The first 20 hours -- how to learn anything cover image

The first 20 hours -- how to learn anything

Approaching learning in a whole new way to master practical knowledge and skills through overcoming the toughest part of learning anything.

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Mar 14, 2013 • 20 min read
4.54 (26)
Skills Development
Active Learning
Learning Curve
Learning Cycle
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Author and skill teacher Josh Kaufman leads this Ted lesson on ''How to learn anything'' sharing how having his first child inspired him to approach learning in a whole new way. Josh says that as an indoor-working parent he had to master new skills to tend to his child as well as work and the 10,000 hours recommended by professors to be an expert in something new, were not an option. He dived into research and based on his findings, we only need 20 hours to be reasonably good at something, as also proposed in the learning curve. As such, he suggests four simple steps to rapid skill acquisition. Check the Ted Talk to know more about these steps.


  • According to the learning curve, with a little bit of practice in something, we get good at it quickly then reach a plateau point where things get harder. Josh Kaufman suggests this only takes 20hrs.
  • Based on research, you need 10,000hrs to learn and be an expert at anything.

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