SEO Question : Is it worth monitoring your competitors?

It's actually a rather good question ... so what are your thoughts?

#seo  
I've heard a term before that says " If you want to rank for your chosen search terms take a look at your top 5-10 competitors to see what they are doing"

Is this a redundant term/aspect of learning how to "Rank" Or did the term even exist in reality. 

If i have a look at what the phrase suggests i don't think I'll even bother as they are all in the "Untouchable Elite Category where they keep panda's and Penguins as pets,

 I know there are a million other things to do (Well i don't really) I've just heard other people saying there is, But yet to discover what they are talking about or even mean.

So based on the phrase alone   "If you want to rank for your chosen search terms take a look at your top 5-10 competitors to see what they are doing"

 Is it worth even bothering having a look If you are Not  in amongst the top 5-10
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