I was wowed listening to Josh Kaufman’s TEDxTalk titled, “The First 20 hours: How to Learn Anything.” He argues that it only takes 20 hours to acquire a new skill. And these are the steps to do so:
1. Deconstruct the skill. Decide exactly what you want to be able to do. Then break it into smaller skills. Pick the most important skill and practice it. For example, Kaufman wanted to learn to play the Ukulele but instead of approaching it as a whole, he researched and found that most songs are composed using only four keys. He then proceeded to practice these four keys for his 20 hours.
3. Remove barriers to practice such as distractions, the television, Facebook, etc. Also, avoid frustration and doubt as you press forward. You will start out feeling incompetent then fail sometimes, and finally, if you persevere, you will succeed.
4. Practice for about 45 minutes daily for about a month or 20 hours in total. Become competent. Celebrate!
Today, we have so many opportunities to learn new skills – how to play the piano, chess, tennis, computer programming language, Yoruba, parasailing, etc. Of course, there are varying levels of difficulty to learning anything. You don’t need 20 hours to learn to jump rope but you probably need it for the piano. So, what are you going to learn today? After all, it will only take you 20 hours.
For the video, check out The first 20 Hours by Josh Kaufman @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MgBikgcWnY