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Don't let your skills lose their charge. A little a day keeps the skills in play.

Don’t let your skills lose their charge. A little a day keeps the skills in play.

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest (lit: most important) thing in life is to keep your mind young. 

Furuichi Tip:「太く短く」より「細かく長く」のほうが簡単!

Samurai Dose of Soy Translation:  A Little Bit Every Day Over Time is Better Than a Lot over Short Periods

I have been a reluctant writer but now I have found ways to turn writing into a game.   I have had a space at a writer’s loft for years and have written many pages now, but now it seems my writing has taken off in new and exciting ways.  (To me at least!)  Part of this is a new way in which I am managing time.  (See Samurai Time is on Your Side)  But I also play a little game called keeping the laptop battery charged.

I keep a laptop at a locker in the writer’s room.   Instead of going to the Writer’s Room and thinking I “have” to write, I try to think in terms of keeping the battery powered.   My goal is not to write the great American self-help book but rather to play the game of keeping the battery charged.   I show up early in the morning to keep the battery powered up by writing a little bit every day–usually no more than 30 minutes.

I find that I’ve written more productively in these little morning jaunts than I have on whole days that I’ve devoted to writing.  My mind is fresher, and by devoting a little time each day, I don’t completely lose track of thoughts and ideas that I would have lost with longer absences from writing.   The battery keeps its charge and doesn’t totally drain.

This goes along with Furuichi tip #2:   over time, sustained short study sessions are better than infrequent longer study sessions. In 「1日30分」を続けなさい!人性勝利の勉強法55 Learn to Win 古市幸雄, Furuichi explains that short 30 minute sessions can add up quickly and compares it to less frequent longer study sessions.   Not only do shorter sessions add up in time value, they also create motivation and memory retention opportunities.  Longer study sessions can bring up resistance, and feel like work.  Shorter study sessions can feel more like play.

Furuichi gets all mathematical with a little graph comparing someone who studies 30 minutes a day to someone who devotes 5 hours of study ten days of the year.   The infrequent/long study period dude accumulates 50 hours in a year.  Even while taking 65 days off, the 30 Minute Man accumulates 300 hours.

The Thirty Minute Woman also has momentum on her side.  Have you ever let your computer battery completely drain?  The screen looks weird and you have to do all kinds of song and dance to get it going again.   It’s the same with any skill or project you take on.  For example, since the summer I have stopped practicing and playing guitar.   Now, as I think of picking it up again, I feel a little resistance about facing all that I learned and have to relearn.    Maybe just five minutes a day will keep my guitar battery from draining.   Will I follow my own advice?   Stay tuned … on Samurai Mind Online!