Deliberate Practice

I spent my weekend at Embrace UX, a user experience conference, which I went to because it related to my major in Computer Science. Throughout the conference I found myself making connections to knitting (oddly enough), particularly during a talk done by Verne Ho which was a talk I took a lot away from. He talked about deliberate practice, which relates to my studies but also to almost everything in my life: hobbies, relationships, work. I don’t want any aspect of my life to be mediocre, but that’s something I have to work on, I can’t just expect good things to happen by only putting the time in.

I often knit a pattern multiple times because I know I will like the pattern, I can knit the piece well and I know I will like the outcome of the project. I’m taking this safe route because it’s comfortable and I’m not really improving much, even though I’m putting tons of time in. I’m sure you’ve all heard that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something, but this weekend we talked about how this is only true if you’re spending those hours wisely, doing different and challenging projects as often as you can, getting help from mentors, asking questions, doing research, and taking risks.   

“Practicing something for 10,000 hours -or for any amount of time- is only worth a damn if you’re spending the entirety of that practice time completely focused on improvement” -Ryan Hamrick  

None of this is to say that you don’t need to put the time in, it’s a given that you have to. But you get out from your time what you put in, so learning to learn is one of the best things you can do.

Anyways this is something that’s been on my mind so I thought I’d share this  with you. What do you think? Is knitting a time for you to relax, and do you even want to think about learning while you do it? Sometimes that’s the case for me, but knitting something you didn’t think you were capable of making is so rewarding. I want to be able to knit any pattern I come across, and eventually I would like to be able to design anything I can dream of as well, so I will start my 10,000 hours of deliberate practice today.