Consumption vs Creation
Last week I finished the first term of my Master’s degree. Since then, I’ve been enjoying much more flexibility with how I use my time.
Rather than just review the content from the term, I’ve made a conscious effort to work on mini-projects which apply what I’ve learnt. I personally find this a much more fun and effective way to “revise”.
Doing so reminds me of a dichotomy I like to enforce upon myself; that at any point in time I am predominantly focussed on either input or output.
Input vs Output
I count input as studying, reading, listening and learning, whereas output is creation; brainstorming ideas, writing blogs, working on project.
I’ve personally found it most productive to alternative between focussing on one then the other. For example, the last 2-3 months have been focussed on input. I studied a lot for the master’s and learnt a great deal. As of this week, I’m back on output and plan to be for the next month or two.
Why do I find this an effective approach? I’m not certain but here are a few ideas:
I find that by focussing on one aspect (input vs output), I can go deeper into it and make more progress.
Also, it’s more enjoyable. I can study and read until I get bored, then work on a project. I can work on that project until I get bored then go back to reading. Both flex different mental muscles but both are equally important and valuable.
There’s also a clear complementarity between the two; input feeds the next round of output, which guides the next round of input.
Does anyone else approach work this way?
Derek Sivers talks here about the idea of alternating between extreme approaches using saunas as an analogy
No other links this week - haven’t consumed very much (focussing on output!)
Have a great week! (Merry Christmas and all that!)
Hi! I'm Chris, a Cambridge medicine graduate now working as a doctor in London and exploring a career applying machine learning to medicine. Every weekend I send out an email sharing my experiences, life lessons as I learn them, and links to my favourite things on the internet.
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