As posted on The Four Keys to Effective Practice
Practice is an important factor in mastering any skill. You want the hours you put in to be as effective as possible so you can improve steadily. Here are four keys to making sure your practice is effective.
Learning a new skill, like playing an instrument or programming, isn’t easy. Here’s how to set yourself up for success in your quest to get better.
- Minimize distractions: It’s no surprise that your phone and computer can be big distractions if you leave them within arm’s reach during practice sessions. Put them where you can’t see or hear any notifications so you won’t be tempted to stop practicing to reply to a message “real quick” and end up going down a distraction rabbit hole.
- Focus on quality: Start slow if you’re new to what you’re practicing so you can make sure you’re doing quality work, like landing one dance move well before moving onto the rest of the routine. Once you feel comfortable, increase your speed but don’t lose sight of the quality of your practice.
- Divide your practice into sessions: Give yourself breaks in between practice sessions. Even professional athletes and performers take time between sessions to recharge so they can maintain the right quality level during practice.
- Use your imagination: Run through your dance moves, speech, or piece of music in your imagination when you’re not physically practicing. This can actually help you improve since many skills have a heavy mental component.
Even if you really love something, there are moments during practice that are frustrating. Keep the above tips in mind to stay focused and on the path to improvement.
How to Practice Effectively | TED-Ed (YouTube)