How many times do you tie in at the crag in a given year? What percentage of those do you spend on hard projects?
What about quick ticks (2-5 tries), flashes, and onsights?
If you look at the best climbers in the world, they all have a monumental base of experience. At the 5.15 level, it is not uncommon to see dozens of 5.14s and hundreds of 5.13s filling the tick list.
Hundreds of 5.13s… that doesn’t happen if you spent all your time projecting.
On the other hand, a 5.15 is often the result of an enormous persistent effort.
One category is not better than the other. The magic is in the balance.
For most of us, the simplest way to break a plateau is to look at the category we’ve been favoring, and commit to doing more of the opposite.