The 80/20 approach vs. 10,000 hours rule

  • The 80/20 method: You can get 80 % proficiency in a subject in about 6 - 12 months.
  • The 10,000-hour rule: You can become an expert at something if you spend 10,000 hours of deliberate practice on it. 

To go from zero to 80% (good enough) requires a different approach than that needed to get from 80% - 99% (world-class). The last 20% also requires a different level of commitment. For instance, Stephen King spent 6 - 8 hours daily for ten years before he succeeded as a commercial writer.

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