How to Use the Compound Effect to Change Your Life
Trying to change your life? Pffft, that's easy. Don't believe me? Girl, listen up: I'm about to pull open the curtains and let the sunlight of knowledge into your life! Welcome to the compound effect…
Don't Work Hard, Work Smart.
We're all motivated to improve our prospects and work towards a more prosperous, promising future, whether financial, creative, or emotional. Now, don't get me wrong, self-motivation is a remarkable trait; however, sometimes us hyper-driven folks fall into the trap of working harder, not smarter. We've got the drive, so we work towards our goals with full force, 16 hours per day with 8 hours of sleep—dreaming of our goals the entire time. That, sis, as you may have already figured out, isn't sustainable. Even the most motivated machine of a person—someone with monk-like discipline—will quickly suffer from burnout with that approach to their goals. That's not what you want; that's not the smart way to go about changing your life! In the long-run, small but consistent changes are how we should forge the future we're dreaming of! That, in simple terms, is the compound effect!
Think: Learning an Instrument
Let's say you and a friend want to learn how to play an electric guitar (I've always wanted to play one! haha). Your friend buys their guitar, takes it home, opens up their 'Guitar For Dummies' book, and proceeds to spend the next 12 hours frantically practicing the first song on the page. What happens? Girl, do I even need to tell you? The following day, they're frustrated and burnt out with red-raw fingertips and a burning hatred for their brand new instrument! Plus, they've overwhelmed their brain and have entirely forgotten last night's learning!
On the other hand, you take the guitar home and spend a sensible 30-60 minutes getting to grips with the instrument. The next day, you do the same, perhaps learning a chord or two. No burnout, no frustration! After a few months of daily 30-60 minute sessions, you'll be playing some tunes with the best of 'em! (Okay, maybe not the BEST of 'em, but you know what I mean! lol)
Small Changes, Big Results
The compound effect is applying that '30-60 minute per day' philosophy to every goal in your life. By tweaking your daily schedule in small, easily maintained ways, you'll be laying the foundation for massive changes to your future. It may feel more significant to make massive one-off changes, but look at your imaginary guitar-friend, sis! You know those big changes don't work out!
Your day is made of thousands of tiny moments that pass by in a blink of an eye. They're brief, but don't underestimate those moments: your future depends on how you spend them. Every morning, a 15-minute uber ride might seem like a tiny window of time, but you've got a choice in how you spend those 15 precious minutes! You could stare out the window and let the world (literally) pass you by, or you could dip into an online course and learn something new. "15 minutes isn't enough time to learn something new!" you may protest, but 15 minutes per weekday is 90 minutes per week; 360 minutes per month. (6 hours of learning, boo!)
Ask yourself: "How many windows like that exist in my schedule?" Now, think about how you can implement the compound effect to make them work for you!