Look at what research says about how we learn, and how we learn quickly. How long does it take to acquire a new skill 10,000 hours, I am never going to be able to learn anything new, ever again. But that’s not true. So 10,000 hours just to give you a rough order of magnitude 10,000 hours is a full time job for five years. It’s a long time. So what’s up, there’s there’s something kind of funky going on here. what the research says and what we expect and have experiences. They don’t match up. The 10,000 hour rule came out of studies of expert level performance. There was a professor at Florida State University, his name is k Anders Ericsson. He’s the originator of the 10,000 hour rule. And where that came from, is he studied professional athletes, world class musicians, chess grandmasters, all of these ultra competitive folks and ultra high performing fields. And he tried to figure out how long does it take to get to the top of those kinds of fields. And what he found is the more deliberate practice, the more time that those individuals spent practicing the elements, whatever it is that they do, the more time you spend, the better you get. And the folks at the tippy top of their fields, put in around 10,000 hours of practice. But that last statement, it takes 10,000 hours to learn something. It’s not true. It’s not true. 20 hours. That’s it, you can go from knowing nothing about any skill that you can think of want to learn a language. Want to learn how to draw, want to learn how to juggle flaming chainsaws, you put 20 hours of focused, deliberate practice into that thing, you will be astounded, astounded at how good you are 20 hours is doable, that’s about 45 minutes a day, for about a month. Even skipping a couple days here and there. 20 hours isn’t that hard to accumulate. Now, there’s a method to doing this. Because it’s not like you can just start fiddling around for about 20 hours and expect these massive improvements. There’s a way to practice intelligently. There’s a way to practice efficiently, that will make sure that you invest those 20 hours in the most effective way that you possibly can. And here’s the method it applies to anything.
The first is to deconstruct the skill, decide exactly what you want to be able to do when you’re done. And then look into the skill and break it down into smaller and smaller pieces. Most of the things that we think of as skills are actually big bundles of skills that require all sorts of different things, the more you can break apart the skill, the more you’re able to decide what are the parts of the skill that will actually help me get to what I want. And then you can practice those first. And if you practice the most important things, first, you’ll be able to improve your performance in the least amount of time possible.
The second is learn enough to self correct. So get three to five resources about what it is you’re trying to learn could be books, could be DVDs, could be courses could be anything. But don’t use those as a as a way to procrastinate on practice. I know I do this, right? Get like 20 books about the topic. It’s like, I’m gonna start learning how to program a computer when I complete these 20 books. No, that’s procrastination. What you want to do is learn just enough that you can actually practice and self correct or self edit as you practice. So the learning becomes a way of getting better at noticing when you’re making a mistake. And then doing something a little different.
The third is to remove barriers to practice, distractions, television, internet, all of these things that get in the way of you actually sitting down and doing the work. And the more you’re able to use just a little bit of willpower to remove the distractions that are keeping you from practicing, the more likely less likely you are to actually sit down and practice right And the fourth is to practice for at least two Want the hours. Now most skills have what I call a frustration barrier, you know, the grossly incompetent knowing it part.
That’s really really frustrating. We don’t like to feel stupid. And feeling stupid is a barrier to us actually sitting down and doing the work. So, by pre committing to practicing whatever it is that you want to do for at least 20 hours, you will be able to overcome that initial frustration barrier and stick with the practice long enough to actually reap the rewards. All right, that’s it. It’s not rocket science, four very simple steps that you can use to learn anything.