When were you last worried about the effect of technology on your memory? I’m pretty sure my pub quiz prowess has dipped since having google in my pocket (other search engines are available!). Remembering things means learning them, and that means meaningful repetition.
Repetition isn’t cool. It’s boring. It’s easy to lose your sense of purpose when you’re having to repeat things.
Repetitive jobs are seen as mindless. Memorising facts for exams seems to take a million cups of tea. Having to tell someone the same piece of information more than a couple of times can feel frustrating.
You could say the same for hard work. Annoying but an unavoidable fact of life, however hard you try.
But repetition is necessary for us to learn. Once again, we come back to simple facts: nothing that is worth having comes without some sort of cost, and financial or dishonest shortcuts won’t get us there. The longest lasting gains come from hard work and from repetition.
But no two repetitions are exactly the same: you can never step in the same river twice. Now might be a good time to check back to last week’s reflection on structure and flow. The oxygen in our lungs is never the same for two breaths, and so every time you experience something, you have an opportunity. An opportunity to pay atttention and to learn more. To adapt and to grow.
Maybe repetition isn’t as boring as we think it is. Time to get curious.
Claire Eadington geeks out on workflow management, performance and wellbeing. Claire’s TEDx talk about barriers to performance for exceptional women kicked off the 2017 TEDxWhitehallWomen event in London.
Claire writes a weekly blog, Self Curious, on NPW’s website.
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