In my first few drum lessons through Stephen's Drum Shed, Stephen has talked about how important it is to have a plan for your practice time, to set goals, and to measure your progress. Before leaving for Vancouver, I worked out my first set of goals that I'll start in on as soon as I get back to Ontario.
I have also been thinking about how to apply this kind of deliberate practice to more of my life. It's an easy fit for my fitness goals, and I think I could work something out for my cooking goals as well.
I hadn't thought about how I could apply deliberate practice to my programming work until I read an inspiring post about practice plans for programmers that Katrina Owen shared on Twitter this morning. I think the post has a great insight about consuming blog posts, conference videos, etc. — if you're not working to apply what you've consumed, you're not really learning, you're entertaining yourself.
I have definitely been better about experimenting with new techniques and in giving myself programming homework, but it hasn't been very structured. I need to give deliberate programming practice some more thought, but I'm feeling inspired to figure it out!