Featured Productivity Tool: The 5 of 7 Rule

A lot of productivity experts say, "Don't break the chain. Work on your projects every day. 

I say: Think about your projects every day. And only schedule time you can commit to for working on them. Granted, if all you are doing is thinking, that's cheating, so you do need to put in some time. The goal is to set you and your projects up for success. 

My 5 of 7 Rule serves to help you take the pressure off yourself, as you work toward achieving your goals, while continuing to juggle everything else going on in your life. As a result, you will be less stressed and more productive. 

The 5 of 7 Rule is exactly how it sounds: 
• Work toward your goals 5 out of every 7 days each week. (Or however many days you can commit to.)  
 • This enables you to keep your objective top-of-mind, while giving you ample downtime. 
• It eliminates the fluster you feel when life happens and you need to skip a day or two.

For Example

Let’s say you’re going to work 15 minutes a day on your project, which is a reasonable amount of time. 

If you miss a day, you decide to do 30 minutes the next day. You miss that one too, and you’re up to 45. Well, if you can’t manage 15 minutes, you’ll really have challenges finding 30 or 45. 

My point is this: If you miss a day, just skip it and do 15 minutes the following day. 

Final Thoughts 

Don’t get me wrong. If working toward your goals every day is feasible, go right ahead. However, when you really need it, allow yourself a day or two off, guilt-free.  

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For more inspiration and motivation, follow @TheDEBMethod on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin! 

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What's your favorite productivity tip or tool? Please share in the comments. 

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Debra Eckerling is the award-winning author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals and founder of the D*E*B METHOD, which is her system for goal-setting simplified. A goal-strategist, corporate consultant, and project catalyst, Debra offers personal and professional planning, event strategy, and team building for individuals, businesses, and teams. She is also the author of Write On Blogging and Purple Pencil Adventures; founder of Write On Online; Vice President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Women's National Book Association; host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat, #GoalChatLive on Facebook and LinkedIn, and The DEB Show podcast. She speaks on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.


Karen Cioffi said...

Debra, thanks for the helpful productivity tip. I especially like the tip that if you miss a day, don't try to make it up - just continue your schedule as it is.

Terry Whalin said...


Thank you for this terrific article. I love that your 5 of 7 Rule allows people to skip a day or two during the week and not feel like they have to do it every day (practical and something people can actually do).

author of Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success (Revised Edition)

Joan Y. Edwards said...

Dear Debra,
I love the 5 out of 7 rule. Empowering idea. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Never Give Up

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Lol. And no cheating! Love it!

Debra Eckerling said...

Thanks, Karen, Terry, and Carolyn, for your comments.

Setting yourself up for success is all about trial and error, time, and opportunity. This tip - which people love in my workshops - combines all of the above.

To your success, Deb

deborah lyn said...

Fabulous productivity tool, Debra! Staying in line with our goal plan & using the 5 of 7 rule "enables you to keep your objective top-of-mind, while giving you ample downtime."
Thank you!

Debra Eckerling said...

Thanks for your comment, Joan! So glad you like my 5 of 7 rule! :) Deb

Debra Eckerling said...

Thank you, Deborah! It's all about finding ways to stay on track and setting yourself - and your goals - up for success!

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