Deliberate Practice is one of those things that seems obvious when you think about it, but really isn’t.
First, you work out the specific areas in which you need improvement. Then you hammer out practice drills which push you past your comfort zone and encourage growth. Instead of simply or completing a practice activity on autopilot, you are actively paying attention to the functions behind it and focusing your efforts in the sections which need upgrades.
Three ways to practise
After choosing your skill or area of interest, you match it with the type of practice it requires. This can be narrowed down into three types: music, and chess. With a music type, you will focus on repetition and polishing; a sport type focuses on repeated actions with slight variations; and a chess type analyses solutions to try and discover better ones. Figure out which of these three areas is related to your skill, then develop and practise a deliberate routine.
Chunk your skill
Start out by breaking the skill into chunks which can be practised individually, and creating short term process-orientated goals to hold yourself accountable. Focus intently on the entire process: what are you doing? Is this process creating a positive effect? How can you do it better next time? Does it encourage good performance? Do this over and over again.
One example is delivering presentations. How can you improve that? You could practise the presentation in front of a camera so you can watch and correct yourself before the real thing, or learn specific areas within the subject so you are better equipped to answer any follow-up questions.
Think of it like creating a routine similar to what professional athletes use. By using a structured method to improve skill and overcome your supposed capabilities, you will absorb things at a quicker pace than normal. Doing this over and over again is key – just like in sport.
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