Tag Archives | focus

#1 Key to the most effective guitar practice session you’ve ever had

Human psychology is a fascinating thing.

We say we want something but when there is an opportunity to actually work toward that goal, we do nothing.

We want to become the best guitar players humanly possible but when the time comes to walk the talk and put in the work we start looking for excuses.

We says things like: “If only I had more time…:”, “It’s too difficult…”, “I don’t have talent…”, “I can never be so good…”.

We are searching for an easy way out when we should toughen up and keep our nose to the grindstone.

Even though we understand that the only way how to become good at playing guitar is by deliberately working on things that we can’t do, we pretend that we can get there by half-assing our practicing.

I see it constantly with my private students and there is abundance of this mentality online.

Here are few quotes that I’ve found online:

“I play guitar every day, but usually late night, unplugged in front of the TV. Every night I watch some old Law and Order episode, then pop in my Star Trek DVDs and watch those. While I am watching, especially the Star Treks, which I know almost forward and backwards, I play my guitar.”

“I also play unplugged in front of the TV watching baseball, Sports Center or Lost. Run up and down a few scales in different keys, practice songs I know so I don’t forget them. And work on new songs.”

“I play un-plugged while surfing & watching TV.”

Don’t get me wrong – there is nothing bad about “practicing” your guitar in front of the TV and watching Seinfeld reruns. I am not here to judge people. Do whatever you like.

You can watch all the TV in the world but don’t complain that you are not as good as you wish to be. And don’t tell me that if you just had more talent or more time then everything would be different.

That’s bullshit.

Things will be different only if you change your attitude towards practicing your guitar.

Let me put this straight:

You are not good because you don’t take your practicing seriously.

And the same is true for me:

I am not as good as I wish to be not because I lack talent but because for very long time I was not willing to give what it takes to become a good guitar player.

I believe that mastering the art of practicing is really the first and probably most important step for your success as a guitar player and musician.

Effective guitar practice is no accident. There is a key to massively improve the way you practice guitar.

Do you know what that is? Continue Reading →

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Protect your time, energy and attention

8222922317_8e178d7f6a_bDid you make your New Year’s resolution? Did you set your goals for 2013? Great, so did I. And as you probably know, that was the easy part. Now is the time to make them come true.

I spent last week of 2012 thinking about all my accomplishments, failures and challenges of the last year. I have also created a plan for this upcoming year – all the things that I want to accomplish professionally and personally.
I spent a lot of time visualizing how do I want 2013 to look like. I did my best to really think things through to make this year the best year of my life. I have my plan and now I need to start working towards making it a reality.

As I was thinking about last year’s failures and disappointments, I’ve identified few critical things that I have to change in order to get where I want to. And one thing that I really have to work on is getting much more strategic when it comes to using my focus and attention.

“People don’t understand that attention is a finite resource, like money. Do you want to invest your cognitive cash on endless Twittering or Net surfing or couch potatoing? You’re constantly making choices, and your choices determine your experience.” Winifred Gallagher

The question is: How do I want to spend my limited resources of time, energy and focus? Do I want to spend it on meaningless stuff or do I want to make my life remarkable?

And for this year I chose the second option. If I want to make my dreams come true, I have to use all of my limited resources to the best of my ability. And since we are creatures of habits I plan to slowly build my habits, so they will serve me on my journey.

Here are few things that I started to use in my day-to-day life:

1. Doing the most important stuff as the first thing in the morning.
2. Turning off all the distractions when I am working or practicing – internet and cell phone in my case.
3. Creating an inspirational and well-organized working environment – I have built my first standing desk to boost my productivity. It looks something like this.
4. Organizing all documents (paper or electronic) to stop wasting time searching for something when I need it (I still need to do some more work here. The main reason why I like to organize my stuff is because organizing is all about creating space. Once you organize all your stuff, you have free space for unleashing your creativity.)

Here are few things that I plan to implement (or improve) in following weeks:

1. Creating a detailed schedule for everyday
2. Automatizing processes that I can. Stop wasting my time doing things that can be done automatically.
3. Being more intentional – stop living my life on auto-pilot (I know this is a huge one, so I will write an article in a near future about how successful I am with that.)
4. Strict separation of work and life or in other words:

“Never half ass two things. Whole ass one thing.”  Ron Swanson

The less choices you’ve got to make about things that are not so important, the more energy and attention you’ve got for things that matters. If you do your thinking and planning in advance you have more time for doing, when you are in your peak state.

Every New Year’s resolution will fail if we do not remind ourselves daily what do we want to accomplish. New Year is not magical. It is just a good time to start something that we put off for so long. In order to succeed we have to make our path crystal clear. New Year’s motivation will eventually fade away if we do not create habits and rituals that keep us on track. But once we get our momentum, big things can happen.

Protect your time, energy and attention. Use them to make your life the best. I will do the same.

 

Photo by: marsmet546

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