Quote by Idries Shah - Deepstash

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Idries Shah

“A man is deficient in understanding until he perceives that there is a whole cycle of evolution possible within himself: repeating endlessly, offering opportunities for personal development.”


Balancing discovery and efficiency

In order to balance discovery with efficiency, we should practice open exploration for creativity, and then focus on one thing at a time for productivity. 

For example, if you're trying to learn a new skill, start by exploring different educational channels to see which one would work best for your learning goals; then, commit to one, and stick with it for a while. Don’t fall into the trap of starting a new course every few weeks without completing any.

Exploration and exploitation

Exploration and exploitation

Similar to the way you need both exploration and exploitation in order to foster innovation, you need both open loops and closed loops to produce great work.

  • In the exploration phase, you may wander through many creative paths. 
  • In the exploitation phase, you will choose a few select ones of these paths to execute. 

First, you create open loops to cultivate your creativity; then, you close those loops to increase your productivity.

Great work is not only about being productive

There is no doubt multitasking is a productivity killer. However, great work is not purely about being productive — we need to be creative as well.

Research suggests that the more ideas we generate, the more creative they become. Focusing on one thing at a time too early in the creative process defeats the purpose of the exploration phase.

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