Information vs. Implementation


When I was studying for the bar exam, someone told me (or I figured out on my own) that I needed to not just read and re-read the material, the “input” side of studying and preparing for the exam, I also needed to work on the output.

So I spent a lot of time re-writing my notes and taking practice exams.

Most of my classmates read and re-read the material, seeking to memorize it. I did that too, of course, but I’m convinced that it was working on output that made the biggest difference.

One thing I did that really tested me was to re-write my notes from memory.

I’d take a topic, say “negligence,” and write down everything I knew. As though I was going to teach the subject to a classroom—or the bar examiners.

There’s no better way to see how much you know (or don’t). Try it with a case or contract you’re working on right now, or something you have to write. No notes, just write down everything you know.

Anyway, I thought about my experience this morning when I read that most successful people tend to invest as much time, if not more time, on implementation.

For every hour they spend reading or listening to information, they spend two hours applying what they learned.

If they take a course on marketing, for example, they don’t just sit on what they’ve learned; they use it. They write something, they practice doing something, they improve what they’ve been doing or they do something new.

Or so the theory goes.

But how does a lawyer measure something like this in terms of their practice? How do we know how much time we spend on output?

We write and speak a lot, and we get paid for our advice, but we do more thinking than anything else.

Is “thinking” considered output? Implementation?

If it is, we’re covered. We output all day long.

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