The Progress Project

How Long Does it Take to Build a New Skill?

Someone learning to play a ukelele

You may have seen the reference to 10,000 – a full-time job for 5 years! – popularised by Malcolm Gladwell’s book ‘Outliers’. But that’s based on expert level performance. We’re talking professional athletes and world class performers!

Unless you’re 100% committed to deepening your skillset in one area, for most of us it’s more time than we have available.

So how long does it take to get pretty good in as short a time as possible?

This fab TED Talk by Josh Kaufman shows how good you can get in just 20 hours, through intelligent practise.

Want to save time? Start the video at 9.48 to get straight to his 4-Step Method – and watch him demonstrate his new-found Ukulele skills!

The 4-Step Method

  1. Deconstruct the skill
  2. Learn enough to self-correct, but don’t procrastinate (anyone else do procrasti-learning, or is it just me??)
  3. Remove practise barriers, the thngs that get in the way of doing the work (hello TV, Internet and social media)
  4. Practise at least 20 hours. Get the tools and pre-commit those 20 hours into your diary.

When I watched the video, it struck me how Kaufman’s 4-Steps totally align with my Build it Quickly programme – teaching you how to Build Workshops quickly, differently and well. Which, coincidentally, will take you around 20 hours in total through self-paced learning, practise and collaboration.

In the programme:

Fancy joining us on Build it Quickly? Follow the link here.

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