learnt this from Frank Gilbreth’s “Cheaper By The Dozen“, which I watched on TV as a very young girl and later read. The father’s kooky ways of doing things more efficiently has always appealed to me.
Later in life I learnt Heyde’s MODAPTS, (annoyingly unavailable at present when I would love a copy) which expands upon what the loony father from that mad Cheaper By The Dozen family spruiked. MODAPTS teaches how much time basic activities such as “move”, “put” and “get” (a finger, a forearm, a full outstretched arm) (among many other physical actions) will take. If you’re fascinated by the science of efficiency, MODAPTS might be something to sink your teeth into… but I digress.
Just Five Things (Once Mastered On The Simplest Things) becomes truly Powerful
You can keep building on the impetus you’ll get from doing this habit-forming activity every day.
Once you’ve mastered the habit of grouping “things” into 5’s, you’ll start looking for five things to do in every space you’re in and in every thing that you do.
You’ll start to realize that every room you enter, every situation you’re found in, can be improved. By just 5 things.
Sometimes a situation can be improved by just one thing. That’s the magic of “Just 5 Things”. It makes you start to automatically think about “how can I improve this room/situation before I leave it”. Suddenly you’re doing just one thing: improving every situation, every time.
You’re now hyper-focussed on making your life and the life of those around you, better! And all it took was Just 5 Things. A habit forming simple little tool that can get you on track to get out of bad habits an into great ones!
No this is not Neuro Linguistic Programming or some kind of Mind Training that would cost you a fortune at a Tony Robbins’ event.
This is just simple stuff that has really helped me to get organized
Want to take it to the next step?
But Just 5 Things is not just about cleaning up your house. It can be applied to so many situations that you may find so onerous that you don’t know how and where to start. For example:
Once your head is really attuned to “Just 5 Things”, it’s easy for each of those “things” to become much BIGGER. Here’s an example of doing Just 5 Things on a larger scale.
How can “Just 5 Things” help me do bigger projects? What about getting your own blog going, or fixing the car, cleaning up the garden, enrolling for that course? I’ll show you one example of how “Just 5 Things” can help with one of these more complex tasks.
And if each task seems daunting, then you just break it down into smaller (maybe, 5 things?) tasks.
Maybe you’re not ready to have each of your 5 things quite so “big” yet. Trust me, you will be able to get to this point. “Just Five Things” is an ideal way to break daunting tasks into realizable activities.
So here’s an example of something that might seem daunting:
Don’t know how to get your blog started – do “just five things”
- Do research
- Get a domain name
- Get Hosting
- Get your auto responder
- Write your email welcome series
There is no point having a blog if you have no subscribers. So the most important thing once you have a website is to have a way to capture leads (email addresses) so that you can send them to your posts, alert them to new things you’re writing about and discovering. After all, you go into the blogging industry to help others, and to make a name for yourself, don’t you?
Now start pleasing your readers (and Google).
Be consistent with your posting regime.
Just 5 things you have to do every time you write a post. Blogging shouldn’t be a chore.
- Add good Pin-able images
- Link from existing posts to your new posts, and to other posts (yours and other peoples)
- Research for good links and add your own personality
- Add a Video if you can find one relevant or MAKE IT YOURSELF
- Share it on social media sites (especially Pinterest, so long as you have Pin-able images) and comment on blogs which use Comment Luv or similar link-sharing platforms.
Rinse and repeat this, make this something you do over and over, just these 5 things, until it’s such a habit that you could do it in your sleep (kidding, I don’t think you or I could type terribly well in our sleep).
At some point you’re going to want to see some results. Here’s where you want to monetize your blog. Forget about Monetizing unless you have traffic, and forget about traffic until you have something for the traffic to read and be interested in. That’s why posting consistently will be so important for the success of your job. And I recommend “Just Five Blog Posts” a week (you didn’t think I could resist, did you?).
That was a big jump from making school lunches to monetizing your blog
This is the way my head works.
Just 5 Things is going to help you to start to pull yourself out of a rut. Once you have some momentum, bigger things, bigger projects will seem and be, more achievable. You’ll start seeing how “insurmountable tasks” are now so much easier. You’ll have focus, clarity, energy (energy comes from the adrenalin or achievement) and willpower you never thought you had.
Go ahead, try it.
Just Five Things has been a gift for me,
It helps me form habits the easiest way possible.
I hope you’ll try it.
Let me know in the comments how it turned out for you.
Where to now? Pick a page!!!!
- Meet The Founder
- Goal Setting
- Lifestyle Health Wellness Fitness
- Stuff and Clutter
- Coping With Difficulties
- Get Organized
- Living Intentionally
- Family and Friends
Spinrewriter – if you’re struggling to come up with your next blog post, ask SpinReWriter to do a quick re-write of something wonderful you’ve found online. Then you can edit it to your heart’s desire and put your own spin on what was mentioned. Spinning content isn’t underhanded, it’s a great way to re-use good internet articles and put your own individuality into the new article.