We've all probably heard of the somewhat questionable 10,000-hour rule of practice. If that seems too daunting, try breaking down skills and working on each sub-task for one to three sessions.
Picture: Samantha T/Flickr
As business blog Entrepreneur points out, the 10,000-hour rule is often misinterpreted to mean that anyone can become good at anything if they just do it long enough. This is observably untrue, but practice does have its merits. If you do it right, of course. Just what do you for that time though? Pick a specific task and train yourself to do it instinctively. As the various smaller tasks fill up, you start to become a person who is skilled instinctively:
Deliberate practice is when you work on a skill that requires 1 to 3 practice sessions to master. If it takes longer than that, then you are working on something that is too complex.
Once you master this tiny behaviour, you can move on to practicing the next small task that will take 1 to 3 sessions to master. Repeat this process for 10,000 hours. That is deliberate practice.
Entrepreneur uses the simple example of keeping your elbow up while up to bat in baseball. Most jobs and skills have similar tasks. Whether it's how to play a particular note on an instrument, how to identify certain design elements or simply doing certain types of maths. Breaking down complex processes to simpler ones and then working on those for a few days at a time is one of the best ways to slowly build your ability to do the bigger, more complex tasks.
How Experts Practice Better Than the Rest [Entrepreneur]