Is Your Path a Staircase or a Circle? | Scott H Young - Deepstash

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Is Your Path a Staircase or a Circle? | Scott H Young

https://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/2020/04/05/circle-or-stairs/

scotthyoung.com

Is Your Path a Staircase or a Circle? | Scott H Young
Tomorrow I'm going to be opening a new version of Rapid Learner -with 20+ new lessons, deep dives, options for personal coaching and more. If you've been following my work on learning and are ready to take things to the next level, this is your opportunity.

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The circular path

The circular path

... when you're trying to improve something look like this:

  • You start with some ideas.
  • You get excited for a while (1-2 weeks).
  • Maybe you take some s...

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The staircase path

The staircase path

... when you're trying to improve something looks like this:

  • You get an idea.
  • You build a specific project around it (short-term).
  • Once you finish it...

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What defines the shape of your path

  • Focusing on one thing at a time until you finish it: if you focus on one project at a time until completion, you will make infinitely more progress than the person who does multiple pr...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Practice loops

Practice loops are useful as a concept to think about learning any skill. A practice loop is an activity or group of activities you repeat over and over again while learning something.

  • In physics: a practice loop is every problem you solve.
  • In business: it is each product or feature you launch.
  • In languages: conversations, flaschards, grammar exercises are all loops.

Loops and drills

Many loops aren’t straightforward repetitions. You may never write the same essay twice. The loop isn't writing a particular essay, but the overall process for writing essays.

In the same way, each thing you learn may have more than one loop. Drills are smaller loops to focus on smaller parts of the bigger loop.

Designing Your Practice Loop

Step one involves figuring out what your loops are. These are the activities you repeat over and over when learning something.

Next, analyze the loop for different parts to see whether you can make improvements. It will result in faster learning.

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Long-term flexible commitment

What many people fail at with long-term commitments is that they make their initial vision too rigid.

Flexible commitment can help overcome this by bringing together two properties. Flexibility to change the terms of your goal as information becomes available allowing you to redirect efforts and commitment to the core effort so as to not abandon your goal entirely.

Walk the Winding Path

  1. Stick to short commitments. Get good at this skill before going further.
  2. Understand your goal at different levels. The highest goal should be fairly abstract.
  3. Set a much more specific agenda of how I could fulfill this.
  4. Have periodic reviews where you can change your direction and incorporate new ideas. 
  5. Don't let your reviews interfere with the short-term process of committing.

The winding path: Goals and projects

Imagine your ambitions on two levels:
  1. A goal level, which is big-picture and abstract. It has just enough detail to inspire, but not so much that you're stuck pursuing things that don’t matter when conditions change. 
  2. Underneath that, have projects: these tend to be short-to-medium term efforts you think will help realize the larger goal.

The flexibility of the system comes once one leg of a short-term commitment has ended. This provides an opportunity for pivoting and redirecting.

Analysis paralysis

It's a form of procrastination.

It happens when you convince yourself you can't go forward with a decision, because you haven't given it enough thought, done enough research or figured things out to get started.

Why analysis paralysis happens

It has the same root cause as all forms of procrastination. It is caused by the desire to avoid something unpleasant: you don’t want to get started, so you start searching for excuses to justify avoiding the unpleasantness.

And there really are fears, uncertainties or doubts, which make doing more research an attractive excuse.

Dealing with analysis paralysis

You have to manage 2 realities: 

  • Rationalization: Deal with your rationalization that you need more time to think, plan and research by preventing this excuse from working.
  • Underlying fear: Even if you convince yourself that you are engaging in procrastination and your paralysis is unhelpful, that may not stop you from doing it. Now you need to figure out how to get past it.