The First 20 Hours

The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything . . . Fast!

There is a frustration barrier when it comes to learning new skills. Don’t follow a haphazard approach. Your pace of learning depends on concentrated time deliberately practicing. Learning enhances practice, but does not replace it. Ambient practice is not enough to improve at the early stages. Time is never found, it has to be made.

Steps for Rapid Skill Acquisition
  1. Deconstructing – the smallest possible sub-skill
  2. Learning – Practice intelligently and able to self-correct
  3. Removing – Any physical, mental, emotional barriers
  4. Practicing – At least 20 hours of dedicated practice

Stages of Skill Acquisitions
  1. Cognitive – Understanding, thinking, breaking into manageable parts
  2. Associative – Practicing, environmental feedback, adjusting
  3. Autonomous – Performing effectively and efficiently without thinking

10 Principles of Rapid Skill 
  1. Choose a lovable project
  2. Focus energy on one skill at a time
  3. Define your target performance
  4. Deconstruct skill into sub-skills
  5. Obtain critical tools
  6. Eliminate barriers to practice
  7. Make dedicated time to practice
  8. Create fast feedback loops
  9. practice by the click and in short bursts
  10. Emphasize quantity and speed

10 Principles of Effective Learning
  1. Research the skill and related topics (~3 books/videos/courses)
  2. Jump in over your head (fine that you don’t understand at first)
  3. Identify mental models and mental hooks (understanding how things work and analogies)
  4. Imagine the opposite of what you want (will help you understand what is important)
  5. Talk to practitioners to set expectations
  6. Eliminate distractions in your environment (electronic and biological)
  7. Use spaced repetition and reinforcement for memorization (only where fast recall is necessary)
  8. Create scaffolds and checklists (helps systematize practice)
  9. Make and test predictions (track them)
  10. Honor your biology (Take breaks)

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