Should you aim for quantity instead of quality?

Last week, I asked you whether you were writing enough, stating that it is more likely to get good ideas when you're generating lots of them.

This mindset seems to go against Getting Simple's motto—Do Less, Better—but that's far from true. It's all about paying attention to your daily inputs and outputs.

If, as I do, you like to do many different things, you can carefully choose what you want to spend your time on. What activities you want to engage in, what type of tools you want to use, what it is that you want to create, and what type of information you want to consume.

You don't need to stick to a single project or a single activity. But you need to approach anything you do with focus.

In my case (and as you might already know if you've been reading previous sketches and listening to the podcast) I've chosen to sketch, write, podcast, code, and record learning videos to share my knowledge and, hopefully, inspire others.

There's room for different types of projects in which you can aim for quantity over quality to obtain more original outcomes.

To provide a tangible example, think of a sketchbook.

The more sketches you draw, the more chances there are that you'll produce good drawings.

An easy rule of thumb for beginners is that one out of each ten ideas you generate will be good. (And this applies to sketches, stories, videos, or anything you make as well.)

For instance, my skill as a writer or sketcher influences my ratio of good-to-bad stories or drawings.

Of course, this ratio might be lower or higher depending on the field you are in and your level of expertise.

Experts manage to bring that ratio down when they reach proficiency at whatever it is they do. Still, they know there will always be bad ideas among the ones they generate.

The good thing is that, apart from lowering the good-to-bad ratio, skill and expertise let you judge your own ideas to better identify the good ones and discard the bad ones.

I believe this mindset helps me produce more original ideas.

Give it a try.

Go for quantity.

Learn to judge what's good and what's not so good.

Then refine your best creations.

June 16, 2020
Nono Martínez Alonso

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Pencil sketch of Nono Martínez Alonso.