expert Jim Collins is intense and methodical.
• When his wife announced that she thought she could win an Ironman Triathlon, he quit his job to help her train, work as her roadie and pursue sponsorships. She won.
• For his 50th birthday, Collins trained for 18 months to climb El Capitan, a 3,000-foot vertical sheet of rock in Yosemite National Park. He aimed to make it in less than a day and did it in 19 hours. Most climbers take a few days.
• He keeps a stopwatch with three separate timers in his pocket at all times, stopping and starting them as he switches activities. Then he regularly logs the times into a spreadsheet to reach his goal: creative 50%, teaching 28%, other 19%.
He even sleeps with a plan. Having once attended a sleep lab to determine his optimal rest patterns, Collins concluded that he needs 70-75 hours of shuteye every 10 days. Now he logs his sleep, monitoring his rolling average. If he falls below it, he can teach but not create.
— Adapted from “For This Guru, No Question Is Too Big,” Adam Bryant, The New York Times.