Compounding Minor Problems

Shane Parrish from Farnam Street preaches about the power of mental models and the law of compounding.

Just make a 1% improvement daily, and you will see exponential growth.

Taking action every day is the key. As Shane says, "consistency matters more than intensity."

The same rule applies to minor problems left unattended; eventually, they will grow out of control. This goes for all categories of problems, including your health, relationships, and business.

It's usually easier to take care of problems when small, so why don't you do it?

It comes down to avoidance, or just that you have something more important things to do.

The problems you are avoiding are the most dangerous. Is there something more extensive under the surface, something you are afraid to address, or something uncomfortable or painful?

Here are some strategies for handling minor problems before they get out of control.

  • Set aside dedicated time to take care of some of your "small" things.
  • Put the problem in proper perspective. What will happen if you don't handle it sooner?
  • Just do it. Not only will this not let it grow out of control, but you avoid the carrying cost of keeping track of the thing you need to take care of.

It's hard for people to understand compounding and exponential growth instinctively, but it's real. Don't allow minor problems to grow and fester.

This isn't about your bank account, in this case, compounding is not your friend.