I want you to clear the calculator from yesterday, forget about the tasks you have to do later today, and be FULLY present with me here these next few minutes. Okay? Cool…
Today, I want to expose the jig.
Everyone thinks that those they see on the covers of magazines, make it to the FORBES 400 list or watch on Bloomberg’s ICON show have some sort of superpowers or something… Some innate genius or supernatural powers that allows them to be more disciplined than you… that they have more self-control, resolve or fortitude than you.
Well the jig is up… they don’t. At all.
What they have is a jig… and this morning you can get you one too.
You know what a jig is right?
No, not the dance move… the mechanism used in construction to reduce effort, minimize mistakes, expedite production and significantly improve results. Let me explain, because this will give you the supposed “super powers” you think everyone else has that you didn’t. Ready?
Okay, so a jig is a device that guides a repeated action by constraining the environment in such a way as to make the action go smoothly… the same each time without having to think about it.
So when a carpenter wants to cut let’s say… a half-dozen boards to the same length, he or she won’t measure each one… mark it… and then try to guide her saw along the line… cutting one board one at a time.
No, that would end up a mess… likely each board would come out wonky and different sizes.
Instead, he or she uses a jig to guide the process. Even if he or she is on a job site… and not in their workshop having access to their JIG SAW… they will make a jig with whatever is on site.
They might… say… use the clean line of a freshly laid cinder-block wall as a backstop to butt each board up against and then lay the boards side by side on sawhorses.
Then she will then make a measurement on the first and the last board and maybe snap a chalk line across the marks. Then she’ll tack a straight piece of plywood along that line, traversing the whole array of boards. This will serve a guide for their saw.
Then all he or she has to do is slide their saw long the plywood edge, taking very little mental resources or precision… and presto, they have six boards, cut to perfectly equal length.
What a jig does is reduce the degrees of freedom… freedom of movement… and freedom of mental choices and decisions that come up in the environment.
It stabilizes a process… and in doing so lightens the burden of both memory and fine muscular control.
This is what you want to guide YOUR actions, behavior and habits… A JIG.
You want to jigger your environment, your daily processes and your methods of operation.
You want to find ways of recruiting your surroundings for the sake of achieving your purpose with a minimum expenditure of your scarce mental resources.
With the right jig system you can execute with excellence using far less energy and effort and yet dramatically improve desired results. Excellent execution, improved results and less effort is what you want, right?
How I Found My “Jig”
You’ve probably heard the story of my chance encounter with a 94-year old multi-billionaire. This guy started out in abject poverty. As a young man he was one of the boys who stormed Normandy during WWII. He was shot and received a Purple Heart for it in fact. When I met him… AT 94 years old… he was still overseeing 200 thriving portfolio companies… and having a blast. A blast is an understatement as I met him on his 200+ footer yacht that he spent more time on than in the office.
When I asked him how he did it all… that is when he shared with me his Sunday Planning System. Well he called it his Divine Purpose document. But essentially it was his JIG. It is how he set up a guiding system to focus him each week and keep him focus on only the most essential priorities… so he could execute with excellence and focused effort and with very little chance of straying off course all week.
When I applied his jig to my own life I couldn’t believe the results. I’m not kidding, the very next year all my important metrics doubled… my impact, my influence… and income. Doubled. AND… at the same time I took more vacation that year than I had in all my life combined up until that point.
It didn’t stop there… The following year using the same jig, this Sunday Planning process… which only takes 20-minutes by the way… the next year I doubled it all again. Every metric.
Over the course of only four years since all those valuable metrics—impact, influence and bottom line… as well as vacation, time off and real actual free time 5X’ed. 5X! That is the power of a proper jig… or system to plan and guide your execution… requiring less effort, energy and higher level cognitive functions along the way.
By the way, if that sounds like something you’d like to have… I’ll include a link at the bottom to a video where I walk through this Sunday Planning tool–it’s a game changer.
But for now just consider how you can start forcing a jig system on your methods of operation.
- How you set up your desk… your work environment…
- How you plan your week, your day…
- How you get dressed in the morning… your entire morning routine.
- How you pack for a trip… How you plan for a presentation…
- How you stock your briefcase, your car, your pantry.
All these aspects of your environment can act as a jig to guide your execution of excellence requiring very little effort… physically or mentally… and living very little chance of straying off course.
Now get jiggy with it!