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Why "Deliberate Practice" Is The Only Way To Keep Getting Better | Fast Company


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Will you ever be as good as Billy Joel? Depends on how deliberate your practice is.

You need an insane amount of deliberate practice in order to get great at something: 

10,000 hours, as you may recall from Outliers. Indeed, the reason elite athletes become elite instead of other people, Ericsson's research has shown, isn't solely due to innate gifts, but due to having access to the training environments over extended lenghts of time.

However, since deliberate practice is categorically hard, it can't be done for 12 hours a day. As he wrote in the Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance, experts tend to have the following routines surrounding deliberate practice: 

  • They can only engage in practice without rest for around an hour.
  • They practice in the morning with a fresh mind.
  • They practice the same amount every day, including on weekends.
  • They only have four to five hours of deliberate practice a day.
  • If they don't get enough rest, they can get overtaining injuries or burnout.

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