01. Make your practice environment friendly.
Eliminate all distracting things around you. It can be a cell phone next to you, your opened web browser, a mess around you. In order to get the best possible results, you need to be focused during your practice sessions. In my perfect practice room there is a guitar and an amp (obviously), a table, a chair, some sheets or a computer with exercises and... that's all.
If you have a room in your house which you can arrange this way, I strongly recommend doing it. You would be surprised how big difference it makes when there are only a few necessary things around you. This way you prevent your attention from wandering. If you have ever experienced problems with concentration while practicing and caught yourself thinking about other things, this would definitely help you. If you cannot have a separate practice room, rearrange your current one eliminating as many things as you can from your sight. The cleaner your environment is, the cleaner and more focused your mind will be.
02. Make sure nobody interrupts you.
Interruptions are very damaging to your focus. If you live with other people, tell them how important it is to you to stay focused while you practice guitar and that it is a very demanding task. Ask them not to disturb you (unless it's an emergency). Most things can probably wait 30-60 minutes more until you finish your practice session. Don't expect them to stop bothering you overnight - just make sure you keep asking them nicely not to do that and they will stop doing it over time.
03. Prepare everything before practicing.
When you sit down to practice, make sure to have everything prepared - your equipment (so you only need to turn it on) and exercises. Looking for them may take a few minutes which you could already use for practicing.
This is also connected with preparing your practice schedule. When you pick up your guitar without knowing exactly what to practice, it's very likely that you start playing the things you enjoy the most. Of course, having fun playing your instrument is very important. Just make sure you find a balance between enjoyable playing and focused practice. Not keeping a practice schedule can be very dangerous over time because some skills which are necessary for you to achieve your playing goals might not be your favorite ones. While not having them in a clear and precise schedule, you let yourself make excuses for not working on these areas and you shoot yourself in a foot.
04. Log everything you practice.
Keeping your practice log is beneficial on many different levels. First of all, it is an undeniable proof of your progress. When the going gets tough, you need to find effective ways to motivate yourself. There are periods when you might feel that you don't progress anymore. Usually what happens next is a significant step forward and then there is another temporary lull. To keep your motivation high during these periods of time, you need atangibleevidence of your ability to progress. Looking back at your past history of progress is a perfect motivational kick.
You can keep your log on a piece of paper or in a computer file. Make sure to keep track of what exactly you practice, along with metronome tempos (it applies to exercises you practice with a metronome) and duration of practice. Personally, I also add the goal of a certain practice session (e.g. playing the exercise 1BPM faster, slowing down and focusing on playing cleanly, etc.).
If you are interested in the topic of practicing guitar and motivating yourself to more effective and efficient practice, make sure toread more guitar articles
on my website.