I’m not going to lie. There’s no shortcut.
In my experience, the only way to get better at something is to use the 3-step approach.
Step 1: Find something that you want to learn
This is crucial. It can be an added skill to your existing job. It can be a new hobby to help you relax. It can be something that you came across while doing research for a topic.
Does it excite you? Make you want to try with all your heart? Then, you’re on the right path.
Step 2: Do it every single day (to begin with)
I know how this sounds, because I hear that voice in your head: I don’t have the time for this!
Trust me, you do. If you really want to learn something AND get better at it, you will make the time for it.
Instead of turning on the TV to binge watch a series, spend those 30 minutes working on the new skill. Instead of scrolling through social media or Medium reading articles (like this one) sit down and work on that fun skill. Instead of getting on that phone call to gripe with a friend on how so-and-so was mean to you, get your butt in the chair and hone that skill.
Do this every single day for 6 months. (Yeah, told you it wasn’t going to be easy). You’ll find that it gets easier after the first 15 days.
Step 3: Test yourself
It’s no point working on something if it’s not actually helping you improve.
Use a testing ground, take a quiz, get an expert to weigh in on your progress.
And this bit is very important: LISTEN TO FEEDBACK!
I can’t emphasise this enough. A lot of us coast along saying, ‘Hey I love this and am doing it because it makes me happy.’ Yeah, that’s great. But if your goal is to actually get better at the task, then you need feedback.
You need people to both commend your work and critique it. You need the eyes of a detached observer.
Learn. Study hard and learn that this thing you’re doing doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, sweat, grit and endurance.
But, when the time comes when you can smile and see your progress, that moment is incredibly sweet!
Day 34 of Daily Writing