THE PAPERCLIP STRATEGY
Paperclip strategy – a productivity strategy that gives you tangible results
Paperclips are office supplies, which are commonly used for organizing. Is this strategy about organizing too? Not really.
The paperclips in this method are your souvenirs or victory trophies. Cheap, but it gets the job done. Actually, you can use anything in the place of the paperclips from pebbles to diamonds, to execute this strategy. Allow me to explain.
What is paperclip?
The paperclip strategy is a habitual ritual that helps you visualize your progress.
This strategy was made popular by a stockbroker, Trent Dyrsmid.
It is alleged that Dyrsmid had two jars on his desk with one full of paperclips, about 120 of them, and the other empty.
Every morning, Dyrsmid would make his usual calls and move the paper clips from the full jar to the empty one, for each call that he made. He would do this until all 120 paperclips found a new home in the empty jar, which meant Dyrsmid made 120 calls a day, regularly.
It was this persistence that helped Dyrsmid’s book of business grow to $5 million in assets. From paperclips to millions, that’s peaked productivity right there.
Why do we need paperclips?
If you want visual, immediate results for your actions, the paperclip strategy is the way to go.
Just the satisfaction of having a visible pay-off for your actions can motivate you to work consistently.
Besides, repeated actions will lead to the formation of habits that later becomes a routine. Once you establish a routine, your ride will become a lot smoother.
Having visual cues also highlights your progress or lack thereof, and reminds you that there is a job that needs to be done.
Whoever said that success can’t be measured never tried this strategy.
How to use paperclip?
Before using this strategy, you can organize your to-dos and actions with any productivity technique like the Pomodoro technique or Eisenhower box, it’s your choice. This would make it easier to track your progress, with the steps below:
1: Take a select number of pebbles, coins, paperclips, pins, stones, etc.
2: For each action that you complete, take a pebble, coin, etc. and move it to another jar.
3: Repeat until you have exhausted your pebbles, coins, etc. and reached your goal.
James Clear in his article on the paperclip strategy states that it could be used for sticking to good habits. He like Edison believes that,
“Success is often a result of committing to the fundamentals over and over again.”
So, paperclips are the only weapon you’ll need in your war against progress.