Compound Interest

I’ve been spending the past few days doing upgrades on some of the tools behind the scenes at The Meteor Chef. In an effort to better handle scheduling of content, I’ve been focused on upgrading what information is stored in relation to posts and shared with the CMS that publishes the site. While I still have quite a bit to do, I’ve been surprised how fast the work has been going.

While working, I realized how important past work and thinking can be. A lot of why I was able to move quickly had to do with what I built in the past and how. By thinking ahead and working slowly early on, now, I’m able to implement relatively complex features in a few days time. Nothing special has been done. Just slow, steady work in a way that allows for compound effort.

Up until the past year, I’d never really worked this way. As I wrote recently, I had a bad habit of starting constantly over from scratch. I’d always have the feeling of doing a lot of work but never really making any progress. Working the past few days, it really started to sink in why this was the case. If you really pay attention to a piece of work that you’ve invested a lot of time into, you can identify the connections between problems.

The things that seem effortless now are made possible through the efforts of past struggles. In essence, you’re only able to accomplish what you’re doing today because of the other work. Without it, the thing that seems easy now would be extremely difficult, if not impossible.

What this taught me is to enjoy each small step forward. Everything you do will not be exciting or seem incredible in the moment. Instead, embrace the process and as you move forward, look at how essential your past work is on the present. What may have been boring in the past acts as a 1-up today. Never underestimate the power of compound interest. Find pleasure in the small, seemingly insignificant work and relish in the impact it has on your ability to succeed in the future.