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The Wizardry Of Deliberate Practice

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Have you ever felt like you’re not making the progress you want, even though you’re working hard? Maybe you’re putting in more time and effort than others, but still not feel like you are getting ahead?  

Deliberate practice may be the key to progress.

Utilize purposeful and focused practice to become proficient in any skill

How you practice may be more influential on your results than the amount of time spent practicing. And this learning model does not prioritize “natural talent.”

Deliberate practice requires focused intention and purpose 

It involves creating a specific plan with a clear goal in mind, such as practicing your left-hand driving to the basketball hoop or improving your chord changes on the guitar. Simply shooting baskets or strumming the guitar aimlessly while distracted is not considered deliberate practice.

Break down your objective into smaller skills. Think about what you want to accomplish and identify the specific skills needed to achieve that goal.

Keep a record of your practice sessions instead of trying to remember them. Use a notebook, spreadsheet, or another method to document your progress. After each practice session, take time to review and plan for the next one. This will help you stay organized and make the most of your practice time.

The more effective your strategy is, the quicker you will advance. Don’t fall into the habit of working without purpose. Develop a plan and consistently improve upon it.

Determine a method to evaluate your abilities 

If you are learning how to play an instrument, try recording yourself and listening to the playback. If you are working on improving your 3-point shot in basketball, calculate your success rate.

It is important to be strategic and efficient in your practice

boy looking at razor

Engaging in deliberate practice, even for shorter periods of time, can be more beneficial than practicing mindlessly for hours on end. Do not feel pressured to practice for excessive amounts of time each day in order to see noticeable improvements.

Concentrate on practicing efficiently, and concern yourself with the amount of time later.

Eliminate all distractions by turning off your electronic devices while engaging in your focused practice.

Practice at the edge of your abilities in order to see the most improvement. You will benefit the most from your practice when you are consistently making mistakes. It is important to correct these errors in order to learn effectively. You won’t learn as much if you only do tasks that come easily to you.

If you find yourself consistently making errors, take a step back. If you are a beginner in learning Russian, enrolling in an advanced course will not be beneficial.

Establish a consistent routine

It is recommended by experts that the most effective deliberate practice can only be sustained for 4-5 hours in a day. If you are able to practice for longer than this, you may not be engaging in deliberate practice effectively. (And of course there is no way shaving can be sustained for 4-5 hours!)

Keep your study or work sessions to a maximum of 90 minutes, or until you find it hard to concentrate. Divide your day into multiple sessions to ensure you do not exceed a certain number of hours per day.

Find someone to guide you 

As a beginner, it’s hard to identify all your mistakes on your own. You also may not know the most effective ways to fix them. Look for a knowledgeable mentor and make good use of their help. Even if you can’t have a mentor with you all the time, try to spend as much time learning from them as you can.


Try deliberate practice for a month. Commit to practicing for at least one hour every day for the next 30 days. Push yourself and practice with intention. You’ll be surprised by the progress you make in just one month.

Otto Wright

Otto Wright

I am a men's grooming enthusiast, particularly interested in traditional wet shaving, who also happens to be a freelance author.View Author posts

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