Learn more about productivity with this collection
Practicing empathy in relationships and communication
Understanding the importance of balance in personal and professional life
Defining your path in life
Don’t try to learn multiple new concepts at once because you’ll progress slowly, which is not motivating at all. Did you know you can achieve a magical “flow” state by spending more time focusing?
Josh Kaufman explains that you should practice in 20-minute bursts so that you can focus all your energy on your chosen learning task. On top of this, these bursts should be characterized by deliberate and consistent practices. Hence, quantity and speed are more important than the quality of your learning. The faster and more often you practice, the more rapidly you’ll acquire the skill.
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As well as choosing your skill level, you also have to utilize smaller steps. Break your chosen skills down into bite-sized pieces you can tackle one by one. You don’t attempt to down an entire meal in one bite, and you shouldn’t try to learn a skill in one swing. By dividing up the work ahead of...
In today’s world, people are busier than ever. So, if you want to learn a new skill, you need to make time to practice. This is Kaufman’s seventh principle of rapid skill acquisition. Identify other activities in your life that you aren’t fond of, and work to cut those out to fill that time with ...
This is where we can use rapid skill acquisition to kickstart our experience. Through using this technique, you can become competent in various desirable skills by putting in 20 hours of work. These 20 hours will allow you to become acquainted with the basics, but skill mastery will require more ...
Shortening your working periods helps mitigate the risk of working on difficult or tedious activities for extended periods. This is crucial as prolonged challenging work can be draining and often leads to inefficiency. When you first start learning, the hours of practice seem to drag on longer an...
The first few hours of learning something new are always the hardest, and this is where most people give up. However, if you break your initial 20 hours down into an hour of practice per day, you will rapidly improve. You will then find it considerably easier to continue building your skillset af...
The author offers another example from his own life to highlight how he has used feedback. Kaufman received feedback when he was learning how to play the game Go. To do this, he downloaded a software called SmartGo, which gives the player feedback after every move. This software helped him identi...
Josh Kaufman starts by highlighting it is likely you have a skill you have always wanted to learn. For instance, maybe it’s competently playing the piano, doing well on the tennis court, or becoming conversational in French. Crucially, it is never too late to learn your chosen skill. One of the m...
"If you rely on finding time to do something, it will never be done. If you want to find time, you must make time."
"Skill is the result of deliberate, consistent practice, and in early-stage practice, quantity and speed trump absolute quality. The faster and more often you practice, the more rapidly you’ll acquire the skill."
Deciding how talented you want to become at your chosen skill is the third principle in rapid skill acquisition. This is called your target performance level. It’s important because if you can envision the end goal, it’ll be easier to get there. Decide what level of skill is “good enough” for you...
Avoid this feeling from taking over by using a 20-minute time. The timer will let you know how long you’ve actually been practicing and, since you’ll know how long you’ve been working, you’ll be more motivated during that period. Your goal should be to do three to five of these 20-minute blocks o...
It’s better to recognize that you’re likely a beginner, and you shouldn’t expect yourself to be an expert from the start. So, focus on practicing quickly and often. By prioritizing quantity and speed, you’re less likely to get frustrated and subsequently demotivated during the initial stages of p...
"The trouble comes when we confuse learning with skill acquisition. If you want to acquire a new skill, you must practice it in context. Learning enhances practice, but it doesn’t replace it. If performance matters, learning alone is never enough."
When learning a skill, there will always be barriers that interfere with your learning process. Therefore, consider any emotional roadblocks that may stand in your path, like fear or self-doubt, as well as distractions (like a ringing phone). After completing this process, try to eliminate any hi...
As well as defining the specific skill level you want to pursue, Kaufman also suggests you need to identify the tools you need to succeed at your skill level. These tools are the fundamental building blocks of your skill. For example, for Kaufman’s ukulele pursuit, the first tool he required was ...
There are probably many skills you’d like to acquire. Still, an essential first step of rapid skill acquisition is choosing to focus on one. Start by making a list of all the skills you’re interested in, and pick the one most exciting to you right now. This excitement will help you stay motivated...
You must get feedback on your progress. For instance, perhaps you are trying to learn Chinese. You should find a way to get fast feedback on your progress, so you’ll know if you’ve put a step wrong. After receiving this feedback, you can choose to approach your skill acquisition differently....
Book summaries mostly ...
The First 20 Hours is a book about rapid skill acquisition: how to pick up new skills as fast as humanly possible.
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