How Just 1% Improvement Changes Everything

Are you hitting a wall in regards to your study and results?

Finding something difficult doesn’t mean that you should give up.

Perhaps you just haven’t found that one approach that you need to master in order to achieve your top academic results.

Lucky for you, I’m here to teach you all about the 1% improvement.

So, grab your emotional support water bottle and dive on in with me, my friend.

The 1% Improvement

Have you heard of the 1% improvement before? It’s no problem if you haven’t.

And yes, I hear you. I get that you want to improve by more than just 1%. But hear me out.

In the most simple terms, the 1% improvement is a simple study habit in which you focus on improving by just 1% every day.

When we set ourselves big, transformative goals it can quickly become overwhelming, and we end up just setting ourselves up for failure.

The 1% improvement approach is a slow, but steady method to help you do more, achieve more and succeed more without feeling overwhelmed.

Say for example you decide you want to get fit. You might self yourself a goal of running a marathon. If you decided to start by running 5km, but had never done any running before, you would not stick to your goal for very long. As soon as you woke up stiff and sore the next day you would be ready to quit.

So instead of charging in like a bull at a gate, what if you just started off slowly. Maybe run just 500m on your first day. Then the next day, you can run 1% further. Then another 1%. Then another….

Before long you might even have developed enough fitness to increase by even more than this. But at the very least, tomorrow you will be 1% closer to your goal than you are today.

The same applies to your study. You might hate reading, and the idea of having to read a set novel is a nightmare. But what if you just read one more page tomorrow than you did today. Then an extra page the next day and so on.

By the end of the year, you will have read 365% more than you have now.

It’s also good to know that:

  • Fact#1 1% improvement is great for those of us with small attention spans
  • Fact #2 you are far less likely to give up if you make small, consistent changes than if you try to implement major changes all at once.
  • Fact #3 the lack of resentment you feel towards the task means you are very likely to do more than just 1% more each day – bonus!

How I Started Using the 1% Improvement Approach to Improve My Work Habits

I used to be a seriously impatient person. If I wanted to do something, I wanted it done yesterday.

But time after time I realised I was just setting myself up for failure.

I couldn’t bake a souffle when I could barely even boil an egg.

I couldn’t run a marathon when I hadn’t even jogged around the block before.

I couldn’t go from barely passing to getting straight As overnight no matter how hard I tried.

Yet I was still determined to do all these things. But the more I pushed myself, the more failure I experienced.

Then, I found the 1% Improvement strategy, and it changed me and my life by:

  • setting small, easily obtainable goals each day that led to steady improvement
  • keeping me positive and motivated
  • helping me see steady progress that stopped me from giving up

Side Note: This isn’t a new concept. It came from reading James Clear’s wonderful book ‘Atomic Habits’. If you haven’t come across it, I can highly recommend it.

5 Actionable Steps to Implement the 1% Improvement Today

You know how the 1% Improvement approach works now, but maybe you’re struggling to see how you can make it work for you.

Try this:

  • #1: Make a list of the things you would like to achieve or improve that currently seem out of your reach
  • #2: Write down what small extra effort you could do each day to help you improve. (eg read a chapter of a book 1% more. Then the next day read that total number of pages + another 1% etc)
  • #3: Don’t over-exert yourself. Stick to the small daily increments. If you feel really motivated, apply the same concept to a range of tasks rather than adding more to the one task. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
  • #4. Reward yourself when you accomplish the extra 1%. This will help to keep you motivated and determined to succeed.
  • #5: Contact us for more help on how to adapt this process into your study routine

I dare you to pick out even just one of the above steps and do it before you go to bed tonight.

Then get in touch and tell us where you’ve started.

Case Study: Meet Ben

Don’t think this will work for you?

Let me introduce you to Ben, a client of mine.

Ben was fed up with his study routine. No matter how hard he worked each night, he never seemed to get through all of his work and was still struggling to get the results he wanted.

Ben wasn’t lazy – far from it. But he had coasted through school just doing his basic homework until the end of year 10. Then he hit year 11 and decided to get really focussed on his work by studying one hour per subject each night.

When Ben first contacted us he was feeling burned out, frustrated and miserable.

So, we scaled it right back for him, combining the 1% Improvement approach and the Pomodoro technique.

Ben rescheduled his study timetable to set himself just 25 minute blocks for each subject. After each block he gave himself a 5 minute break and a reward of some sort.

Each day he added just 1 minute to that study time, until he gradually built it up to 45 minutes.

This way his body and brain were able to slowly adapt to the additional time and focus needed to use it effectively.

Best of all, Ben found that by this stage he had taught himself to work much faster and overcome all distractions, so he often didn’t need the whole 45 minutes per subject.

He was getting more work done in less time.

In other words, he had learned how to study smarter, not harder.

In his own words, Ben told us ‘Our teachers kept telling us that we would need to put in big study sessions to cope with year 11 and 12, so I threw myself into it. But because I wasn’t used to studying I quickly burned myself out and felt totally overwhelmed.

By taking it slowly and building up just a little bit each night I found it easy to stay on top of my work – and I actually got to have time off rather than trying to do 6 hours of study every night after a whole day at school.’

Wrapping It Up

People like you and Ben are precisely why I started Edvantage Australia.

Hard working students who want to do well, but don’t really know the best way to get there.

I knew there was a need for study skills workshops that could teach you some simple but effective tips and tricks to work smarter, not harder to get the results you want.

Results like Ben’s are what keep me going.

If you’d like to know more, about the 1% improvement or any other study habits that will help you improve your results, check out the website or get in touch. Together we can help you follow your dreams.