These general concepts apply everywhere, from work to physical training to any sort of learning.
1 – Show Up Consistently
Obviously nothing happens if you don’t put the hours in. Less obvious is that you must be a regular. There is a strong correlation between one’s ability in something and the amount of time put into it. Every session adds up, positively for every one you attend an negatively for every one you miss (and more than doubly so for consecutive attended or missed sessions).
2 – Be Conscious in Every Session
Just passively showing up typically brings about slow progress at best. The time put in must be quality time. By constantly and actively evaluating what you do, you find weaknesses and can work on correcting them (this is reminiscent of the scientific process).
Get a full night’s rest. Eat healthily. Be physically active. Spend time with friends and family.
Many people skimp on these things because they’re so busy doing work or other supposedly important things. This strategy is only good in the very short-term, like when you’re eager to finish up some exciting project. However if, on a regular or even semi-regular basis, you aren’t getting enough sleep, are eating crap, aren’t moving very much, or not seeing those close to you, you’re wasting time. Simply put, your body and mind are considerably less efficient when you’re not treating them well. How productive will you be when you’re tired every day? Obvious not very much. The consequences are apparent in the short term time of days.
The long term impact is even more striking. By not living vitally, you also trade your future health for extra time now. Surely you’d cut off years from your life in a strict sense. But it’s even worse that because you’re also cutting off productive and enjoyable years from your life because you’re busy treating health problems in the latter part of your life.
It’s all too easy to find an excuse to not do something productive. I suggest reversing the excuse so that you make an excuse to do the productive thing. Even better if you can use the same excuse:
“My muscles are sore today – I’ll skip my training session today”
“My muscles are sore today – I should go to my training session to loosen them up”
You can also reverse the excuse when approaching new endeavors and trying new things:
Instead of letting an excuse hold you back:
I can’t do _____ because
- I’m not strong enough
- I’m not flexible enough
- I’m not experienced enough
Use the excuse as a reason to go for it:
I should do _____ because
- It will make me stronger
- It will make me more flexible
- It will give me experience
What reverse excuses do you use?