I believe in working smart – that if you get super focussed and in the zone you will maximise your productivity and achieve far more in that one hour than in three hours at 70% focus.
But I also believe in putting in the hours.
Elon Musk, creator of Tesla and Space X said, “Work like hell. I mean you just have to put in 80 to 100 hour weeks every week. [This] improves the odds of success. If other people are putting in 40 hour work weeks and you’re putting in 100 hour work weeks, then even if you’re doing the same thing you know that… you will achieve in 4 months what it takes them a year to achieve.”
Putting in the hours will give you a huge advantage. Everything in life takes time, so by doing extra hours you will get better, faster.
A really handy exercise to do is to map out your week in detail. In a spreadsheet list every activity you do and be as detailed as you can. Once you block out sleep and school and transit time and maybe your casual job, you will be left with a few dozen hours in the week.
You have many choices when it comes to what you do with those hours. Play video games, see friends, practice guitar.
Try to make it a rule to give at least 30% of them to your goal – whatever that is.
If your goal is to get in to University, give that 30% to studying. If your goal is to become an actor, give that 30% to creating youtube videos. If your goal is to become a singer, spend 30% of your free time making music.
Putting in the hours is what separates an expert from everyone else.