THE EXPLOIT/EXPLORE TRADE OFF TACTIC

Suddenly everyone has so much time on their hands while we #StayHome. Being in lockdown can be frustrating especially for people who love being busy and active; or for people who *need* to earn money or start their career, but COVID-19 decided otherwise. However, this is a great OPPORTUNITY (a word management consultants love to use to make glasses half full). Instead of 'do, do, do', nowadays has been about 'think, think, think', which can be quite enlightening. Facing questions such as 'Who do I want to be? What do I want to do? What impact do I want to make?' is daunting. What is even scarier is that we will probably not be able to answer these questions during the lockdown period.


How do we figure things out? The book Atomic Habits by James Clear talks about the exploit/explore trade off tactic: when you are trying something new (e.g. starting your career, picking a new sport or musical instrument to try), there should be a period of exploration. After the initial period of exploration (e.g. online research, talking to people, reading books, getting hands-on experience), you should shift your time and effort into the option that you found to be the best and most interesting to you - while experimenting occasionally. James Clear says 'the proper balance depends on whether you're winning or losing. If you're currently winning, you exploit, exploit, exploit. If you're losing, you explore, explore, explore'. In the long run, we should focus 80-90% of the time and energy on the things that deliver the best results for us and keep exploring with the remaining 10-20% (classic 80/20 rule, guys). Whilst the book is really about habit formation - how do we create and repeat desired behaviours on auto-mode - it also has useful, transferrable advice about productivity and work life. Worth a read. Have a great weekend 😄