You're probably familiar with Tim Ferriss by now — the best-selling author and human guinea pig who will do just about anything to make life more efficient and achieve his goals. Ferriss has spoken with Business Insider about how he learns new skills.
Let's say Tim wants to learn a martial art. He would first deconstruct the art down into the minimum learnable units, the building blocks that make up the overall discipline he wishes to learn. Next he will utilise the 80/20 rule to select which blocks make up the 20 per cent of subject matter that will take him 80 per cent of the way to competency.
He must then sequence in which order to learn those blocks and finally setup stakes to create consequences, make sure he follows the program, and tests his growing facility. Perhaps in this case it would be entering a martial arts tournament.
Ferriss also points out that it is important to track your data so you can figure out points of failure and measure your progress. This broad overview of skill acquisition can apply to nearly any subject.
The 4-Step Process for Mastering Any Skill [Business Insider]