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.

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

theproductiveyou.com

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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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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.

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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."

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"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.

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New habits are very major life changes and should not be taken lightly. They require an enormous amount of discipline and mental energy to build, and you don't want to overwhelm yourself.

Only commit to one new habit at a time, and give yourself at least a one month buffer zone between new habits.

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Defining deliberate practice

The term "deliberate practice" is mostly attributed to Karl Anders Ericsson, an influential figure in the field of performance psychology. Deliberate practice turns amateurs into professionals. It creates top performers in any field.

Doing something regularly but mindlessly is not the same as practicing it. Deliberate practice means repeatedly performing a set of activities with the intention of improving the specific skill.

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Nothing sabotages your productivity quite like bad habits.

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

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