1% Improvement

Time is the ultimate magnifying glass.

Whatever changes you make - whether good or bad, productive or unproductive, healthy or unhealthy - will reveal their results over time.

image credit - flickr Glancarlo Gallo


Imagine getting 1% better at something.

Let's say you struggle to keep your attention focused on writing your monthly newsletter for more than 10 minutes. If you could do 1% better, you would get all the way to 10 minutes as 6 seconds. Big deal, right? But go ahead and try it - add an extra 6 seconds to your timer when you sit down to write today.

Or if you prefer to count words - maybe you could increase your daily writing goal from 200 words to 202 words. Virtually nothing, I know.

Well, if you continue to improve 1%, over and over again, it doesn't take long before these little changes get magnified into big changes.

2 more words per day? 10 days later and you've increased from 200 to 220 words, per day. And by the end of the month you'll be writing 60 more words every day - that adds up to a lot of extra writing! At some point you'll get to make a choice of continuing to improve this area, or to look for the next weakness in your workflow and start fixing that, one percent at a time.

Keep improving a little bit at a time, and over a hundred years or so we can go from building a 22-hp Buick Model 10 to creating a 600-hp Lamborghini supercar!


In the investing world, they consider compound interest to be the eighth wonder of the world. In other parts of our lives we refer to the process of continuous improvement - if you can continually make improvements to your workflow, even small improvements, the end result will be a better workflow.

* More Reading: The Goal - a process of ongoing improvement, by Eliyahu Goldratt. This book packs a powerful concept into an easy and entertaining read.

- Chris Butterworth