Colorful Paper Clips

The Paper Clip Strategy

Colorful Paper Clips

If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know that I just love unique strategies that help business owners to stay on task, get and stay organized, and any tips, tricks and tools to help us achieve our goals and be successful. I have a new one for you today thanks to a reference to this article in a Facebook group I belong to. It’s “The Paper Clip Strategy”. The catchy title drew me in and I was very impressed with this technique after reading the article.

In a nutshell, it involves 2 jars, starting with one empty jar and one full of paperclips (or another such item). Each time you perform your chosen task you move a paperclip from the full jar over to the other jar. The strategy works using visual cues to display your progress on a behaviour. The more you do it the more motivated you become to continue and consistency is essential to success.

Here are a couple of examples from the article that describe how this technique serves as a motivator:

“Hoping to do 100 pushups each day? Start with 10 paper clips and move one over each time you drop down and do a set of 10 throughout the day.”

“Need to send 25 sales emails every day? Start with 25 paper clips and toss one to the other side each time you press Send.”

Read the full article here and get motivated to continue good habits and achieve your goals!

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14 Comments

  • Beth Niebuhr

    Reply Reply October 21, 2015

    What a great idea! Love the colored clips too. Visuals are hard to escape and this one would be an excellent motivator.

  • Roslyn Tanner Evans

    Reply Reply October 21, 2015

    Cute idea. I do need more structure to get up from my desk every 1-2 hours to move my stiff body. I could use the 2 jars & paper clips. I even have paper clips in purple which will please me visually. Thanks for suggestion.

  • Sabrina Quairoli

    Reply Reply October 21, 2015

    This is a great idea for smaller projects. As a small business owner, I am in different roles at different times in a day. I have changed the way I do my tasks to work at my best. I know I am sharper in the morning so I deal with bookkeeping clients, social media research, and my financials in the morning. I am not as sharp after lunch, I rather do something physical. Then, in the evening, I like to write blog posts and look at the big picture. It seems to be working for me. Thanks for sharing this unique strategy.

    • Jennifer Hazlett

      Reply Reply October 23, 2015

      Thanks for sharing what works for you. I’m a big fan of dividing tasks into chunks of time as well.

  • Beverley Golden

    Reply Reply October 21, 2015

    Being a visual person, I see how this would really be effective as a motivator to stay conscious and take action on the tasks you want to accomplish. It is like a fun visual list, only with a simple objective to keep in full sight. Thanks for sharing this idea. It is a great way to stay on track and be proactive, Jennifer.

    • Jennifer Hazlett

      Reply Reply October 23, 2015

      Yes, it’s worth trying for the visual folks. sometimes the simpler the better.

  • Karen Grosz

    Reply Reply October 21, 2015

    Love the paper clip strategy. Used to use it, but have forgotten. Will have to use it again. thanks.

  • Jackie Harder

    Reply Reply October 23, 2015

    Love it! It’s a great way to give yourself a visual reminder of what you’ve accomplished. And gives you the impetus to keep moving forward.

  • Jane Gramlich

    Reply Reply October 24, 2015

    I had come across this idea before, I suspect somewhere along the line in my teaching career. But since I don’t remember, it’s like the tip isbrand new. I am struggling a bit with time and focus, so this is great.

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