The following is a guest post by Jacob E. Dawson. His bio is at the end of the article.
“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” – Ernest Hemingway
The quest for self-improvement is a critical part of life for some, while for others it’s merely an afterthought. For those of us that seek to improve ourselves and our work, there are a million books, seminars and techniques out there all purporting to hold the key to unlocking our potential. While some of them genuinely offer sage advice and sensible guidance, others are awash with circular logic, tautologies and truisms that don’t actually help us to reach our goals. Today I’d like to expound upon a simple, practical technique that can be acted upon every day with a manageable amount of effort, and promises to drastically improve many facets of your life: This is 1 Percent Time…
1 Percent Time is a process of continual improvement, based on a daily practice of focusing on one task per day and taking action to improve it by at least one percent. Although with some tasks a precise measurement may not be practical, the important part of 1 Percent Time is taking the effort to focus on a daily improvement. Some tasks may be work intensive (such as improving sales, or lap times, or guest blogging opportunities, for example), so if it feels as though that particular task needs more time, the 1% improvement can be made weekly.
The reason that this technique works so well is because it isn’t overwhelming. People often sincerely want to improve themselves, especially in the heat of the moment, but when they attempt to apply the techniques they’ve learned they become daunted by the drastic changes they need to make to their behavior and habits. One Percent Time, on the other hand, is easy to apply because the improvements are small and manageable, yet through consistent effort huge improvements can be made.
If you decide to focus heavily on a single area, you’ll find that another benefit of 1 Percent time is that it builds habits very quickly – usually in around 30 days. If you commit to improving yourself in this way, you will have ingrained 12 brand new habits in a single year, an awe-inspiring result considering that you’re only doing 1 extra activity per day!
The fantastic thing about 1 Percent Time – and self-improvement in general – is that the effects are felt in all facets of your life, from relationships through to self-esteem, from fitness to blogging. You choose where you’d like to apply the improvement, such as spending 20 minutes per day working on one specific area of your blog. This could be something as simple as reading an article related to your niche, or taking time to comment on similar blogs, improving your Meta tags, optimizing your images, practicing creative writing, etc., etc. – as long as you’re dedicated to improving one facet of your blog each day, you will shock yourself with how quickly sizeable advances can be made.
The most efficient way to begin practicing 1 Percent Time is to write down areas of your life or work where you feel that you need the most improvement. You may feel that you need to increase your fitness levels, or cut down on smoking, or grow your blog’s readership, or improve the quality of your articles – the choice is yours. It’s important to note here that you should choose S.M.A.R.T. objectives – make sure that they’re Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Bound – this way you will be able to see the improvements that you’re making every single day.
To get you started, here are a few practical steps you can take to improve your blog, 1 percent (or one thing) at a time:
By dedicating yourself to improving by just 1 percent, every single day, you’ll soon reap the rewards. Take some time out today to think of a few areas that you’d like to improve, and then take action!
What techniques have you used to improve yourself and your blog? Do you have a personal routine that you stick to? Share your thoughts in the comments section; we’d love to hear from you!
Jacob E. Dawson is an entrepreneur and inbound marketing consultant with a passion for creating value! He works with take away company Delivery Hero. You can follow Jacob on twitter @jacobedawson and on Google+.