Mistake #9: Thinking Hours = Progress

This is a big one. Nearly every pro musician I’ve met has this mindset. And nearly every amateur musician complains about not having enough time to practice.

But there is good news! I’m here to tell you that ‘Hours = Progress’ is misleading. In fact, it is totally deluded.

Let’s consider the other topics we’ve covered in this guide. Creating a routine. Having clear outcomes. Having focus. Becoming self aware in various ways. Not wasting time on superfluous exercises.

These are what generate progress. Time, in itself, does not.

Of course, someone who practices for 6 hours will probably make more progress than someone who practices for one hour.

However, the relative amount of progress for the extra 5 hours will be far smaller than the first hour. The law of diminishing returns will apply.

Focus and consistency and the other points we have covered in this Guide are far more important than simply tallying up hours spent. The ‘hours = progress’ mindset is too simplistic and can be damaging. Damaging to your health. Damaging to your sanity. And ironically, damaging to your productivity in the long term.

If your goals are to be one of the best musicians in the world, yes it is true you will need to spend many hours each day refining your craft.

However if you want to be 80% as good as a world-class musician, you can spend 20% the amount of that time (remember the 80/20 rule?). And being 80% as good as a world-class musician is still pretty darn good in my books.

Your Assignment:

  • Take the focus off needing to neglect everything else in your life so that you can fit x amount of guitar practice hours in your day. Decide on a timeframe that is whatever your schedule permits and stick to that. Focus and consistency are the key.
  • Adopt the other strategies covered in this Guide and optimize whatever time you have, to get far more results in a shorter amount of time.

I’m glad that we had a chance to mythbust that one.

Last but certainly not the least, in the upcoming final topic of this Guide, I’m going to share with you the Number 1 strategy for ensuring that you make rapid progress on your instrument and use the time that you do have in the best possible way. See you in the final instalment!

~ Greg from FretDojo


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