How to learn anything fast – Josh Kaufman
In this video, Josh Kaufman talks about the key points from his two year research and the bestselling book “The First 20 Hours”. He explains how any skill can be learnt in 20 hours. We have a mindset that acquiring éxpertise’ or ‘mastery’ requires thousand of hours of hard work, but the author disputes this belief, outlining an approach to learn things quickly. On his website, he also provides case studies of learning Yoga, programming and other skills using his technique.
Here are the 4 steps he describes in this video to learn things fast:
1. Decide what you want to learn
In the beginning, Josh asks you to set a “target level of performance”. He says deciding exactly what we want to do enhances chances of success. He asks you to be clear about what success will look like at the end, or the level of proficiency that you want to acquire.
2. Deconstructing a skill
Next, he asks to deconstruct a skill or break a big skill down into smaller subskills. For example, playing golf involves a number of subskills such as improving the drive, putting etc. Most large skills are “bundled” or made up of smaller skills. Knowing the combination is important. In this step, Josh also asks to identify the most critical subskill that are important to learn. This step would also involve quick research to get a good overview of skills.
3. Removing barriers to practice
In this step, Josh advises to remove barriers to practice. He asks to eliminate distractions like TV or phone. He also asks to create an environment more conducive to learning, for example, placing the guitar where it is easily accessible. The set up must make it easy to practice.
4. 20 hours of deliberate practice
Next step is actually practicing for 20 hours. They can be broken down into manageable chunks of time, for example 40 minutes of practice for one month. This also involves getting quick feedback and making adjustments. Focusing on the core subskills are important as they would take the learning curve up quickly.