Which will produce better overall results: focusing on quality or quantity?
According to a study done in a pottery class, the answer is quantity.
It seems counter-intuitive I know, I would have picked quality myself, but once you hear the explanation it all makes sense.
The class was divided in half and one half was told that they would be marked on the quality of their best piece, the other was told they would be marked on how many pieces they produced.
So the quality half slaved over one or maybe two pieces trying to make them the best they could be, while the quantity group (not caring what their quality was like) just pumped out piece after piece.
Here’s the interesting part. As the quantity group did more and more pieces they got better at doing them. The quality of their pieces improved.
By the end of the class it was the quantity group that produced (simply by virtue of the shear numbers they had produced) the best pieces over all because they had so much practice and had gotten so much better at the craft than the quality group.
Now, as a perfectionist, this news did not sit well with me.
“You mean all that time I spend slaving over something most likely means I’m not producing the best result?” I said, outraged.
Apparently, said the universe back to me with a hint of laughter.
“So what am I suppose to do, just produce crap for a little while until I move past that and get better at what I do?” I asked.
Apparently, replied the universe once again.
This idea definitely does not appeal to my perfectionist self, but it does make perfect sense to my logical mind.
You have to make mistakes and produce crap and get it wrong in order to learn and improve and produce your best work.
So go ahead, make mistakes, do it lots (what “it” is for you) and don’t be afraid to fail (we’ve already seen that failure is just another word for success). This is how you get better at things, how you produce true quality.
Luckily, while you are still learning and producing crap, you can always …