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First 20 Hours by J. Kaufman
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First 20 Hours (edition 2014)

by J. Kaufman (Author)

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368870,087 (3.23)1
Education. Psychology. Self-Improvement. Nonfiction. HTML:Forget the 10,000 hour ruleâ?? what if itâ??s possible to learn the basics of any new skill in 20 hours or less?
 
Take a moment to consider how many things you want to learn to do. Whatâ??s on your list? Whatâ??s holding you back from getting started? Are you worried about the time and effort it takes to acquire new skillsâ??time you donâ??t have and effort you canâ??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. Thatâ??s why itâ??s difficult to learn how to speak a new language, play an instrument, hit a golf ball, or shoot great photos. Itâ??s so much easier to watch TV or surf the web . . .
 
In The First 20 Hours, Josh Kaufman offers a systematic approach to rapid skill acquisitionâ?? 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 youâ??ll go from knowing absolutely nothing to performing noticeably well.
 
Kaufman personally field-tested the meth­ods in this book. Youâ??ll have a front row seat as he develops a personal yoga practice, writes his own web-based computer programs, teaches himself to touch type on a nonstandard key­board, explores the oldest and most complex board game in history, picks up the ukulele, and learns how to windsurf. Here are a few of the sim­ple techniques he teaches:
  • Define your target performance level: Fig­ure out what your desired level of skill looks like, what youâ??re trying to achieve, and what youâ??ll be able to do when youâ??re done. The more specific, the better.
  • Deconstruct the skill: Most of the things we think of as skills are actually bundles of smaller subskills. If you break down the subcompo­nents, itâ??s easier to figure out which ones are most important and practice those first.
  • Eliminate barriers to practice: Removing common distractions and unnecessary effort makes it much easier to sit down and focus on deliberate practice.
  • Create fast feedback loops: Getting accu­rate, real-time information about how well youâ??re performing during practice makes it much easier to improve.
Whether you want to paint a portrait, launch a start-up, fly an airplane, or juggle flaming chain­saws, The First 20 Hours will help you pick up the
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Member:piers.rocks
Title:First 20 Hours
Authors:J. Kaufman (Author)
Info:Penguin Random House UK (2014)
Collections:Your library
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The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything . . . Fast! by Josh Kaufman

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
The main idea is to breakdown a skill into sub-parts, learn the most crucial elements, and keep practicing. It zooms in more on the steps (briefly) without that much background on the rationale behind it. You'll learn:
• What is rapid skill acquisition, and how it differs from traditional education, learning, or training;
• How to use 4 steps (with additional learning principles) to learn a new skill within 20 hours of focused, deliberate practice; and
• Practical examples to show how to apply the method across a range of physical and cognitive skills, from yoga to programming and wind-surfing.
Book summary at: https://readingraphics.com/book-summary-the-first-20-hours/ ( )
  AngelaLamHF | Mar 31, 2024 |
Like many people, I have a ton of skills I would like to learn. In fact, the list is overwhelming. I know I’ll never have the time to tackle even a fraction of them. So I’ve been focusing on the things that interest me the most: blogging, painting, drawing, scrapbooking, card making, journaling, writing, baking. But even that pared down list seems overwhelming. I don’t have 10,000 hours to dedicate to each one of those pursuits. But then again, I also don’t want to become a world-class expert in any of them. I just want to be good — okay, maybe really, really good. So imagine my excitement when I came across this book. I can get really good in just 20 hours? REALLY? Wow. Awesome! Unfortunately, if it seemed that the premise of this book was too good to be true… well, it was. The first couple of chapters are wonderful. The author describes his theories, and they make sense. But after that brief introduction, he goes in depth into his own interests: yoga, programming, windsurfing, etc. I assumed he’d be talking about how he learned these skills, but instead, it’s almost as though he’s trying to teach us those skills. The content is extremely dry, and not helpful at all if you’ve got other skills you have to learn and have no interest at all in, say, learning to play Go. I was very disappointed. Such a great premise - so poorly executed. ( )
  Elizabeth_Cooper | Oct 27, 2023 |
Good motivation to start quickly and keep moving when trying new things ( )
  tgraettinger | Dec 14, 2022 |
Josh Kaufman, author and a learning junkie, teaches how to learn a new skill fast in his book, The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything . . . Fast! He introduced himself as someone who has an overwhelming, long list of projects and experiments he'd rather do by himself for the sake of learning.

He went on talking about the differences between skill acquisition and learning; skill acquisition and training; and, skill acquisition and education and credentialing.

