The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything, Josh Kaufman [VIDEO]
Learn something new to improve your brain and happiness!
When you think about learning something, then you probably see the people who have mastered the skill and think about achieving their level of competence. However, you know that to get to the expert level, to be the best of the best, you need at least 10,000 hours of practice.
When you face that 10,000 hours, then it is easy to justify not doing anything at all. And as humans, our default action seems to be no action. Josh Kaufman challenges this view and posits that you can get pretty good at anything in about 20 hours.
As I wrote in my post Improve your life: Learn Something New you can decide to be pretty good at something and have fun with very little effort. You just have to get over the initial feeling of incompetence.
Here are the steps to effectively learn new skills:
1. Deconstruct the skill
Do the most important parts first!
Learning to play the guitar? The chords are the most important elements you should learn. In any skill, there are a few most basic elements. Find out what they are and focus on practicing only those. You are not after expert-level mastery, you want to get the feel for something in a month or so.
Learn just enough to self-correct.
Watch Youtube videos or read the beginners guide. Then focus on the basics you understand so that when you make a mistake, then you can spot it and correct yourself. The 10,000-hour rule talks about deliberate practice, which means you have to concentrate on the parts where you make the most mistakes.
Remove barriers to practice.
Put the daily practice on your calendar and do it every day. Maybe you have to skip a day, but don’t skip two days in a row. Create a learning habit for life. You can learn something for 20 hours and decide to move on, or you find the new skill interesting and continue to practice.
4. Practice for 20 hours
Practice at least 20 hours to get over the frustration barrier and remove the negative emotion. I have seen many people try something new for a few hours and then say “this is not for me” or “I’m not good at math (singing, working with my hands, writing, running, etc.)” Don’t be that person. Everything that’s worth something takes time.
20 hours is not that much. 40 minutes a day for one month and you’ll get the hang of pretty much anything. The first 20 hours let you test out new skills at a rate of 12 skills per year, and then you can make an informed decision if you want to continue to practice that skill or try something new.
Break anything up into 20-hours chunks
You can use the 20-hour learning cycle even if you are not a complete beginner anymore. You can break any part of the skill into sections and then focus on one unfamiliar section for 20 hours.
For example, when learning a foreign language, you can focus on a specific area and focus on that for the next 20 hours. If you are a foodie, you may want to learn as much as possible about food, restaurants, drinks, etc.
The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything . . . Fast! by Josh Kaufman that has pretty good reviews and seems to be worth reading.
Book Description: Forget the “10,000-hour rule”… what if it’s possible to learn any new skill in 20 hours or less?
Take a moment to consider how many things you want to learn to do. What’s on your list? What’s holding you back from getting started? Are you worried about the time and effort it takes to acquire new skills – time you don’t have and effort you can’t spare?
Research suggests it takes 10,000 hours to develop a new skill. In this nonstop world when will you ever find that much time and energy?
To make matters worse, the early hours of practicing something new are always the most frustrating. That’s why it’s difficult to learn how to speak a new language, play an instrument, hit a golf ball, or shoot great photos. It’s so much easier to watch TV or surf the web…
Listen to the Introduction…
In The First 20 Hours, Josh Kaufman offers a systematic approach to rapid skill acquisition: how to learn any new skill as quickly as possible. His method shows you how to deconstruct complex skills, maximize productive practice, and remove common learning barriers. By completing just 20 hours of focused, deliberate practice you’ll go from knowing absolutely nothing to performing noticeably well.
This method isn’t theoretical: it’s field-tested. Kaufman invites readers to join him as he field tests his approach by learning to program a Web application, play the ukulele, practice yoga, re-learn to touch type, get the hang of windsurfing, and study the world’s oldest and most complex board game.
Let us know in the comments what do you want to learn in 20 hours?
Here’s another video explaining the concept of a 20-hour learning tactic.
Change is the result of all true learning. ~~ Leo Buscaglia
Steps to rapidly acquire new skills
Here’s another step-by-step video on how to deconstruct a skill and then get the maximum out of your 20 hours of practice.
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