We are really good at the things we do often and, because we are good at them, we choose to do them often.
We tend to ignore the things we are not so good at, and that is a pity when there are simple ways to turn these into talents and skills, too.
Today I want to show you 3 keys to easily building new skills and talents.
1. Understand how your brain works.
Let’s take a look at the brain.
Every time you do something regularly, you are building up a strong pathway through the nervous system and brain. You are building up the myelin in specific areas.
Myelin is an insulating layer that forms around nerves, including those in the brain and spinal cord. The purpose of the myelin sheath is to allow impulses to transmit quickly and efficiently along the nerve cells. So the more often you perform a task or action, the smoother the ride is for the impulses being sent around your body.
You can expect that the first few times you perform a new task, the ride will be a little bumpy but we know that through repetition, you will improve your performance because your brain will help you do it.
2. You must practice with full attention.
In a book called The Talent Code, Brian Coyle tells us that deep practice can increase skill up to ten times faster than conventional practice.
So what is deep practice? It?s a form of attentive practice that fires off parts of the brain.
Coert Visser describes it like this:
A first step in deep practice is to look at the task at a whole. One way of doing this is to observe an experienced performer. A second step is to divide it into its smallest possible chunks (components) and practice and memorize these separately. Then, link them together in progressively larger groupings. A third step is to play with time, first slowing the action down and then speeding it up. Slowing down helps you to attend more closely to errors, creating a higher degree of precision.
So deep practice isn’t just about doing. It’s about analysing, thinking and observing the task as it is done. It?s embedding it in the brain through extreme attention, and the struggle to perfect each component.
3. Be prepared to struggle.
You are learning something new so straight away you will be out of your comfort zone. Most of us hate making mistakes and find it really uncomfortable it we don?t get it right immediately. Yet it is often through struggle that we learn best – the lessons really stay with us.
When we find a task difficult, we are forced to slow down and work at half pace or less. That gives us time to think as we act, engaging the full capacity of the brain in your learning experience.
Whenever you struggle from now on, know that you are learning something!
These are three important steps or techniques that you can use in your next skill development experience.
Please come back and let us know how you find applying these techniques to your learning.