How I practice at what I do
by Tyler Cowen
- For those that don’t know, Tyler Cowen is: a Professor of Economics at George Mason University and also Director of the Mercatus Center. He received his Ph.d. in economics from Harvard University in 1987. He’s an author, podcaster, columnist, and has blogged at Marginal Revolution every day for almost fifteen years.
- “Learn like an athlete, knowledge workers should train” — Tyler Cowen
- Here’s how he trains:
- Write every day.
- Do serious reading each day.
- “After a talk, Q&A session, podcast — whatever — I review what I thought were my weaker answers or interventions and think about how I could improve them. I rehearse in my mind what I should have said.” — Tyler Cowen
- Try to crack cultural codes: Matters of culture that are central for understanding economic growth.
- Listen to highly complex music.
- Interact with very smart people who challenge you.
- Each day ask yourself, “what did I learn today?”
- “Hang around people who are good influences, including on your mental abilities. Peer effects really are quite strong.” — Tyler Cowen
- Watch very little television. No drugs or alcohol.
- Teach others.
- Physical exercise.
No matter what you do for work or any skills that you have, there’s always room for improvement. You’ve probably heard it countless times over, but practice shouldn’t feel like practice. It should feel like play. For Tyler, it seems like he’s having the most fun.
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