Quantity over quality

Many of you like myself will find they spend excessive amounts of time and headspace deliberating over the best way to do something. Whether it's a hobby, your work, a project. Our minds will be churning out doubts as to whether it is being done correctly and optimally.

We swallow wholesale the mantra of 'working smarter not harder'. Our goal is to find a system that allows us to achieve goals with minimal time and effort. Our obsession lies in cracking the code for the highest quality process. Our fear is in investing in a process that takes a longer and more taxing course to the same destination. We all want the shortcut. A shortcut that prioritises quality over quantity.

What's the best way to exercise? What's the best way to study for my exams? What's the best way to memorise Quran or learn the Arabic language?

We refuse to settle with none other than the highest quality system.  

This mindset suffers from two drawbacks.

Firstly, it devalues the process itself and undeservingly places the destination on a pedestal. Often our most important lessons are learnt on the journey rather than at arrival. True value comes from navigating obstacles, remaining regimented on a routine, trouble-shooting when things aren't working out. There is worth in the process. Some things take time to learn.

Obsessing over the easiest route to our goals is starving us of the development that getting there provides. If it takes longer then so what? That's more time for the compound value of our learning to multiply.

Once we've reached the destination, the learning stops. Our accumulated value suddenly becomes liquid.  The skills and experiences we gained on the path to that goal, is what made it worthwhile all along. Not in saying we finally did it.

The second problem lies in viewing quality and quantity as two opposing forces. Anything other than the highest impact exercise programme or optimal revision strategy is a waste of  time. I can only start learning a language until I have the best possible teacher.

In reality, through quantity we improve the quality of our process. Through replicates and continual fine-tuning we improve our strategy for our particular goal. Many of us fall into the trap of trying to land the best recipe before we set off. So we refuse to start until its found.

Had we taken that first step and persisted, we'd eventually find it. Not by magically stumbling on it. But by slow and gradual evolution.

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Take up good deeds only as much as you are able, for the best deeds are those done regularly even if they are few.”