DOVC – #048 – How to Achieve Peak Performance by Balancing Action vs Learning

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How to Achieve Peak Performance by Balancing Action vs Learning

As entrepreneurs, we face constant tension between learning vs doing.

We want to absorb endless knowledge yet also take action on all these brilliant ideas filling our minds.

What is the perfect ratio to maximize growth?

In this issue, I'll share my struggle to find the right balance between educating myself versus executing and implementing ideas. 

Through trial and error, I learned:

  • The ideal ratio for me is around 75% action, 25% learning
  • Acquiring too much info leads to analysis paralysis and indecision
  • Repetition in doing builds skills faster than consuming more theory
  • Outsourcing areas I'm weak in accelerates progress tremendously

If you also vacillate between obsession with learning versus an urgency to take action, these lessons may help you optimize your growth.

Let's level up together!

My Insatiable Hunger for Knowledge

I'm endlessly fascinated by new ideas and perspectives.

My curiosity leads me to consume endless books, podcasts, and courses – always yearning to expand my thinking.

Yet this tendency towards perpetual education created imbalance.

I hoarded so many strategies but implemented just a fraction.

The more I learned, the bigger my backlog of untested tactics grew.

This paralysis through over-analysis was compounded by perfectionism.

I wanted to optimize every approach before trying it, so delayed action awaiting some magical moment of readiness.

Of course, that moment never arrived…

 

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The Power of Repetition

Here's what I realized – skills develop much faster through practice than theory.

No amount of reading will transform you into a gifted public speaker.

You need reps.

Consistent repetition builds competence and confidence.

The 10,000-hour rule reflects this reality.

Once I shifted focus from consuming more content towards practicing and honing my strengths through doing, growth accelerated rapidly.

Of course, learning is still vital to expand your knowledge horizons and skillset.

But it should occupy just 25% of your time.

The rest should apply what you've absorbed.

Optimizing the Learning-Doing Ratio

We need to find the right ratio between learning and action.

Too much education leads to overwhelm.

Too much focus on doing keeps us small-minded.

After much experimentation, I've optimized (for now) at:

  • 75% doing
  • 25% learning

This ensures I spend most of my time applying knowledge versus over-analyzing.

But there's ample room for expanding my perspectives through new information.

Try tracking how you allocate your hours objectively.

Where does your ratio stand currently?

How might rebalancing serve you?

Beware the Trap of Endless Research

A helpful framework comes from bestselling author Robert Greene.

When seeking to solve a complex problem or learn a new skill he suggests:

  • Gather enough information to start intelligently
  • Then take action as soon as you have basic competence
  • Course correct using feedback from results

Many of us get stuck in the first phase endlessly consuming, never shifting to application.

Information gathering has diminishing returns.

At a certain point you know ‘enough' – trust yourself and get started imperfectly.

 

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Outsource Weakness to Accelerate

Another epiphany was that wasting time trying to master areas I'm weak in slows me down tremendously.

I don't need to become a technical wizard if I can outsource coding and web design.

Focus your time mastering strengths aligned with your passions and purpose.

Delegate the rest to those with complementary skill sets.

This realization created huge time savings and progress once I took ego aside.

We can't be well-rounded experts at everything. Nor should we.

Foster what energizes you – hire the rest.

Keep Learning, But Favor Action

In summary, continuous learning is of course essential to expand minds and skill sets.

But too much education without application creates paralysis.

Aim for a 75/25 split favoring action over learning.

Test ideas in the real world relentlessly.

Outsource non-essential tasks to others.

Combining education with consistent practice accelerates your ascent!

I still struggle to avoid the lure of “just one more” training.

But focusing energy towards applying and executing what I learn already makes all the difference.

Wish me luck in this continuous balancing act!

Key Takeaways: Achieve Peak Performance by Balancing Action vs Learning

  • Striking the right balance between learning and taking action is challenging but essential
  • Too much focus on education leads to overload and indecision instead of progress
  • Consistent hands-on repetition accelerates skill-building faster than consuming more theory
  • The ideal ratio seems to be roughly 75% doing, 25% learning – but find what suits you
  • Outsourcing weaknesses frees up more time to build your core skills
  • Favor action over endless research to avoid analysis paralysis and perfectionism
  • Progress requires using enough info to start intelligently, then learning by doing

How do you balance learning with action? 

Share your insights!

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