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A correction to a colloquialism

People sometimes say that what you get out of something is directly related to the amount of time you put into it.

I contend this is often wrong. I think it's more often logarithmic. Most of the tasks I set out on require lots of effort to get ever smaller improvements in quality. Not to say the extra effort isn't worth it, but I think the diminishing returns set in much faster than expected. (One of the exceptions, though, would be the tasks that will discretely jump in quality with one or two corrections, like math work.)

Of course there's always the other side: putting in huge amounts of effort to get just a bit more done may simply be one of them there 'facts of life'.

Comments

I think that you are absolutly correct. Call it the law of diminishing returns. perhaps the phrase would be better if stated without the prepositional phrase of time. It sounds better if it is left to you get out what you put into it. Of course, even then often massive efforts are required to effect little change. I comes down to what you think is worth it.