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Do you want to reach the next level on any of your skills?
Or to be even more productive?
I have a little hack to share with you. Simple but powerful I believe.
It stands in a few words: go the extra mile.
And start being excellent, not average.
Let’s discuss that further.
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What does it mean to “go the extra mile”?
Let’s say you are practicing a skill or learning a new one. Or simply working on a task at work.
You start your session and you do some work.
But at some point, you start to get tired or bored.
You want to give up and you say to yourself:”Enough for today, I’ll work more tomorrow”.
We all do this, right?
But what happens when you do this?
You tend to stay in your comfort zone. You keep working within the usual range of your abilities.
Thus, you don’t improve that much. You don’t grow so fast.
You stay average.
Don’t you want to stay average, do you?
What I suggest is that instead of stopping, you push further.
You go through this moment when you just want to give up.
You keep going until you get something more done or you make it better.
You go the extra mile.
It can be any aspect that makes this work or practice session better than the previous one.
For example, it can be:
- Getting more done: write one more paragraph, read one more page…
- A more polished result: improve your presentation design, use bullet points to make your main message stand out.
- Adding something extra: include an illustration which enhances your report, add a video to your web page
- Doing it faster or for longer: write this email in 5 minutes, not in 15. Spend 2 hours contacting prospects, instead of one.
Or all of these!
This is not exhaustive and only example. Find out what would make a difference in what you do.
Does it apply only to work?
Even if we think about this in the context of work usually, it applies much more broadly.
This concept applies to any skill or activity, from sport to work or even relationships.
A quick example with the latter.
Instead of only inviting your partner to a restaurant, you can also invite him or her for a movie. Or buy a little gift, flowers.
Or make an extra effort on your outfit. The little extra something that will make your partner feel more special and spend a special evening.
You can make a difference in your life now by going the extra mile.
Why going the extra mile?
Because it is the exact moment when you leave your comfort zone and start to extend your skill to the next level.
You will even feel a new energy and motivation coming after a while.
This will lead to a deep focus mode where you will likely do much more than ever.
Instead of going the extra mile, you might go for 5 or 10 more.
Let’s push the metaphor a bit further (the extra mile!).
Think of it as if you were cycling up a hill.
If you push yourself to reach the summit, you will benefit from the accumulated energy. Once you pass this point, you will feel your speed increasing and that you need less energy to keep going.
You will have improved your skills further than ever, produced much more.
More than that, you will develop your deep work abilities.
By cultivating the habit of pushing the limit where you drop, you will master this deep focus and continuous skill.
You can end up being able to work for several hours with all your attention focused on your work, on practicing your skill.
You will also gain some self-confidence because you will have discovered that you can do more than you thought you were capable of.
You will be more conscious of your potential and how much you can grow.
An extra benefit is that since most people will stop at the “give up” moment, you will grow faster than them. And go further.
And master your skills at a higher level.
It will make the difference between you and them in this competitive world.
Next time you have a practice session and you reach that “give up” point. Focus on one single thought: go the extra mile.
Convince yourself that you can do a bit more. And a bit more.
You will switch to another more, to the next level.
I have applied this technique when writing this article. I wanted to stop at some point.
But I decided that I could go a bit further and help you even more. Share more benefits to make it more valuable. Describe a bit more how it works.
You see, when you go the extra mile, you bring more value into the world. You make it a better place.
Don’t be average, be excellent.
So now it is your turn to do the work!
Try it and let me know how it goes in the comments!
A little disclaimer before you leave: apply this technique in a sensible way. Don’t push yourself until you burn out! Keep your mind and your body healthy!