Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Great Harvard Business Review about doing well

I'm genuinely a strong believer in that it's possible to build any given skill or capacity in the same systematic way we do a muscle: push past your comfort zone, and then rest.  Numerous researchers now agree that 10,000 hours of such practice is the minimum necessary to achieve expertise in any complex domain. That notion is wonderfully empowering. It suggests we have remarkable capacity to influence our own outcomes.

Here are some topics covered that I find very useful during this pursuit:

  1. Pursue what you love. Passion is an incredible motivator.
  2. Do the hardest work first. We all move instinctively toward pleasure and away from pain. Most great performers, delay gratification and take on the difficult work first.
  3. Practice intensely, without interruption for short periods of no longer than 90 minutes and then take a break. Ninety minutes appears to be the maximum amount of time that we can bring the highest level of focus to any given activity.
  4. Take regular renewal breaks. Relaxing after intense effort not only provides an opportunity to rejuvenate, but also to metabolize and embed learning. 
  5. Ritualize practice. Will and discipline are wildly overrated, none of us have very much of it. The best way to insure you'll take on difficult tasks is to build specific, inviolable times at which you do them, so that over time you do them without having to squander energy thinking about them.

Full article here.

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