The power of 1% improvements

Hi guys. Max here, I write about the possible ways to improve your productivity and become better at what you do.

Today I wanted to share a framework that doesn’t bring changes in the short-term perspective but is more focused on the long term.

In some form, it is mentioned in multiple books, like “Atomic Habits” or “Can’t Hurt Me”. It can be applied to any area of your life – be it study, sports, or work.

The framework

The idea of “being 1% better” is centered around consistent but small improvements in what you do regularly. They can be both qualitative, and quantitative.

For example, you might be doing not 10, but 11 push-ups the next time you exercise. Or you can memorize not 50, but 51 words in Spanish the next time you study.

The same applies to the business area. For example, you can aim to have an average mark of not 4.4, but 4.5 out of 5 in your restaurant next month.

The power

As you can see, these gradual improvements seem to be small. In fact, you can easily treat them as ‘too small’ to even consider.

You are right, doing one extra push-up or studying one extra word, just like making 1 or 2 customers happier doesn’t change a lot. Yes, it’s a fair point.

However, the seeming ‘simplicity’ of such changes is also their incredible power. They become possible to achieve. Everyone who already has a habit of doing something regularly can affect their output and make it “this little” better.

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The “must”

There is one thing that’s required to make the whole framework work. It’s consistency.

If applying this principle regularly in whatever you do – the changes accumulate over time and bring significant results in the long-term perspective.

Think about it: let’s imagine, you do 50 push-ups every day. Doing one extra push-up every 2 days doesn’t seem like a hard challenge, right? But if you follow such a speed, their total number doubles in 100 days – just about 3 months later! The same works in every other area we’ve mentioned before, be it the quantity or quality of things you do.

Where to start?

To start applying this rule in your life, think about the first activity you would like to improve. Something you believe is your current goal or something you do regularly.

Start by measuring your current “normal” results – to understand where you are. Go further by adding more and more (in terms of quality or quantity).

Measure the progress to see the result. In the end, the “1% better” principle is about the mindset. It is about making you focus on doing things better (or more) – and achieving more as a result.

That was it for today, thanks for reading. See you tomorrow!