It seems to me that we are busier and busier, feeling more and more out of control, and maybe a little less and less productive.
I have selected Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool as my selection of the July First Friday Book Synopsis. Mr. Ericsson is most known for the 10,000 hour rule, and this book is about the value of, (make that the necessity of), “deliberate practice.” I have heard Mr. Ericsson reviewed on NPR; Bob Morris has written one of his typically good and useful reviews of this book (click here to read his review), and… I think I need to read this is book for …me; my own productivity and skill development.
And, available beginning tomorrow is the highly anticipated Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. (I think I first read of her work in How Children Succeed by Paul Tough).
These books, and other popular volumes like Drive by Daniel Pink and Deep Work by Cal Newport and… all seem to say this:
We live in an era that requires great intrinsic motivation. The drive has to come from “within,” and then with that drive must come tangible skill development and great focus on the task at hand.
These are not new ideas to me, or any of us. And there is no shortage of books that help us grasp the value and importance of developing such “Motivation 3.0; autonomy, mastery, and purpose” (Drive, Daniel Pink).
But, though we have read about it, heard about it, thought about it, we are still not all that much of a highly intrinsically motivated, dedicated to deliberate practice generation.
So, what about you? When you are at work, are you fully working – with full focus? And, are you getting better at the skills you use at work because of your careful cultivation of deliberate practice?
I think the reason that there are so many good books dealing with this need is simple – we all need to work on this. And, especially, we need to work on this in an era when so many of us are spending our time in self-directed work.
Maybe you need to work on this.
I know I do.