I read a very inspiring article entitled “Why Successful People Spend 10 Hours A Week On ‘Compound Time'” by author Michael Simmons. He says, “Despite having way more responsibility than anyone else, top performers in the business world often find time to step away from their urgent work, slow down, and invest in activities that have a long-term payoff in greater knowledge, creativity, and energy. As a result, they may achieve less in a day at first, but drastically more over the course of their lives. I call this compound time because, like compound interest, a small investment now yields surprisingly large returns over time.”
What kind of activities fall under compound time? Michael mentions journaling, noting gratitude and asking introspective questions each day like Oprah, Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Arianna Huffington, and Steve Jobs. Michael Simmons writes that, “A review of hundreds of studies on writing to learn showed that it also helps with what’s called metacognitive thinking, which is our awareness of our own thoughts. Metacognition is a key element in performance.”
Michael also talks about investing in your brain by reading about all the journeys others have been on, cultivating your creativity and health by walking and napping, and growing your ability to think by talking about issues and ideas with others who will challenge your thoughts to make them stronger. And one of the biggest investments you can make that falls under compound time is trying, failing, getting rejected, and trying again. Like Thomas Edison who said when developing the light bulb, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” He grew exponentially by investing in himself.
What can you do today to compound your time and invest in yourself? As author Robin S. Sharma once said, “Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.”