It was only after I began studying the science of high performance that I started building a new sort of practice ritual.
It was only after I began studying the science of high performance that I started building a new sort of practice ritual. I still sit down at my desk first thing in the morning when I’m working on books, but now I write for exactly ninety minutes at a time—not eighty-five and not ninety-five. Then I take a break. I may get something to eat, close my eyes and spend ten minutes breathing deeply, or take a run, each activity in order to refuel and recover.
I then come back and work the same way for another ninety minutes, before taking a second renewal break. After that, I return to my desk for one final ninety-minute session, and then I have lunch—another form of energy renewal. If it’s been a particularly demanding day, I take a short nap. During the afternoon, I work on much less demanding tasks. The deliberate practice I’ve ritualized is intrinsically rewarding. I feel accomplished—and restored—even when the work doesn’t translate immediately into external benefits.
What’s the skill that you wish to develop the most? Keep in mind that you’ll be immeasurably more motivated if it’s something to which you’re drawn deeply.
Next, set aside one uninterrupted period of, say, sixty minutes each working day to build the skill you’ve chosen, preferably first thing in the morning. As your capacity for focus grows stronger over time, add fifteen minutes, and then another fifteen minutes, until you reach ninety.
Maximize Your Potential: Grow Your Expertise, Take Bold Risks & Build an Incredible Career (The 99U Book Series) by Jocelyn K. Glei, 99U
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“We all are learning, modifying, or destroying ideas all the time. Rapid destruction of your ideas when the time is right is one of the most valuable qualities you can acquire. You must force yourself to consider arguments on the other side.
— Charles T. Munger”
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