I recently read this post on Expert Enough about steps towards deliberate practice. Deliberate practice is crucial to becoming an expert, which we’re all trying to do as grad students. Each part of grad school is about gaining and proving expertise in our chosen fields. The 11 steps outlined in that post are excellent and I’d like to add a few more.
- Pick the right time: I get really motivated in the morning, after lunch, and in the evening. These are the best times for me to do deliberate practice because I’m focused and motivated. The worst time for me to do deliberate practice is around my 2:30pm-slump. I know I have difficulty staying on task at that time, so that’s when it’s best for me to hang out with friends or run errands.
- Use the best method for you: #7 from the Expert Enough post talks about varying your approach, which is a great suggestion, but don’t forget your tried and true method. Figure out the method that works best for you so you can get the most out of your practice.
- Set the scene: Creating the same environment to work in or doing a pre-work ritual helps your mind get in the zone. For example, I always listen to the same album when I study for exams (The Jaws that Bite, The Claws that Catch by As The Poets Affirm, if you’re wondering). It brings my mind back to exam-mode, helping me focus quicker and more successfully.
What are some other steps you can take to improve your deliberate practice?