On Practice, deep or otherwise

So a fair slug of what this blog is for is to figure out how the life I currently live is aligned – or can be aligned – with the best practices for the things I think are important.
And since for both writing and prayer DAILY is purportedly critical, I use this space to explore my habit-gap. Which, frankly, is about the same size it’s always been.

But ultimately I’m interested in deepening my Important Things.

That and my habit-gap are likely why I’m currently obsessed with Study Hacks (http://calnewport.com/blog/about/). Newport has a different approach to excellence, and includes all sorts of strong research & writing (others’ as well as his own) to dig in to it. In a way, Study Hacks is Newport’s version of this blog. Except that being a respected blogger is something he cares about, and it’s not something I’m concerned with. For now, anyway :).

Oh, and I read _Cracking the Talent Code_ a month or so ago, and started looking at deep practice, which is a major component over at Study Hacks. It’s the technical & practical discussion of why merely spending time on doing something over and over doesn’t automatically yield stellar results. (See, Mom, I told you viola practice was pointless!)

Back to Study Hacks. I’m writing for context for this post I’m storing here for later reference:

Freestyle Deliberate Practice
Here are the main components of Taylor’s approach to deliberate practice:

  1. Build an obsession with a clear goal.
  2. Work backwards from the goal to plan your attack.
  3. Expend hard focus toward this goal every day.
  4. Ruthlessly evaluate and modify your approach to remove what doesn’t work and improve what does.


I’m all over “work backwards.” And “ruthlessly evaluate and modify.” “Build an obsession” – not so much. Or maybe it’s that I have only one obsession at a time, and my true obsession right now is the one I never say, because I think it makes me sound like the helicopter parents I detest.

If that’s the measure, then I’ve been freestyle deliberate practicing being a Girl Scout leader since I was 16, and fdp parenting since I was 28.

Which doesn’t leave much time for writing, I gather.

I suspected as much.

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