Writer | Marketer | Creative

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Does Doing a Lot of Something Actually Help You Get Better?


Sometimes I write a lot, and I feel like I'm not getting anywhere. Sometimes I'll keep trying to do more and more at work, and I feel like I'm not making headway or growing as a marketer. What I know is that I'm not the only one who goes through this.

I think that for most of us, this happens so often it's depressing. We pour ourselves into our work, or a relationship, or something, and try as we might, nothing seems to get any better. What gives? Does trying over and over again - does doing a lot of something - actually help you get better?

The textbook answer is "yes," but I think the more practical answer is "yes and no." I believe the case looks like this. Think of your growth as a line graph, like your blog stats or the stock market performance.

When you look at a sizable chunk of time, you see clear growth. That line keeps moving upwards, however slowly. You're better now than you were a year ago, and the year before that, etc.

Over time, doing a lot of something always yields growth (even if you don't have the best habits or form). But we don't feel that long-term growth in the day-to-day minutia, and I believe it's because that day-to-day minutia is a much smaller portion of our graph.

Instead of looking at a sizable chunk, you're looking at a few days or weeks, maybe months. Like you'll see on any graph, there are ups and downs. There are peaks and troughs that conglomerate into growth over time. Sometimes, when you're in a trough, it feels like you're not going anywhere for a bit, even though you're about to be.

Doing a lot of something does help you get better at that thing, over time. But we all have lulls and highs in anything we do. The thing you've got to remember is that there's always a peak on the other side of that valley. Just keep climbing.