The Magic of Compounding Productivity


Hey friends,

There are many areas of our life where the more time / effort we put into something, the less we gain in return. This is commonly known as the law of diminishing returns.

The classic example of this is the impact of money on our level of happiness – while money can make us somewhat happy, that’s only true up to a certain point. (Daniel Kahneman, for instance, says this point is around $75,0000 per year).

Another example is personal productivity. Beyond a certain number of hours worked, our output tends to plateau and then gradually begins to fall.

So, this got me thinking. What are the areas of my life where I actually get compounding returns (i.e. exponential output) the more time I put into it?

I think one area where this is true is with habit building.

For example, we’re likely to get compounding returns with our fitness level the more consistent we are at going to the gym. And we’re likely to get compounding returns for our business the more time we spend marketing it and trying to grow it.

But, there are some area of life where compounding returns are less expected.

One of those areas is starting a YouTube channel.

You might think that putting more hours into YouTube would lead to diminishing returns. But, the number of hours you put into YouTube doesn’t really matter. What actually matters is the number of videos you create.

So, if it takes you 20 hours to create one video and 50 hours to create two videos, then it actually makes sense to spend the added time creating the extra video because that massively increases the odds of you succeeding on YouTube.

I think another area is having team members.

You might think that having someone on your team for a long time will lead to diminishing returns as they get comfortable in their role. But, if that person is consistently levelling up, building their organisational knowledge (i.e. they know how the business works), and get faster at doing good work, then that’s clearly a massive advantage compared to another business that constantly has to hire new people.

Similarly, there are compounding returns to having clarity of focus.

It’s very tempting to try to do too many things with our life. But this makes it very hard to make any significant progress. Instead, if we just focus on one thing – whether it’s a niche on YouTube or a workout plan or whatever – we’ll probably get some decent compounding returns.

So, are there any areas of your life where you’ve experienced compounding returns from putting more time and effort into something? If so, please let me know by hitting reply to this email 🙂

Have a great week!

Ali xx

P.S. My CEO coach, Eric, has just launched his Peak Performance Program. I’ll be featuring in a couple of the sessions to help answer your questions about unlocking your full potential. Enrolment is only open for about a week, so if you’re keen to level up make sure you check it out 💪

🧠 Brilliant – Think Smarter, Not Harder

If you’re looking to level up in both your personal and professional life, the number one thing you can do is improve your analytical and creative problem-solving skills. And the best way I’ve found to do this is to use Brilliant.

Brilliant have 1000s of quick, visual, hands-on lessons you can dip into anytime, helping you to master key concepts in a way that’s both fun and effective. I’ve even downloaded the app on my iPad and mobile so I can gradually master whole topics in as little as 15 minutes a day without having to be sat at my desk at home.

I particularly enjoyed their two Logic courses, which have been incredibly helpful at helping me to structure my arguments and present my ideas more clearly on camera. So, if you’re someone that wants to improve your critical thinking skills, then I highly recommend you check out these courses too.

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Thanks to Brilliant for sponsoring this issue of Sunday Snippets

♥️ My Favourite Things

📱 App  How We Feel. I’m trying to get more in touch with my emotions and a friend recommended I check out this app. The idea is that every day I can check in with how I’m feeling by answering questions like ‘am I feeling high energy or low energy?’ and ‘am I feeling pleasant or unpleasant?’. Then based on the answers I give, the app gives me more precise words to describe how I feel, such as energised, excited, cheerful, enthusiastic etc. So, over time I get better at recognising how I feel, spotting patterns in my emotions, and finding new ways to regulate my emotions in a healthy way.

📚 Book – How Not to Die Alone. I’m re-reading this book (which I created a video about on my YouTube channel) to revisit some of the relationship review questions.

📱 App – Figma. I’ve been making a bunch of diagrams for my book over the last week and decided to us Figma to help me do this. I continue to be blown away by how nice Figma is having used it for 3+ years to design websites, make nice graphics, improve my YouTube channel branding, and stuff like that. This isn’t a paid partnership, but if anyone from Figma is reading this then I’d love to partner up 😉

💻 Website – Flaticon. People often ask me where I get the icons from for my YouTube thumbnails / videos, and they’re almost always from Flaticon. They literally have millions of icons and stickers in all formats, for all kinds of projects. So they’re well worth checking out if you have a YouTube channel, a website, or need to design anything 🙂

🎬 My New Videos

🎁 17 cheap purchases that save me time – If you hadn’t noticed, I like saving time where I can. So in this simple video I go through 17 fun and cheap purchases that help me be more efficient in various areas of my life.

✍️ Quote of the Week

“What you appreciate appreciates. It’s true in our money culture, where a desirable house in a desirable neighbourhood appreciates in dollar value from year to year. It’s true in our personal relationships, where our appreciation of someone’s special qualities can make them bloom before our very eyes. It’s true in business, where a company’s commitment to its employees fosters pride and excellence in their work.”

From The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist. Resurfaced using Readwise.

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3 months ago

Thank you so much