I have cited several small examples of how being deliberate with your practice can enhance your skills. Many people only apply this type of thinking to master a sport or physical activity. The truth is, when you apply deliberate tactics to any type of practice, you can master the task.
One very personal example of this type of practice is on how to become organized. I will not lie; I am a very busy person who has trouble saying “no” to anyone who asks me to help with a project or join in on an event. Because of this, I had become very disorganized. I was always on the go, and everything in my life became chaotic.
I was unwilling to give up my busy schedule, I actually enjoy being this active, but I could not stand the disorganization in my personal life. It hit me one day when I could not find an important document that ended up costing me hundreds of dollars to replace.
I needed to make a deliberate plan to become more organized while still retaining my busy schedule.
I realize that being organized does not sound like something that needs to be practiced, but I can assure you, in my case, it was. It was not unusual to walk in the door, throw everything into a nearby chair, look for where I dumped the stuff that I needed now, and rush out the door again.
With practice, I taught myself to become organized. I searched for flaws in my thinking, such as “well, it’s on the chair and will be there when I get back” and put stuff away immediately when I was finished. Yes, it took conscious practice to make this happen, and yes, it did take time to master. However, the outcome was an organized life.
I could continue with many other examples that show that deliberate practicing is beneficial to every area of your life. Whether you are an athlete that wishes to be the best in their field or an aspiring writer that wants to see their work published someday, you can achieve your goals by breaking them down into smaller tasks and mastering each one.
It is important to remember that once you have started deliberately practicing a task that you do not give stop at the first sign of success. Mastery of any skill or task takes time and takes continual reinforcement through practice.
Athletes that are at the top of their field do not sit home each day and wait for the next game night. Each day they get up, plan their practice, evaluate their performance, and then do it again the next day. Getting to the top is just part of the process; remaining at the top requires dedication.