Carrying on from my post a couple of weeks ago about finding time to practice (and just about anything else you need or want to do), this post from Bulletproof Musician illustrates some of the downsides of being rushed.
The Iowa Gambling Task
The article goes into more detail (definitely check it out), but basically an experiment was conducted where two groups tried to complete the same task – one group was told they should have plenty of time to complete the task, and one group was told they probably would not have enough time.
It’s probably not a surprise which group did better, but what really surprised me was how big the difference was.
Yikes – no wonder feeling stressed for time or hurried in a practice session seems to make mistakes even more likely (and makes the magnitude of each mistake seem 10 times bigger).
While there is no ultimate solution, the best way to mitigate these kinds of problems is by preparation and planning. Planning when you’re going to practice, what you’re going to practice, and how you’re going to practice ahead of time can all help you make the best use of the time you’ve got. These kinds of things can easily be added onto your practice schedule, so the information is available right in your calendar!