From an article called A Better Way to Practice.
While it may be true that there are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going, there certainly are ways of needlessly prolonging the journey. We often waste lots of time because nobody ever taught us the most effective and efficient way to practice. Whether it’s learning how to code, improving your writing skills, or playing a musical instrument, practicing the right way can mean the difference between good and great.
Author Noa Kageyama makes some very good points that are worth repeating. First, he notes that quality of practice tends to be more important that the quantity of practice. In support of this advice, he quotes violinist Leopold Auer who reportedly said, “Practice with your fingers and you need all day. Practice with your mind and you will do as much in 1 1/2 hours.”
His article discusses the drawbacks to mindless practice and contrasts it with deliberate practice. He also offers some great advice for maximizing your results in practice. Five suggestions he gives are:
1. Focus is everything
2. Timing is everything, too
3. Don’t trust your memory
4. Smarter, not harder
5. Stay on target with a problem-solving model
More details about good practice in Kageyama’s article.