From the title of this post you would think I’m going to talk about compound interest but I’m not! It’s the same idea or at least a similar one with one small twist; it not only applies to how quickly your money grows but to everything. A little bit of effort continued over a long period of time will make a dramatic result. The reason I wanted to write about this is I’ve been seeing the results of this at home. I’m not a neat freak by any stretch of the imagination but I’ve been making an effort to keep the kitchen clean. Initially I was spending maybe 15-20 minutes in the mornings cleaning up but this small effort has been kept up and now that 15-20 minutes is spread over the length of the day and not only is the kitchen regularly spotless other parts of the house have started staying cleaner for longer periods of time. You might think it’s a good thing that I’m cleaning up after myself and staying tidy but the effects go far beyond that. Since I’m not a neat freak having a few things on the dining room table doesn’t bother me but the general tidiness that has crept into the place has had a very calming effect. I’m no longer stressed out about having to clean and tidy up when things get a bit messy.
It’s a small effort that I’ve been doing but the effects have spread and the lack of stress when it does get a bit messy are gone. Suddenly I have one less thing that can add to the general stress of the day. It got me thinking what if I was to make a similar small effort in other areas of my life? What would the results be? Being that I’m a bit of a numbers person I decided to do the math. If I were to spend 30 minuets a day on something that I haven’t had time to get to because of the daunting size of the task where would I be in a year? Very quickly 30 minutes a day translates to almost 23 8/hour days. That’s like spending 4.5 work weeks on something. I instantly translated this to spending it on leaning something, if I were to spend 4 weeks at work learning how to manage my money or invest or even buy real estate I would have a basic understanding of the topic. By no stretch of the imagination would I be an expert but I would know what I’m talking about. This is the entire idea that I’ve stumbled upon.
The little things make a huge difference over time, just like compound interest they add up very quickly to a huge amount. Even if that 30 minutes per day was spent at the gym I think the benefits over a year would be staggering. Which makes me questions why I haven’t applied this theory before? Well it’s just so easy to watch TV for half an hour rather than read a book on investing. Now don’t get me wrong there’s nothing with watching TV to relax and chill out after a long day but spending even that extra 30 minutes a day on something that’s important will translate into dramatic results.
This also holds true when it comes to saving money which is what all the investment books say, start setting aside money it’ll make a big difference when you’re ready to retire. Setting aside $25 per week doesn’t amount to much in one month and not a fortune over a year (only $1300) but put that amount over 25 years and you’re all of a sudden looking at a significant number (and this is without any form of interest). For those of you who like to crunch numbers imagine if you were setting aside more since $25/week isn’t a lot of you’re making a decent wage; imagine what it would be if you set aside $100/week over 25 years? Now add interest! That’s the monetary example of what something as simple as 30 minutes a day applied to a task will result in.
If you look at more things from the small point of view and break them down they’re much less daunting and all of a sudden achievable. I think that this little, pardon the pun, discovery is something I’m going to start applying a bit more in my life; I think it’ll produce big results.
[tags]effort, results, money, impact, personal growth[/tags]