High impact low effort changes, it’s the stuff dreams are made of. In the workplace, high impact low effort ratios make perfect sense – most businesses will find that a small portion of their customers account for most of their balance sheet. Small tweaks to their website or their marketing strategy can often mean great reward.
Most people are living the high effort, low impact lifestyle
What about your personal life though? How much do you need to earn to sustain your lifestyle? My friends pull figures out of thin air. On the weekend one said that if he could earn $100,000 he’d be happy. “I will do anything to earn that sort of money, even work 80 hour weeks!”
Why is it that when we all started our careers we never had enough money, yet now that we are grown up earning much more, we still “don’t have enough money”? It’s not our fault that we always want more “stuff”, Western children were raised on television and junk mail all asking us to consume. It’s just that it really locks us into a working life.
I have no intentions of working for my whole life. In fact I recently quit my 9-5 job in favour of becoming a consultant. I enjoy my work but I like to work when it suits me (when I’m creative, motivated and productive) rather than when someone tells me I have to work (when I’m unmotivated).
I may be the odd one out, but there’s something about getting paid to sit around and do nothing that just doesn’t sit well with me. In order to do this, I have chosen to base my business around a 20 hour week (low effort). During these 20 hours I am highly effective (high impact) and can therefore afford to charge more per hour than I could if I was working on a 40 hour week, as I’d be much less effective during that time.
The leap of faith also took some financial planning (and was assisted by building a freedom fund portfolio) but for the most part, it’s been made easy by committing to less recurring costs!
Even choosing to live in a tax haven is much higher effort when compared with slashing your other expenses.
Recurring costs erode your finances and therefore your options
Mobile phone contracts, Internet contracts, cable TV contracts, petrol, car registration and insurance, club membership, Netflix, I could go on. Most people are more committed than they may know. Obviously some things you can’t live without and most people need to spend money to make themselves happy sometimes. For instance, I enjoy using the Internet and I spend more money than most people I know do on Internet, but I get my money’s worth!. I don’t have cable TV, because I don’t really watch much TV. I feel as though I can justify that expense.
The issue is that most people don’t really think before they commit to things (eg, $99 a month on their phone). Before long they are so used to having it, they “need” it. Add up all of those weekly, monthly and yearly financial commitments and combine them with the daily habit of buying things (eg, DVD’s, clothes, expensive food) and sure enough, you’re broke.
The habit of spending less is a high impact, low effort choice that significantly helps your finances in the long term
I explained to my friend that while earning $100,000 a year by working an 80 hour week, he wouldn’t have the time to service his car or paint his house. All of a sudden he would have more costs than he did while earning less money and working less hours. Presumably his quality of life would be greater too!
The best thing about high impact low effort changes is exactly as it sounds. By making small changes in life, you can experience far greater rewards. Slashing your spending is one of many high impact low effort decisions that you can make to give yourself many more options in life. You will likely find that it will open a lot more doors for you too!