According to him, rapid skill acquisition has 5 major steps: choose a skill you want to do, separate the skill into the smallest possible parts, identify the most important parts, remove distractions, and practice the most important parts for the first 20 hours.

Plus and Minuses

+ The steps of rapid skill acquisition are easy to understand. He demonstrated the application of these steps by acquiring skills in doing yoga, programming, touch typing, playing Go, playing the ukulele, and windsurfing. At the end of every chapter, he provided the blueprint of the method he used which is really helpful. You can go back to it every time you plan to learn a new skill. Aside from the 5 major steps, he added other important things in his method such as setting the target performance level that one wanted to achieve, doing research to understand the other aspects of the skill, gathering critical tools, talking to practitioners, and considering inversions which actually thinking the worst that could happen if you don’t do the subskills correctly.

- Three chapters out of nine contain the essential concepts of rapid skill acquisition; the rest, the author’s personal experience in acquiring six skills mentioned above-- the skills which I am not really interested in doing.I understood the part where he discussed what yoga is, its history, how it evolves into modern yoga, so on and so forth. When I reached the programming part, I was reading Greek. All the more when I read about the Japanese board game, Go. However, for me, the saving grace is the summary of the method he employed which I could use when I try a new skill.

- Kaufman tends to be repetitive in some pages. He mentioned his book would help readers learn a new skill fast four times in the introduction.

- There was a slight typographical error. I got confused when he said that there are four major steps but when I took a closer look, it was actually five.

All in all, I still learned something from this book but it was not a good read for me. The author could’ve provided a space where I could apply the steps he taught to make the learning experience more meaningful. A free worksheet would have been great. If you want to know the basics in rapid skill acquisition, you can watch the author’s TedTalk on Youtube. ( )
  SunBox | May 26, 2021 |
This book doesn't present a revolutionary secret for learning skills. What it does is collect insights that seem obvious, but are almost always overlooked, with clear observations, and describe a system for employing those insights to make the process of acquiring new skills more predictable, and for making success in skill acquisition more repeatable. In that respect, it provides an excellent starting point for others to improve their approach to developing their own repertoire of skills.

The lengthy case study examples toward the end are not exactly required reading, and many people might find them tedious and unnecessary -- even wasted space. I think they serve a useful set of examples for how the process works in practice, to help readers put what advice the author offers into practice, but not all examples are likely to offer much value to any given reader. Pick and choose what to read, perhaps skim these sections to see if they might offer insight into things you're having difficulty really absorbing from the earlier explanations for how to go about systematically acquiring a skill; ignore what doesn't offer any utility in your own life. ( )
  apotheon | Dec 14, 2020 |
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Education. Psychology. Self-Improvement. Nonfiction. HTML:Forget the 10,000 hour ruleâ?? what if itâ??s possible to learn the basics of any new skill in 20 hours or less?
 
Take a moment to consider how many things you want to learn to do. Whatâ??s on your list? Whatâ??s holding you back from getting started? Are you worried about the time and effort it takes to acquire new skillsâ??time you donâ??t have and effort you canâ??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. Thatâ??s why itâ??s difficult to learn how to speak a new language, play an instrument, hit a golf ball, or shoot great photos. Itâ??s so much easier to watch TV or surf the web . . .
 
In The First 20 Hours, Josh Kaufman offers a systematic approach to rapid skill acquisitionâ?? 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 youâ??ll go from knowing absolutely nothing to performing noticeably well.
 
Kaufman personally field-tested the meth­ods in this book. Youâ??ll have a front row seat as he develops a personal yoga practice, writes his own web-based computer programs, teaches himself to touch type on a nonstandard key­board, explores the oldest and most complex board game in history, picks up the ukulele, and learns how to windsurf. Here are a few of the sim­ple techniques he teaches: Define your target performance level: Fig­ure out what your desired level of skill looks like, what youâ??re trying to achieve, and what youâ??ll be able to do when youâ??re done. The more specific, the better. Deconstruct the skill: Most of the things we think of as skills are actually bundles of smaller subskills. If you break down the subcompo­nents, itâ??s easier to figure out which ones are most important and practice those first. Eliminate barriers to practice: Removing common distractions and unnecessary effort makes it much easier to sit down and focus on deliberate practice. Create fast feedback loops: Getting accu­rate, real-time information about how well youâ??re performing during practice makes it much easier to improve. Whether you want to paint a portrait, launch a start-up, fly an airplane, or juggle flaming chain­saws, The First 20 Hours will help you pick up the

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