Our calendar year – 365 days – is a pretty good approximation of how long it takes the Earth to revolve around the sun. Not quite right, though. It actually takes 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds.
This means that in only a century summer would start in mid July rather than late June if every year was exactly 365 days long. In a few centuries we’d trade seasons with the Southern hemisphere. So a couple thousand years ago people came up with the idea of adding an extra day – Leap Day. Most agree that the Romans were the ones who settled on Leap Day being February 29th.
Even that didn’t get things right, though. 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds is not the same as 365 days and 6 hours (365 days plus one quarter of the leap day every four years). It’s off by 11 minutes and 14 seconds.
So in the 16th century the developers of the calendar we use (the Gregorian calendar) came up with the idea that leap year would be every four years EXCEPT century years that are NOT evenly divisible by 400. So, for example, 2000 was a leap year but 2100, 2200 and 2300 will not be.
With these two simple tweaks we keep our calendar rules pretty simple, and only move off synchronization with the sun about 5 hours every thousand years.
What very simple rules can you reduce your universe to? It may not be perfect, but if you can get your year, or staff, or systems, or strategy aligned with a couple simple rules you’ll see it have an impact for a very long time.
For iMGA? It’s all about being EASY.
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If you’re already one of our great agents, Happy Leap Day!