“When you are not practicing, remember, someone somewhere is practicing, and when you meet him he will win.”

Why you should hustle every day (and how Jerry Seinfeld did it)
5 days ago
Herbert Lui does marketing for clients such as Pivotal Labs, Busy Building Things, and Renegades. This post originally appeared on the Busy Building Things blog and was edited by Robleh Jama.What do software development hosting service GitHub, venture capitalist Fred Wilson, and entrepreneur Karen Cheng have in common? They all practise every day.
GitHub built a calendar with capabilities to track when users have contributed to their projects (using the Seinfeld chain method, mentioned later in the post). Fred Wilson writes every day. Karen Cheng learned to design in six months, and subsequently got a job at a great startup.
Why every day? Benefits of the spacing effect and 10 years of silence
Disrupto co-founder and These Days author Jack Cheng recommends working on something for no more, and no less, than 30 minutes per day. As it turns out, this method of consistent practise works with our long-term memory rather than against it.
Remember cramming for tests in school and college? The reason why so many of us are not able to remember any lessons from this time is because cramming is effective only for memorizing information that will be recalled several hours later.
A general method of mastery was introduced by Florida State University’s K. Anders Ericsson, whose “10,000 hour rule” is applicable to a wide range of activities.
For those unfamiliar, Ericsson observed that it generally takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practise for people to master their crafts; this principle applies from chess to design. This type of practise — popularized by Malcolm Gladwell in “Outliers” — makes it possible for us to harness and hone our talents and refine them into expert skills.
So, what exactly is deliberate practise? How do you make sure you’re doing it right? How do you keep doing it consistently?
How to practise effectively
Deliberate practise isn’t about mindlessly repeating a task. It requires constantly challenging your current abilities, and progressing to challenges that increase in difficulty.
Journalist John McPhee deliberately practised when he moved from profiling one subject per article to a more complex structure of four subjects in one article. Chessmaster Magnus Carlsenpractises against computers that regularly defeat humans at chess. NBA athlete Kobe Bryant doesn’t leave the court until he makes a few hundred shots every day.
Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. — Vince Lombardi
While these masters have accomplished some remarkable things, they’re human just as you and I are. It’s important to keep in mind that achieving your dream isn’t an impossibility; it just takes regular practise.
As Seth Godin writes for 99U, you can’t wait until you’re in the mood to practise; you have to do it regularly. You’ve probably been told this quite a few times before. How do you make sure you’re practising every day? Here are two practical tips:
Practical tips to enforce daily practise
A popular technique for creating good practise habits comes from Jerry Seinfeld, who advised software developer Brad Isaac to employ some old-fashioned materials:
“He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker.
He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day. ‘After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.’”
We’ve taken that advice to heart: in fact, we’ve created a calendar specifically dedicated to that concept. It’s a single 36” x 24” page that allows you to create a visually impressive record of your achievements that is simultaneously a spur to achieve more—a never-ending chain.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to test this method in a smaller chunk before investing in a whopper of a calendar, print out a monthly calendar and start building your chain.
It’s easy to practise on the days you feel like it; however, what about the many off days throughout the year? Merlin Mann shares his advice on how to get unstuck from procrastination: selecting a modest goal for the day, just to get started. He calls them dashes, and he identifies three types:
Time-based dash — Most jobs lend themselves to a time-based dash, so pick up a kitchen timer at your local drugstore. Choose an amount of time that gives you enough room to do something but that’s brief enough to seem completely unintimidating. For some reason, eight minutes seems to work well for most of my own dashes.
Unit-based dash — Alternatively, depending on the tasks you’ve been avoiding, you could go with a unit-based dash, during which you agree to plow through an arbitrary number of pieces associated with your project (such as pages to read, words to write, glasses to wash, etc.).
Combination dash — In many cases, the best solution is a combination dash, in which you get to stop the hated work whenever you reach either the time or unit goal first.
When in doubt, simply use a time-based dash. Don’t use your phone, find a timer of some sort (or invest in one), and promise yourself you’ll do just several minutes of your work.
While this may sound like a negligible difference, it’s a proven way to help build momentum for the rest of the day.
Closing thoughts
Rick Ross isn’t the only character who hustles every day; entrepreneurs, athletes, and artists from all around the world use this method to refine their craft. Don’t work only when you feel like working: put in some solid practice every day.
As basketball player Ed Macauley said, “When you are not practicing, remember, someone somewhere is practicing, and when you meet him he will win.”
Ensure you hustle everyday with a calendar from Busy Building Things.

Public holidays: as the wise Jayson Gaignard has called them, workdays with no meetings.
“When you are not practicing, remember, someone somewhere is practicing, and when you meet him he will win.”

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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