When trying to improve our output we often convince ourselves that change only counts if there is a large, obvious outcome. This not only puts pressure on us to make mould-breaking developments, it can also prevent us from making any progress at all – simply because we feel overwhelmed. A different approach is to make just small improvements in every aspect of our operation. Whilst each improvement may not be noticeable, the overall effect can be sensational.

The concept is called ‘aggregating marginal gains’. In some cases there will simply not be any major advancement that can be made; however, there will always be small things that can be adjusted and improved upon. Enough of these minute changes can end up hugely boosting your output. In the same way that if a company sends millions of mail-outs, if the cost of each one can be reduced by just a few pence, the overall saving will soon add up.

Even the smallest improvement in any area, when coupled with similar small gains, will over time add up. In the business world where the margins between success and failure can be incredibly tight, just a 1% improvement in any aspect can really make all the difference.

Take the time to look at every aspect or your business or working methods. Make the small changes that can reduce cost, save time, and make you more efficient. Even if you don’t notice any effect immediately, the fact is that you will slowly but surely become a better worker, or a better business – and remember: the same can be true of this in reverse. That is to say, it is also hugely important to make sure that standards do not slip – even slightly- across the board, as that can impact your success just as much as small improvements!