Most learners hit the “OK Plateau”, a point beyond which they do not improve. The best learners circumvent this through “deliberate practice”, a way of practice articulated by the leading researcher on expertise, Anders Ericsson. Here is what it consists of, in the (paraphrased) words of the chief (and quasi-official) popularizer of Ericsson’s work, Geoff Colvin:
- It’s designed specifically to improve performance.
- It can be repeated a lot.
- Feedback on results is continuously available.
- It’s highly demanding mentally.
- It’s hard.
- It requires goals.
- It requires self-regulation.
- After the work [it requires] self-evaluation.
Geoff Colvin. 2008-10-21. Why Talent is Overrated. CNN Money
Geoff Colvin. 2008. Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else. Portfolio
Ericsson, Anders et al. 1993. The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance. Psychological Review