These 4 Steps Are the Science Behind Mastering Anything
While we typically associate mastery with hard work and determination, a new Inc. article suggests that the science behind world-class skill is a bit more intuitive. In other words, it can only happen when performing a task becomes automatic. The article goes on to explain that this has a lot to do with freeing up space in your “working memory” in order to allow a higher level of function. This can be accomplished when things become intuitive, requiring less thought and thus allowing you to deepen your learning process for an already proficient skill. The scientific aspect is broken down into four parts, and we’re sharing those key tips for mastering any skill:
Hammer it home. The first step to mastering something is repetition. In the same way you would learn a task as basic as reading, repeating a process helps you become more and more comfortable with it. In terms of automaticity, take that one step further by “overlearning” the things you already know—i.e., continuing to practice long after you think you’ve reached your goal.
Adjust your level of difficulty. The only way to get better is to continue to challenge yourself and push to try things outside of your comfort zone. By increasing the difficulty of your task until it’s too hard, you’ll be able to gauge what you’ve mastered and revisit your threshold in order to keep working up to the next level.
Time yourself. As you continue to work toward understanding things at a higher level, add time constraints as another way to judge your progress. It will force you to process things faster, which strengthens your working memory. The key is to focus on quality, not quantity, even though you’re working under pressure.
Add intentional distractions. Increasing purposeful distractions is the last step in training to increase your working memory load. By mastering a task with greater levels of distraction, you’ll be able to complete them automatically, regardless of disruptions.
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