As usual, this photo has nothing to do with my article

10,000 (wasted) hours

Stop acting like you’re working

You’re wasting your time.

I see too many people “practicing” who seem to do little more than endlessly spin their wheels. They put in hours upon hours and don’t move an inch forward. A month later they can draw or paint just as poorly as before.

So what’s the deal? Aren’t 10,000 hours enough?

Maybe they are, but maybe that’s a slow way to get somewhere.

I put far less stock in how many hours someone works on something than the quality of the time they put in. An hour of concentrated, uninterrupted, mentally active effort can outdo a full day of mindless, scattered work.

I always saw classmates who boasted about the twenty or thirty hours of effort they had put into something. Something that could have been done in a handful of hours, I knew. It’s a false mark of pride among many to say that you’ve put more hours into your work. As if the quantity of hours will make up for the lack of quality.

I never worked as many hours as others. But when I worked… I worked. I was completely there, completely concentrated. I was mentally invested and active. I didn’t learn faster because I’m special. I’m not particularly “talented” (whatever that means). It’s simply that when I practiced, I practiced to get better, not just to say that I had practiced for X number of hours that day.

Stop counting the hours and start tracking your progress. No one cares how long you struggled to get better… only that you are better.

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