Deliberate Practice

Ubung macht der Meister.
Practice makes perfect.
Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work.

Consistently persistent, 10,000 hour rule, 3 hours a day, every day for 10 years. “10,000 hours” as popularized by Malcom Gladwell in Outliers.

Quality over quantity. “The right sort of practice carried out over a sufficient period of time leads to improvement. Nothing else.” – Anders Ericsson

The magic happens outside of your comfort zone. “Purposeful practice requires getting out of one’s comfort zone. This is perhaps the most important part of purposeful practice.” – Anders Ericsson

Goals / Target setting. Keep track or score of your progress, it needs to measurable so a comparison to your earlier achievements can be made.

Honest self assessment.

Focus on your weak points and exercise those. Ask for frequent feedback on your progress or seek out a coach or mentor to critique your progress. “Purposeful practice involves feedback. You have to know whether you are doing something right and, if not, how you’re going wrong.” – Anders Ericcson

If nothing changes, nothing changes.

Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin

Laboratory studies of extended practice have capped the optimal time at one hour per day, three to five days a week, and real-life studies have seen reduced benefits when practice sessions exceed two hours. Recovery time is important to avoid burnout and sliding into automatic habits which cause you to plateau.


The science behind why some people have extraordinary abilities — an area of research known as expert performance — seeks to answer that question. And psychologist K. Anders Ericsson is one of its leading scholars.

Ericsson and his fellow researchers have studied top performers across many fields, from music to medical surgery, sports to software design. Data from decades of studies and their own laboratory experiments revealed a striking discovery: the best of the best tend to follow similar techniques for improving their abilities.

In an excerpt from his book Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise, Ericsson writes,

You see, just repeating a skill or task, even over a period of many years, doesn’t build expertise. That’s because once you reach a reasonable level of competence and are able to do what you need to do, the skill becomes automatic. At best, you’re maintaining your abilities, but not improving them.

For many day-to-day tasks — driving, typing, cooking — this baseline, “good enough to get by” level of skill is fine. But if there’s something you really want to excel at, you have to push past that comfortable stage and challenge yourself.

Deliberate practice relies on small, achievable, well-defined steps that help you work your way towards meaningful improvement. These steps should take into account your current knowledge and skill level and push those boundaries little by little, consistently expanding your abilities.