Skip to main content

How to be the best at anything

We are all crazy busy these days. 

But guess what? It's not good for creativity or for the brain. [READ: How to Work, Love and Play like the Danes]

This is what scientists say:

1. Your brain can stay focused on anything, even an unpleasant task, if it knows it will last only 30 minutes. [TIP: Learn to stretch it to 90 mins?]

2. A positive mood heightens the chances for creative insight, as does taking out time to relax. [Do read: Five Easy Ways to Boost Your Confidence Every Day]

3. Scientists have found that people who take time to daydream score higher on tests of creativity. [These posts will be useful too: How to find peace within and How these Game Changers CHOSE to overcome their pain]

                                              [Image: Picjumbo]

Great Performers Work More Intensely, Take More Breaks

Florida State University psychologist Anders Ericcson's research studied young violinists at the prestigious Academy of Music in Berlin to study what it takes to be the best. These are his path-breaking findings:

1. It takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice at anything to become an expert.

2. The best violinists not only played more but they practiced more deliberately.

3.  They practiced when they were freshest and typically in no more than 90 minute increments for no more than 4 hours a day.

4.  The top violinists rested more.

So, what does it take to be the best?  It is not just about practice. 

It's about deliberate practice at 90 minute increments through the day and taking enough rest.

For me, personally, balancing my priorities within a limited time frame every day is a continual work in progress. I am learning to gradually improve every day.

What helps you to excel at what you do? Is it practice or something more?

[Research Inputs have been quoted from Brigid Schulte's book Work, Love and Play When No one has the Time.]


Vishnu said…
Good tips here, Swapna. I find rest and doing joyful things to be more conducive to creativity. Exercise and silence also helps for creativity. And you can't underestimate practice and habits to build up a skill - I always had a passion for writing but it didn't improve til I got serious about it. Also, I notice, the more time and effort you put into something, the more results you see. And interestingly, the more creative work you do, the more creative you get!