It Takes 20 Hours To Actually Learn Anything

Producer’s note: Someone on Quora asked: What can you learn in 10 minutes that could be useful for rest of your life? Here is one of the best answers that’s been pulled from the thread.


It takes just 20 hours of practice to learn anything. 20 hours!

Yes, it takes just 20 hours of practice from being grossly incompetent at something to being reasonably good. Whether it is learning a language or painting or playing an instrument – if you put 20 hours of focused practice into something, you would be surprised at how good you can get at it.

Here are 4 simple methods of rapid skill acquisition:

1. Deconstruct the skill

Break the skill into smaller fragments and practice the most important skills first. Research shows that performance gradually decreases with practice time. So, practice the tougher parts first.

2. Learn enough to self-correct

Get 3-5 resources about what you want to learn. But keep only just enough number of resources to be able to self correct. For example, getting 20 books to learn a programming language will only lead to procrastination.

3. Remove practice barriers

Example TV, internet and other distractions that come in the way of practicing.

4. Practice at least 20 hours

Pre-committing to practicing for 20 hours prevents us from giving up the activity due to the frustration resulting from incompetence. Gradually, this will lead to developing an interest in the activity and will engage us. TC mark

This answer originally appeared at Quora: The best answer to any question. Ask a question, get a great answer. Learn from experts and get insider knowledge.

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