Ever heard of Trent Dyrsmid?
He’s passed into business folklore as the guy who committed to 120 phone calls a day as a rookie stockbroker, keeping track of them by moving one of 120 paperclips from one jar to another for each call he made.
When one jar was empty and the other one full, he knew he’d made 120 calls.
As he explained,
“I would start calling at 8 a.m. every day. I never looked at stock quotes or analyst research. I also never read the newspaper for the entire time. If the news was really important, it would find me from other ways.”
James Clear calls the paperclip strategy a visual trigger, which is more powerful than another other form of productivity tool when it comes to reminding us of the importance of habit, process and consistency in our business lives.
You can use it to count how many sales-call invitations you send, how many glasses of water you drink, or how many times you say thanks for your family and your life.
What essential habit could you measure with paperclips?
PS – Here’s something to count – the time difference between me [PST] and you, wherever you are. Yet, I’m still running JHM as if I’m still in rainy-old England. Fancy being location free? Here’s how to get started.