How to learn anything in 20 hours

Speaker: Josh Kaufman

Length: 19:27

Rating 4 / 5

Summary

You can get to a passable level in a new skill with 20 hrs practise. You just need to

  1. Deconstruct the skill into its important parts. Reduce the skill to an achievable level
  2. Learn enough to know when you are on the right track
  3. Focus, push through the “Feeling stupid” phase of learning, and practise

Critique

A good idea, and presented well. His example of learning to play ukulele from its 4 most common chords was good. Also very inspiring – the idea to just learn what you want – you don’t need to become an expert.

I then went to think about what I want to learn. That’s when it gets tricky. It should definitely work to get to a beginners level for artistic or performance skills – eg music, drawing, photoshop, juggling, martial arts, language.

It’s harder to imagine for tasks which take longer to do or rely on more theoretical knowledge, where you can’t rely on feedback and practise so much. eg learning chemistry, electronics, building. I’d be keen to see an example or a wiki of more people deconstructing and performing a skill, to see if it can be done.

In the end though, his ‘can do’ attitude is inspiring and I recommend the talk.

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2 thoughts on “How to learn anything in 20 hours

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