What Malcolm Gladwell Forgot to Tell You


You probably have heard the stat that Malcolm Gladwell popularized in his book, Outliers, that 10,000 hours of practice will make you an expert. 🤓

You may have also heard that deep expertise is what is required to be truly successful in whatever you do: get super good at something and then build a professional brand around that. 💪

And while this advice isn't wrong, it leaves out an essential insight:

Deep expertise from 10,000 hours of practice can only be successfully realized if it's combined with 12,500 hours of deliberate downtime and 30,000 hours of sleep. 💤

Ok, the sleep insight is not very new and I don't need to remind you here. 

But have you considered how much deliberate downtime you're giving yourself?

It should be 25% more than what you spend on work. 50 hours for every 40 hour work week - a solid 3.5 hours every day during the week plus a full weekend.

While you might feel like you’re not being productive, during deliberate downtime your brain is actually busy at work: processing information, connecting the dots, creating ideas. 💡

If you want to achieve anything that is important to you - including pivoting your career - you have to first carve out time for deliberate downtime and then vigilantly protect it. 

That's why this is the very first thing I work on with my clients. It's a pillar of career success and happiness.

And you can start this yourself today: 

1. ☀️  Identify what downtime activities give you energy. This can really be anything that isn't work: talking to friends or family, reading a book, going on a walk, playing the guitar, drawing. I always recommend you have a list of things that aren't Netflix. 

2. 📅  Block out your deliberate downtime on your calendar to do these activities. This can be a combination of non-work hours in the morning, during the day, and in the evening.

3.Ninja on Google Android 11.0 December 2020 Feature Drop Protect it like a ninja. This can be hard. You will have to practice saying no and putting yourself first - in service of making your working hours as great as they can be.

Try this out and see how it goes. You will inevitably fall off the wagon at first but the more you practice, the better you'll get and ultimately the more effective your working hours will be. 


If you want to discuss how to structure your time to make space for exploring a new career path, I offer a free career strategy call.