The Power Of A Daily 1 Percent Improvement


But, imagine the power if every single person woke up every day and said “what could I do to be one percent better today?” You would roughly double your ability every 70 days. Think about that. Think about the power of how that would compound. It can be something little. It can be saying you know what? Today, I’m going to pick up the phone instead of send an email. Today, that typical one hour meeting, we are going to reduce that to forty five minutes. Today, I’m going to learn a new function in my software that I don’t already know. Today, I’m going to sit down and talk to a coworker about a process that is making me crazy. Today, I’m going to think if I were the queen of the word and king of the world if I could make up some rules about how we can use email around here more efficiently. What would that be? And, I’m going to do that myself.



  1. Karen Rich says:

    Once again, thank you for the captions on your video and the transcript of the same. Not only are you getting your point across, but you are allowing people to get it in the method best for them. Thank you for your inspiration.

    • I’m so glad you find this method helpful! It’s my goal to provide value to you and help my readers improve their productivity!

  2. Danielle says:


  3. Justin Stowe says:

    In my undergraduate program, I studied Industrial and Systems Engineering. The whole idea is about improving systems, so the idea of kaizen- continuous improvement- is very widespread.

    But the funny thing is that even though many people use it in the workplace, they forget to do it in their personal lives! I know I’ve been that way during many periods of my life.

    As you said, just a 1% improvement everyday will lead to amazing results within a short period of time. That’s a great constant reminder that as long as we keep re-evaluating what we’re doing and how we’re doing it and seeking improvement, we’ll reach our goals eventually.

    Thanks Laura!

  4. Thanks Justin! You know the expression: If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got. 🙂

  5. Gale Philson says:

    I really enjoyed that wish it was longer. I would like more information.

    • Gale, more information at hand! Make it your goal to improve 1% each day. If you can improve 1% each day, you double in ability roughly every 70 days. If you start out with $100 at the beginning of the year and you were able to increase what you have by 1% every single day, at the end of the year, you would have $3,778.34 = $100 * (1 + 1%) raised to the power of 365. That is 37.78x what you had at the beginning of the year. Doing so has a dramatic effect and will make us 37x better, not 365% (3.65x) better at the end of the year.

      So get that 1% every single day! I’ve found this method—incremental improvement—is easier if you focus on it purposefully. There’s always dozens of little things you could do, that you likely don’t bother doing. And probably for good reason—they’re little tiny things:
      • Shorten a typical 45-minute meeting to 30.
      • Call someone instead of calling a meeting.
      • Learning a new shortcut
      • Looking at an existing process
      • Do something more important before you do something more pleasurable
      • Integrating a new piece of technology
      • Learn how to use Tasks in Outlook
      • Shake up your routine and don’t read email first
      • Reading an article or watching a video
      • Play the “if I were queen/king of the world” game—what would I change? And do it.

      Wake up every day and ask yourself not only what is the 1% improvement I can change to make myself better personally and professionally that would make your organization better. Imagine yourself making 1% changes every day that compounds and will make you and your organization 37x better by the end of the year. Imagine if every employee at your organization was doing the same. Imagine how much better you, your organization, and the world will be next year.

      Don’t settle for mediocrity. Don’t coast. Keep moving and shaking and trying to improve! Does that help?