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Build Better Habits that Actually Stick (with Creative Deliberate Practice)

Practice produces greatness

Practice produces greatness

Some of the greatest artists, innovators, and athletes of all time became great because of their commitment to practice, not their commitment to seeing immediate results.

Kobe Bryant, for example, was well-known for starting his practice routine as early as 4 AM and refusing to stop until he made 400 shots, no matter how long it took. He explained his reasoning by saying that “if I do this consistently over time then the gap is going to widen [between me and my competition]”.

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Build Better Habits that Actually Stick (with Creative Deliberate Practice)

Build Better Habits that Actually Stick (with Creative Deliberate Practice)

https://www.theproductiveyou.com/build-better-habits-with-creative-deliberate-practice/

theproductiveyou.com

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Key Ideas

Deliberate practice

It is a focused attempt to improve at a task that “also involves the provision of immediate feedback, time for problem‐solving and evaluation, and opportunities for repeated performance to refine behavior."

Seek practice over immediate gratification

"If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again” is a popular saying but, to count as truly helpful advice, it should say: "If at first you don’t succeed, practice, practice, practice, and then try, try, again”

Building habits is a long-term game, there's no immediate fix.

Practice produces greatness

Some of the greatest artists, innovators, and athletes of all time became great because of their commitment to practice, not their commitment to seeing immediate results.

Kobe Bryant, for example, was well-known for starting his practice routine as early as 4 AM and refusing to stop until he made 400 shots, no matter how long it took. He explained his reasoning by saying that “if I do this consistently over time then the gap is going to widen [between me and my competition]”.

The problem with Deliberate practice

The more banal and ordinary a habit is the less likely we are to think about how to deliberately practice it

But deliberate practice applies to all habits no matter how big or small they are.

Get creative with your practice

Sometimes your task is so mundane and so far away from being what is normally considered a skill that it’s hard to figure out how to practice it at all; so you have to get creative.

For example, to wake up early without hitting snooze, you should practice waking up. During the day, lay in your bed and pretend to be asleep. Then when your alarm goes off practice exactly what you're going to do in the morning. Eventually, you will strengthen your synapses associated with your routine of waking up early and you'll no longer hit the snooze button.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Bad habits

Nothing sabotages your productivity quite like bad habits.

They slow you down, decrease your accuracy, make you less creative, and stifle your performance.

Impulsively surfing the internet

It takes you 15 consecutive minutes of focus before you can fully engage in a task. Once you do, you fall into flow, a state of increased productivity.

Click in and out of your work enough times to check the news of social media, and you can go through an entire day without experiencing flow.

Perfectionism

We freeze up when it’s time to get started because we know that our ideas aren’t perfect and what we produce might not be any good.

But you can never produce something great if you don't get started and give your ideas time to evolve.

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Everyone wants to cultivate better habits. The problem is very few of us want to do the work to make those habits a reality.

Develop better habits by:
  • Thinking really small: it accumulates and adds up in a big way;
  • Shifting your evironment, so that good habits are easier to keep;
  • Piggybacking new habits on old habits: 
  • Surrounding yourself with good people:
  • Keeping it simple: short lists, reachable;
  • Picking yourself up when you fall.
Great Results

... are built from small actions that you take every day.

It is your habits that will determine who you are and what you can accomplish in the future.

Start Your Day Early

Wake up early and you can spend some undisturbed time alone and do your most important tasks or get ready for what is coming during the day.

You may feel uneasy and uncomfortable at first, but you need to overcome it and turn it into a habit. Wake up 15 minutes earlier and gradually improve from there can be a good strategy.

Spend 30 Minutes Into Reading

You can do this either in the morning before you start your day or before you sleep at night. Read relevant books that will improve your knowledge or just read personal development books.

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“Micro quotas”

In the process of finding a balance between your desire to dream big and your day-to-day activities, create macro quotas.

These refer to the minimum amounts of work that...

Behavior chains

Creating new habits that stick is easier if we make use of our current routines, instead of trying to fight them.

