Compound Improvement

If you want to improve a skillset, you can use the concept of compound improvement: Small, consistent improvements add up over time and have a massive effect on your results.

One powerful method to engage in compound improvement is to set a Smallest Achievable Perfection (SAP). On a daily basis, pick a single, small element of the desired skill, which you can make perfect. This doesn’t mean making it slightly better, or putting some energy into improving it. It means to get it right perfectly.

To create the most effective learning, practice your SAP three times in a row, with ten-minute breaks in between your practice. The reason is that every time you perform a repetition of something you just learned, you add another layer of myelin to the new neural connections in your brain. These neural connections are pathways which are created whenever you’re doing something new. Myelin is the concrete, which is used to fix these new pathways. Thus, the more you practice any SAP, the more layers of myelin are added. As a result, the more quickly and accurately the neural signal travels, and the more skilled you become.

Not all practice makes perfect, yet deliberately setting SAP’s will bring you close to perfection in the fastest way possible.

Photo Credit: iStockPhoto/3drenderings

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