Derived from a posting at the Study Hacks blog.
If you want to be a star it takes a lot of work.
But your level of performance does not merely depend on the number of years of experience you have under your belt.
You need to put in a lot of hours to become exceptional but hours alone won't do it.
The best chess players don't just put in time playing. They study the game for 5000 hours in their first 10 years of serious play. That's five times more than intermediate-level players.
What do they do? They review the past games of better players trying to predict each move in advance.
Deliberate Practice is a techique for skill improvement invented by Anders Ericcson.
It requires a lot of repetition and it's called "deliberate" because you don't go through your actions automatically with your mind on something else but with a conscious effort to improve.
It's a struggle because you are constantly doing something you cannot yet do well.
And you need some way to get feedback to see if your actions are coming closer to your goal or if they need adjustment.
Most people do not spend time on Deliberate Practice. They just try to do their jobs well. Regular work in a specific field will make you better but without deliberate practice it will not make you great.
You'll be an intermediate chess player not a grand master.
If you decide to engage in deliberate practice, however, there is a problem.
It's easy for an athlete or a dancer or a musician to know what to practice doing because their skills involve a standard set movements - a standard process.
Chess players learn to recognize the many standard problems a player will find himself facing and the solutions to them.
But, as mentioned, they also practice solving the problems before they see what the expert did.
And this is what anyone can do. Master the standard processes. Learn the standard solutions to standard problems. And practice creative problem-solving - problem solving on your own.