Why would anyone ever suggest that it’s better to focus on quantity over quality? Clearly pushing out a pile of sub-par work is not a good idea when you could take your time to think though things and produce a master piece the first time.
The fact is that you can’t easily produce top quality work without the experience you gain from doing something many times over. Each iteration is a chance to learn from your mistakes and iterate on better approaches. You can’t gain this experience without sometime dedicated to producing a quantity of work.
Malcolm Gladwell might consider this to be part of the 10,000 hours it takes to really master something. A Aikido dojo might just consider it practice, and a student would consider it to be homework. This is what it takes to get really good at something.
When you learn your multiplication tables you take the time to go over them again and again until your recall speed is high. If you got to the test and had to multiply every 1-digit number by counting on your hands you would never finish the test before the time was up. Getting good at anything takes sheer quantity to train your brain to be quicker.
As adults we tend to stop focusing on this as a way to learn new things. We’ll just wing it and let our previous 30 years of life experience just coast us through a new task.
Even by the time you get to University the amount of practice you are expected to do is greatly reduced. Professors will walk through one sample problem in the classroom and give one assignment question for each broad topic. It’s hardly enough time to grasp some concepts, and certainly not enough practice to burn that knowledge deep into your cerebellum.
A journey to undertake a significant amount of practice like this takes small steps of progress every day. By adding to your daily habits with the action of doing something to add a bit more practice can make a massive difference over the course of a few months or years.
I have personally challenged myself to write some Python code every day. After a streak of 150+ days in a row now this is very clearly paying off. The more I do, the deeper into the language nuances I get and my speed and recall has gotten better. It means I’m more confident in the code I write every day and I can leverage the language in ways that make the programs I write better.
The focus is on the process of doing these things in volume, with a eye towards getting better each time.
Daily habits like these have a massive effect on you over time. It’s like compound interest. After a certain amount of practice you will be better than 99.9% people and at that point you are at the high end of a long tail distribution and get to enjoy the benefits of being among the best in the world at something.