A Quick Question About Practice

When you practice something in a disciplined way on occasion you may experience interruptions in your practice. I’m talking about the usual stuff that happens to everybody: you go on vacation for a week, you get a bad case of the flu and spend a week recovering, you are injured, life happens. So what happens when you return to your practice?

I know that in my case there is a very noticeable degradation in my performance. I lose ground and I have to spend time re-attaining the level of performance I once had prior to the interruption. Does that same phenomenon happen for scrum teams? Do we go away for Christmas break and come back into the office and…suck? Do we need some time to get ourselves back up to our prior competence levels? How does that work for you?

2 Responses to A Quick Question About Practice

  1. Jamie says:

    That’s a good question… I can have long breaks from Rugby and Programming – two things I have been doing for years – and my practices never change.

    But any new skills or things I was working on can slip and I realise I’ve not quite got it.

    The most important thing though, if that a break restores enthusiasm, and the distance helps you get away from the coalface, to put things back in perspective. We can perform on demand but it’s hard to enthusiastic on demand… maybe peak performance is a sign we need a break.

    • Tom Perry says:


      Thanks for your perspective! I agree that it’s often the new skills that suffer from the time off. One thing I wanted to note: I don’t mean to say that we should all keep our noses to the grindstone. That’s just a recipe for burnout. We all need time off.
      My question was intended to be a thought experiment. How would I know what things I need to practice the most? Perhaps they are those things that suffer the most from absence.

      Thanks again for your great feedback!

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