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?