Establishing a quality over quantity mindset in our work

by Gregory Craig

Do you provide quality vs quantity at work? Projects in today’s workplace are riddled with partially met milestones, unfinished tasks, and a general lack of follow-through as it relates to everyday work. Why? Why do we believe there is a positive correlation between the quality and quantity of work performed? Is it because we tell ourselves that staying busy must mean that we are doing quality work? Well, that is complete nonsense. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between quality and quantity of work.

Now, more than in previous working generations, it has become imperative that we begin holding the quality of our work in high regard.

Do You Have A Quality over Quantity Mindset?

What is quality vs quantity at work? The majority of the time, as employees, we tend to compare our work to that of our peers, and since the workplace is a “what have you done for me lately” environment, those who seem to be completing projects and work at a rapid pace are glorified while those who do not are often ostracized. However, focusing on this high quantity, low-quality formula has significant drawbacks in the big picture. Yes, in the short term, the praise for work completed feels fantastic, and you feel on top of the world. Unfortunately, it will only be a matter of time before the foundation begins to crumble and what was previously seen as an accomplishment now looks like a gigantic mess. When we fail to take a proactive approach to establishing a quality vs quantity mindset around our work, the results are typically felt in a number of ways. 

Let’s call them the 3 Rs:


Rework, by business definition, is the correcting of a failed, defective or non-conforming item. It is a non-value-added activity that results in a net loss for the organization and is absolutely attributable to a lack of quality surrounding the work. Take a moment to think about how many projects you have worked on that required rework. Now think about how much time could have been saved if that rework were not necessary. Focusing on quality vs quantity can go a long way in preventing this.


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A failure to produce quality work has a ripple effect that extends far beyond the individual responsible for that work. While the individual who failed to produce quality work will undoubtedly experience a strike against their business reputation, it will actually be the organization that feels the brunt of the failure. In business and in life, our reputation precedes us. How would you feel if you and your organization were known for completing large amounts of work, yet it was of such poor quality that most of your customers were one and done?


Let’s face it, we all want to give and receive respect as it relates to our peers and also feel respected by the organizations that we work for. Failing to take a quality-first approach to our work only serves as a tool to diminish the amount of respect we feel throughout the workplace. From a work perspective, would you have the same amount of respect for a co-worker with high output but extremely poor quality as you would a co-worker who produces stellar work all of the time, even if the amount of work completed was relatively low?

The idea of quality over quantity is not a new concept. It’s not some earth-shattering revelation ready to become the new fad in the workplace. It’s old, and it’s simple, but it’s highly effective. It also requires minimal effort. All it takes is transforming the way you think about your work from a “how much can I get completed” to “how can I do this better.” Start on a small scale by thinking about the tasks you need to complete today and how you can improve their end result. It may require that you initially reduce the overall amount of work completed in order to focus on the quality aspect of what it is you are doing. Soon you can begin to implement this concept on a grander scale with longer time frames. Over time the thought of not completing as much work as before will subside as the satisfaction of doing quality work begins to take over. Eventually, your old way of thinking will give way to a new and improved quality first mindset where the amount of work completed is not nearly as important as the quality of the final product.


What does it mean to establish a quality over quantity of work mindset?

Establishing a quality over quantity mindset means prioritizing the quality of your work over the quantity of work you produce. It involves focusing on delivering high-quality work that meets or exceeds the expected standards rather than producing a large volume of work that may be of lower quality.

Why is it important to establish a quality over quantity mindset in our work?

Establishing a quality over quantity mindset can lead to better outcomes and greater satisfaction in your work. It can help you produce work that is more valuable to your clients, colleagues, or supervisors and reduce the likelihood of errors or mistakes. It can also help you prioritize your time and focus on tasks that truly matter rather than getting bogged down in busy work.

What are some benefits of establishing a quality over quantity mindset in our work?

Some benefits of establishing a quality over quantity mindset in your work may include increased job satisfaction, higher-quality work products, reduced stress and burnout, improved relationships with colleagues or clients, and a greater sense of accomplishment and fulfillment in your work.

How can I measure the success of my efforts to establish a quality over quantity mindset in my work?

Measuring the success of your efforts to establish a quality over quantity mindset may involve tracking metrics such as the quality of your work products, feedback from colleagues or clients, or your own levels of satisfaction and fulfillment in your work. It may also involve setting goals for yourself and assessing your progress toward those goals over time.


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