Use "if-then planning": choose a regular part of your schedule and then build another “link in the chain” by adding a new habit. For example: "If it is lunch time, then I will only eat meat and vegetables.”

Simplify decision-making

Making repeated choices depletes our mental energy, even if these choices are mundane and pleasant.

If you want to maintain long term discipline, aim for fewer decisions during the day: identify the aspects of your life that you consider mundane and then ‘routinize’ those aspects as much as possible.

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Focus On Keystone Habits

Keystone habits lead to the development of multiple good habits. 

Exercise is a good example of this. Once you start to change your exercise habits, it sets off a chain reaction t...

Use “Minimum Viable Effort”

Focus on baby steps. The key to new good habits is to do the minimum and be consistent.

Do not be ambitious at the beginning. That leads to failure. Consistency is what you’re shooting for, so make the hurdle as low as possible.

Make A Plan

Thinking about the details makes you more likely to follow through. 

Just writing down your plan also makes a big difference in effectively committing to your goals.

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Habits or Skills

Decide whether what you're trying to improve is mostly a habit or mostly a skill: if your main problem is with doing something you already know how to do, but doing it consistently, that’s pro...

Improving a habit

This process has 3 main parts: 

  • Define the habit you want to form clearly and consistently;
  • Condition it until it is relatively easy to maintain. 
  • Maintain the habit by monitoring it. If you slip, push to reassert the habit quickly.
Improving skills

The best strategy for getting better at skills is deliberate practice. A good way to work on this is to divide it into 3: 

  • Practice the skill. 
  • Get timely feedback on how well you’re performing.
  • Focus on your weak points with selective drills and constrained practice.
Learn To Use Procrastination
Learn To Use Procrastination

The desire to procrastinate is a healthy brain craving, a natural need for novelty and curiosity. We must stop the negative self-talk we have towards us not working as a machine all the time. The l...

Observe Your Need To Procrastinate
  1. Observe the need to procrastinate, recognizing and being aware of your desire. This is called meta-recognition and is what all the Gurus keep talking about when they speak about awareness.
  2. Label and accept your urge to waste your time, but without any negative judgement.
  3. Validate your urge to procrastinate, increasing your self-esteem.
  4. Approach procrastination as a friend, not as a threat.
The Real Enemy of Flow

The biggest obstacle, the main villain hampering our productivity is always in your hands, and rarely in your pockets. _It’s your smartphone. It needs to be powered off for some time. Your laptop, clamouring for attention, is not helping either. Remove all distractions and notifications so that you can get in the ‘flow’ mode.

Creating friction between us and the open black hole of the online distractions helps us focus on work.

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Resolutions Don't Work

Resolutions feel huge, requiring a lot of mental bandwidth and loads of constant motivation to keep up. Resolutions are easy to decide on but tough to maintain daily.

Habits...

Habits: Start Small

Start small with something you already desire or like to do, to ease out the entire process for you right at the start.

For example, if you plan to write more, why not buy a journal and a pen that you want to use, and keep them handy, facilitating the writing habit naturally.

Trigger New Action
Choose a 'trigger' action you already do to initiate the new habit you want to form.

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Be Proactive

Reactive people believe the world is happening to them. They focus on things that are in their circle of concern, but not in their circle of influence.

Proactive people recognize th...

Begin with the End in Mind

Start with a clear destination to determine your steps. Identify your values and live by them.

  • Visualize in detail your own funeral. What are they saying about how you lived your life, and your relationships? What do you want them to say? Change your priorities accordingly.
  • Break down different roles in your life - whether professional, personal or in a community. List 3-5 goals you want to achieve for each. 
  • Define what scares you and write down exactly how you'll handle it.
Go after your goals

Prioritize your day-to-day actions based on what is most important, not what is most urgent.

Be disciplined to follow these actions regardless of how you feel at any given moment. Maintain a primary focus on relationships and results, and a secondary focus on time.

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