A few years ago I talked about how 1% can be a big first step, depending on what you’re trying to do. When it comes to effort, though, 1% isn’t too difficult and can add up to a huge difference.
A simple way to look at it is money. If you have $1, and do nothing with it, and the end of the year you’ll end up with $1. You can express that as:
1.00 ^ 365 = 1.00
However, if you have that same $1 and increase it by 1% each day, the different is huge — over the course of a year, that $1 turns into $37.78! You can show that as:
1.01 ^ 365 = 37.78
It takes time, though. The first day you go from $1.00 to $1.01, and really the first few weeks are about the same. By day 15 you’re only up to $1.16 — one penny in extra money. From there, though, it really accelerates and adds up immensely over the course of the year.
You can do the same with your work, whether that’s writing or building or just working out. If you can do a mere 1% better than yesterday, you’ll be a whole new person by the end of a year.
If you go beyond that, the end of two years looks even crazier. You don’t double from $37.78 to $75.56 — it compounds all the way up to $1,427.59. Gains on top of gains, whether you’re talking about money, muscles or work, are an amazing thing to use to your advantage.