The Tim Ferriss Show: #316 Jim Collins was one of those transformative podcast conversations that explained in detail exactly what Jim Collins kept track of in order to be prolific in his chosen vocation with the caveat that his way of measuring his time and days is atypical.
I find Jim Collins’s way of thinking and living fascinating and it speaks to me on a visceral level. I also think it is because of Jim Collins’s way of measuring his time and days that he is able to accomplish so much while maintaining a jovial attitude toward life.
Jim Collins’s many accomplishments include a research and teaching career at Stanford Graduate School of Business; founder of a management laboratory in Boulder, Colorado; sold over 10+ million copies of his many books; an avid rock climber and has completed single-day ascents of El Capitan and Half Dome in Yosemite Valley; happily married for over 40+ years.
The day after I finished listening to this podcast conversation, I started implementing Jim Collins’s way of measuring creativity, journaling, and giving each day a daily score ranging from -2 to +2, into my daily schedule. I think I was able to do so because his version is a more evolved yet simplified version than my own current schedule. If I first heard about Jim Collins’s schedule a few years back, I would have thought that’s way too much work and impossible for me to do. Timing is key and I’m glad I listened to this podcast conversation now instead of years ago.
I highly recommend this podcast episode to anyone who has tried the paint-by-number painting kits approach to life and discovered they instead want to paint an original artwork or a masterpiece. And the only way to paint an original artwork or masterpiece is to start from a blank canvas.
What I Learned From (WILF) – The Tim Ferriss Show: #316 Jim Collins
- Jim Collins greatly respects Peter Drucker who wrote 39 major books in his lifetime with 2/3 of them written after Peter Drucker was 65. Jim Collins aspires to do the same which is why at age 36, he designed his life in such a way that he would be able to emulate Peter Drucker’s prolific writing career.
- Jim Collins spends more than 50% of his time pursuing creative, new, and intellectual ideas calculated over a rolling 365-day period. He does this by keeping a detailed daily journal accounting for how he spent his days for over 30+ years now and counting.
- “Now there’s no rule about how many [creative hours] you get in a day. Sometimes there’s zero and sometimes they can be nine or 10, which would be a huge number. But then it calculates back over the last 365 days. And the march, which I don’t think I’ve missed for well over 30 years, and I hope to hit for a lot longer now is every single 365 days cycle, every single one, every single day, if you calculate back the last 365 days, the total number of creative hours must exceed 1,000. No matter what.” – Jim Collins.
- “There’s a concept in Great by Choice called the 20-mile march. And so I kind of had a 20-mile march, I just didn’t know that concept yet. And the idea of it being something that you just do really consistently over time that imposes a very high level of discipline that accumulates to results.” – Jim Collins
- “But all of us have dark times, difficult times. All of us have good times, right? But here’s an interesting thing I noticed, which is that if you’re kind of going through a funk, it colors your whole life. And you tend to think your whole life is a funk because you’re looking through that lens. And so I thought, ‘But actually I feel like my life is really pretty good.’ But when you’re in that other place, it doesn’t feel that way, right? And so what I started to do is I started creating a code, which is plus two, plus one, zero minus one, minus two. And the other thing I put in — and the key to all this by the way is you have to do it every day in real-time. You can’t five days later look back and say, ‘How did I feel that day?'” – Jim Collins
- Jim Collins keeps a bug book where he’s the bug and studies the bug named Jim. This way he can be more unbiased in observing and analyzing his daily actions.
- Jim Collins’s best days (those that score a plus two) are when his day is really simple. In his journal, he would write something like two hours of really great creative work, breakfast with his wife, five hours of creative work, work-out, nap, enjoyed dinner with his wife, and bed.
- Other great days for him include spending time rock climbing, having great in-depth conversations with his friends, and so on. And because Jim Collins has been tracking his days, he can predict with reasonable accuracy how to design a good day for himself.
Additional Thoughts on The Tim Ferriss Show: #316 Jim Collins
This was an illuminating podcast conversation and one I found incredibly inspiring. Thank you, Tim Ferriss and Jim Collins!