On the Buffer blog James Clear explains the importance of making small, 1 percent gains. These gains are almost imperceptible but over time and added together they make a massive difference in performance.
Equally, make enough small losses and performance degrades exponentially.
In the beginning, there is basically no difference between making a choice that is 1% better or 1% worse. (In other words, it won’t impact you very much today.) But as time goes on, these small improvements or declines compound and you suddenly find a very big gap between people who make slightly better decisions on a daily basis and those who don’t. This is why small choices (“I’ll take a burger and fries”) don’t make much of a difference at the time, but add up over the long-term.
Clear believes that people speak too much about their achievements. Rather, goal achievement is a series of small events that contribute to the achievement.
…The truth is that most of the significant things in life aren’t stand-alone events, but rather the sum of all the moments when we chose to do things 1 percent better or 1 percent worse. Aggregating these marginal gains makes a difference.
The answer then is to create systems that produce great outcomes.