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

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)

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.

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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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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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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.