How to Learn Any Skill in 20 Hours

Alex Hamm March 15, 2015 2
How to Learn Any Skill in 20 Hours

Josh Kaufman is a voracious learner. As an author, it might as well be his job to be constantly learning new things to put into his books, by both reading/studying and running little life experiments.

When his daughter was born a few years ago, he ran into a problem that many new parents commonly do: lack of time.

Between his writing and his new family, he was constantly busy with minuscule tasks and struggled to find time to do what he loves most in the world…Learning new things! He loves learning all sorts of new skills such as different languages, instruments, and games. With very little spare time, his passion was slipping through his finger tips.

Josh realized that he only had a few options. He could a) Leave his family or neglect them b) Give up his passion for learning new hobbies and skills, or c) figure out how to maximize the little time he did have for learning new things.

Since options one and two were clearly preposterous, he decided to experiment with option number 3. He wanted to figure out if it were possible to learn FASTER, so he could master more skills in less time, and hence get the enjoyment of learning lots of new things while still spending the majority of his time on his writing or with his family.

The formula he outlines in the video below FASCINATES me. It is a strategy that Josh developed over a few years for learning any new skill very quickly. How quickly you ask? Josh says it only takes approximately 20 hours to get reasonably good at any given skill.

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Now the key words here are “reasonably good”. This means better than most people. He does not promise to make you a master at any skill you choose in less than 20 hours. But in a world that is more and more demanding on us, isn’t being reasonably good at a lot of things a very good asset? I’d say so.

Josh says, “You can then go on and master the skills you truly love”. But you can learn lots of new skills every year by applying 20 focused hours to learning each skill.

Think for a second what this could mean for your life or business. As an entrepreneur, you are literally required to be good at SO MANY things. Most entrepreneurs fail in that retrospect, and their business suffers. But what if you could quickly learn any skill you needed for your business? What if you could learn SEO, public speaking, or the art of negotiation, and become pretty good at each one in just a week or 2. That’s a powerful thought.

See Josh’s 19 minute Ted Talk below and learn how you too can learn literally anything in 20 hours…

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  1. avatar
    david March 15, 2015 at 2:10 pm - Reply

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  2. avatar
    Chris March 23, 2015 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    “Reasonable good”… now how might that be useful?

    Reasonable good generalists are too common to stand out or be worth hiring. Is there a hidden value?

    There might be. How about exercising “reasonable good” knowledge/skills to find out if you have the passion/talent to actually be “really, really good”.

    Think of it as a “minimally viable skill” that you’re testing… as part of your own personal “lean personal development”.

    Make any sense?

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