Deliberate practice differs from purposeful practice in several ways. Here are the key differences:
- Deliberate practice helps you develop a skill that others have already figured out, such as playing the violin, chess, or basketball.
- Deliberate practice requires you to go outside of your comfort zone and try things outside your current abilities. It is not enjoyable but will raise the level of your homeostasis and create detailed mental representations.
- Deliberate practice is not aimed at some vague overall improvement. Instead, it involves well-defined and specific goals.
- Deliberate practice requires a person’s full attention and conscious action. In other words, you can’t be absent-minded during a practice session.
- Deliberate practice takes advantage of feedback by modifying efforts in response to that feedback.
- Deliberate practice depends on mental representations. Training helps you develop effective mental representations, and they help you increase your pace of learning.
- Deliberate practice involves building on previously acquired skills by focusing on particular aspects of those skills. It is a step-by-step improvement that eventually leads to expert performance.
Before we conclude, here are five actionable tips on how to apply the principles of deliberate practice in your everyday life:Step
#1: Identify an area of weakness.
The first step is to find an area of weakness and the courage to improve. Perform some self-analysis and commit to making lasting change. Step
#2: Split up the weakness
As Anderson writes, “deliberate practice involves well-defined, specific goals that involve improving some aspect of target performance.” This means you should focus on a single aspect of your performance when you practice. For example, if you want to improve your typing speed, you should focus on specific keys instead of the entire keyboard.Step #3: Set challenging goals
According to Anderson, if you are not pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, you are not learning. Yes, it will be boring and painful, but the more you push yourself, the more your body adjusts to a new normal.Step #4: Seek honest feedback
It is incredibly hard to know where you went wrong without a feedback loop, and without making adjustments, you will not improve. Step #5: Rinse and repeat
The process of deliberate practice is made complete by continuously applying the above principles to the areas in your life that need improvement.