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5 Techniques To Help You Master Any Skill

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5 Techniques To Help You Master Any Skill

In today’s world, there are so many things to learn, and experience, yet most people would rather stick to what they already know, and not bother to take a leap, and experience something new.  If you were to ask somebody what may prevent them from learning a new skill, I am sure they would use time as an excuse.  If you are serious about wanting to pick up a new skill, and being able to learn it well, and learn it in a timely manner, check out these 5 techniques I came across that will help you do just that.

1. Deconstruct the skill, and make it less overwhelming.

When you start to learn something new, it can become extremely overwhelming, which can cause you to give up on it before you even start.  A lot of skills are usually a bunch of skills put together.  Take baseball as an example.  Yo have to know how to bat, throw, and catch.  Rather than going out and just trying to play baseball, try playing catch with a friend one day, and go to the batting cages the next. By breaking it down into two separate sessions, you don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to do it all at once.

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2. Commit yourself to 20 hours of practice.

This is the whole focus in Josh Kaufmans “The First 20 Hours: How To Learn Anything…Fast”.  Before you start to learn something new, set a goal point that you would like to reach, and write down a schedule and stick to it!  It will certainly be hard in the first few hours of practicing, but if you can get past that you will be more likely to succeed.

3. Define what it means to you to “master” the skill.

Everybody interprets things differently.  One person’s definition of mastering a skill may be way different than yours.  Think of baking as an example.  Somebody who wants to master baking may think they need to learn how to make a perfect souffle, but you might interpret this as that you want to bake a batch of cupcakes for your daughter’s bake sale.  If you set an unreasonable goal for yourself, and try to learn more than you can in your 20-hour practice time, you are likely to give up sooner.  On the other hand, if you set a reasonable goal for yourself, and you stick to it, you can either practice until you reach the goal, or continue practicing up to your 20-hour mark.

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4. Imagine yourself doing the skill.

Make it a habit to visualize yourself performing the skill you are trying to learn.  I have learned that by doing this, by visualizing yourself doing the task, it boosts your morale, and you feel more confident within yourself that you can master the skill exactly how you want to.

5. Be cocky, but be humble.

Once you are past the first few hours of practice, and you are starting to pick up the skill a little better, free to act like you are already have been doing it for a while.  This is another way to boost your confidence, and make learning even more go a lot better.  On the other hand, don’t let it get to your head.  The worst thing you can do to your progress is be too cocky, because then you will feel like you know everything about it, when the truth is that you probably have a lot more to learn.  Its okay to feel proud of how far you came, but don’t for get to keep moving forward.

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Don’t keep telling yourself that you do not have any time to learn a new skill.  These 5 tips are a good way to help you learn something new, and learn it quickly.  Why deprive yourself from new experiences?  Get out there and learn!

Featured photo credit: Rocky Balboa/Sylvester Stallone via imdb.com

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Michael Daws

Aircraft Painter, Sports & Lifestyle Blogger

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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