There is a science to how professionals can improve and raise their game to world class standards.
Deliberate and constant practice for improving oneself can go a long way in shaping your skills. Deliberate practice is something that is designed to improve a person’s competency and skills.
Several top Sports persons, musicians, athletes, and professionals devote countless hours to improve their performance and raise their standards to world class levels. Here we look at some interesting observations backed by science on how you can become world class in your field.
It takes long term commitment to excel. Have you heard of Navy SEAL training? These SEALs undergo the most rigorous training on earth. They spent countless hours working hard to improve their skills. The Navy Seals spend typically 75% of their time training and 25% on the field.
The expertise in any field requires hard earned skills and competency. Whether it is the Navy SEALs, athletes, writers or top computer programmers, they all spend countless number of hours on their craft.
They learn new skills, keep themselves updated and put in the necessary time to excel in their field. There is no shortcut to success, it comes with long-term commitment.
2. Checklists are Powerful
Harvard surgeon Atul Gawande analyzed the effectiveness of checklists. He revealed some fascinating facts about how checklists can be used to improve performance of medical practitioners. This is very true and applicable in most other professions as well.
“The proportion of patients who didn’t receive the recommended care dropped from seventy per cent to four per cent; the occurrence of pneumonias fell by a quarter; and twenty-one fewer patients died than in the previous year. The researchers found that simply having the doctors and nurses in the I.C.U. make their own checklists for what they thought should be done each day improved the consistency of care to the point that, within a few weeks, the average length of patient stay in intensive care dropped by half.”
More reason for you to create your own checklists to get things right in the first place.
What is the most important thing for improving oneself? It is the right pointers on where to focus for improvement. In other words, it is spending time discussing the things that went wrong or areas which need improvement.
Quick and negative feedback can go a long way in improving the things you’re doing. Even the Navy SEALs spend time discussing 90% of the time discussing the negative. What they can do better next time is high on priority.
Navy SEAL commander James Water says, “On almost every real world mission I was on – even the most successful ones – we spent 90% of our post-mission debrief focusing on what we did wrong or could have done better.”
4. See Problems as Opportunities.
The harder the problems you solve, the more valuable you become. Experts in any field are known by the level of their problems they can solve.
The best professionals have a positive mindset. When confronted with hard problems, they don’t view them as threats but opportunities .
Shawn Achor, Harvard researcher, points out in his findings, “If we could move people to view stress as enhancing, a challenge instead of as a threat, we saw a 23% drop in their stress-related symptoms. It produced a significant increase not only in levels of happiness, but a dramatic improvement in their levels of engagement at work as well.”
Stress and work pressure is not bad as long as you can use it to your advantage. People who are most productive and efficient at work use stress as a positive trigger to accomplish more.
5. Time constraint.
The quality of time and focus is critical to the work you produce. Any world class professional is quality obsessed and diligent in his work. It is about using the time in the most constructive manner to maximise what you can do with it.
In other words, you are able to utilise the time in building things that ultimately earn you the respect, admiration and accolades. Dan Coyle, bestselling author of The Talent Code, said:“We learn when we’re in our discomfort zone. When you’re struggling, that’s when you’re getting smarter. The more time you spend there, the faster you learn.”
Adding strict timelines focuses you to produce quality work faster.
6. Being Optimistic
Research has shown that optimistic persons are luckier than pessimistic persons. The optimistic individuals look at the bright side of every situation and challenge. It puts things in the right perspective.
Our brains are hardwired to perform the best when they are positive. The best professionals are able to consistently deliver, because they believe their efforts will lead to success. They are unwavering in their pursuits.
The optimistic people are grateful for the things they have, they often attract right opportunities due to their outlook and attitude. They also create a positive vibe in their teams and help other members to achieve more.
7. Ability to handle failures
Failures are often indicators of progress. Abraham Lincoln once said, “Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
The most successful professionals in any field are constantly trying to improve themselves. They push themselves out of their comfort zones. They handle challenging tasks, fail and persist until successful.