479 or, The Compound Effect Part 2

Lauren Vandermeer Blog Post
May 7, 2015
Lauren Vandermeer Blog Post

479, give or take.

Is that …

the number of things I’ve “liked” on Facebook this week? Nope. THAT number is quite possibly higher!

the number of emails in my spam file? No. Thank goodness for Gmail’s automatic “delete” function!

the number of things on my to-do list? Ah … now, you’re getting closer.

479 is actually the number of items crossed off my to-do list since I started keeping one back in March as part of the 30-day Push Challenge. I’m so glad I kept them rather than just deleting them. Just typing the number makes me feel so incredibly productive!

Of course, there are quite a few things listed more than once. Thanks to a trick I learned from my mom years ago, I put some of the same things on my list every day. That way I feel the thrill of accomplishment when I check things off the list the first time I look at it each morning. When I was growing up, I’m pretty sure Mom put things on her list like “get dressed” and “brush teeth.” You’ve gotta take what you can get when you’re raising four children, right?

It’s amazing how good it feels to check “quiet time” or “plan for tomorrow” off the list every.single.day! Thanks to Darren Hardy, I’m seeing the Compound Effect everywhere I look. From my to-do list, to my goals list, to the minutes spent on Facebook. It’s everywhere; I just wasn’t clued into it before.

We are all products of the Compound Effect, whether we realize it or not. The small things we do daily add up over time and end up forming the bulk of the stuff of life. That thing you did for 10 minutes a day last year? It totaled 50+ hours between January and December. And, that $5 mocha latte once a week. Yikes! $5 times 52 weeks equals more down the drain than I want to think about at the moment. (Shhh, don’t tell Dave Ramsey!)

It’s on my mind again today, because there’s a book I have been slowly (as in s.l.o.w.l.y.) reading for the past year that I really want to finish. It’s called “The Chemistry of Essential Oils Made Simple.” Since the “simple” version is over 700 pages, I think I’d hate to see the one written for PhDs like the one who wrote this!

But, now that I’m building a business around essential oils, I want to learn all I can. And I’ve decided that includes conquering this book. I’ve got about 500 more pages to go and that feels daunting, especially for a girl who would rather be singing than working on science. So, here’s what I’ve realized by running this through the grid of the Compound Effect:

Chemistry text

500 pages =

  • 5 pages a day for 100 days, or
  • 10 pages a day for 50 days, or
  • 2 pages a day for the rest of the year.

There’s really no wrong way to break it down. The point is that even a time-consuming goal can be managed in a few focused minutes a day. And I have 479 reasons to believe that’s doable!

If you’re struggling with feeling overwhelmed by a goal that seems too big to conquer, how about trying the Compound Effect idea? Whatever IT is, break it down into small, simple steps. Take one step a day consistently, and you will do it! And, after you try this in one area, you’re going to want to apply it to other things as well. Trust me! After a while it starts to feel like a game.

So what do you need to “compound” in order to conquer it? Let me know so I can cheer you on!

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