The 5 by 5 Rule

How many decisions do you make in a day? Ever get stuck in your head on a decision? It happens to us all. It can be as simple as what you choose to wear for the day or as complicated as deciding on whether to purchase a house. This morning the alarm clock went off at 5 a.m. and I had a hard time deciding on whether to crush the menacing noise or get up, grab my coffee and start my daily routine of reading and writing to start the day. I decided on the latter so here I am.

Over the past month or so there have been quite a few key decisions that I needed to make. And they were each on a deadline. Ugh. The stress, eh? It is said the average adult makes over 35,000 decisions a day. That amounts to approximately 1,500 decisions every hour! Stressed yet? Don’t be. I’m not sure how they came up with this number. Perhaps they are counting every keystroke I am hitting as I type this post? Counting each time someone takes a sip of coffee (guessing that would be over 500 for me already today)? How many times you scratch your head? I’m not sure, but I do know that one trick that has helped me over the past 20 years or so is the 5 by 5 rule.

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This tip has been around for a while and I’m sure that many of you have heard of it. I wasn’t able to find the source of this rule for decision making, but I’m very grateful for seeing it on the bulletin board at a bus stop years ago. It has saved me countless hours of worry, sleeplessness, and stress. I hope it will help you too. I’m off to work now to start making my 35,000 decisions. I wonder which ones will make the “it will matter in 5 years” list? Happy day everyone. Cheers.


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