Learning is not the same as studying

You might not study at all. However, learning underpins your life.

In relationships, you need to understand your partner and know how to communicate. At work, you profit from being good at rare and valuable skills. Health involves learning what to eat and when to exercise.

Given that learning is essential, it helps to understand how it works.

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Get Better at the Things You Do Every Day

scotthyoung.com

Doing something every day doesn't guarantee mastery, only adequacy. What is needed is deliberate practice.

Only putting in time does not lead to mastery. You may improve at first but will eventually reach a comfortable level and stay there indefinitely.

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Research on violinists shows that those who went on to become concert performers didn't practice more, but the time spent in deliberate practice was much higher.

Deliberate practice means trading automatic behavior for strategies to increase performance.

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  • Change to more challenging environments where your performance is no longer adequate. It will put you back on the learning curve.
  • Get a coach to get access to high-quality instruction and feedback. If you're on a tight budget, informally ask for feedback.
  • Use new methods to increase your chance for a breakthrough.
  • Join a community for practice. A community can share methods and learn from each other.
  • Focus on a specific area of improvement. In writing, pick one sentence and rewrite to make it more clear.

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