Learn Anything In 20 Hours With This Four-Step Method

Learn Anything In 20 Hours With This Four-Step Method

With just 20 hours of focused, deliberate practice, you can go from knowing absolutely nothing to performing well. That’s the message from Josh Kaufman, author of The First 20 Hours. In the video above, he reveals the four steps to learning any new skill, fast.

It’s a long, 20-minute TEDx Talk, but entertaining and enlightening too. The four steps in Kaufman’s method are:

  1. Deconstruct the skill: Break down the parts and find the most important things to practice first. If you were learning to play a musical instrument, for example, knowing just a few chords gives you access to lots of songs. If you want to learn a new language, learn the most common 2000 words and you’ll have 80 per cent text coverage.
  2. Self-correct: Use reference materials to learn enough that you know when you make a mistake so you can correct yourself.
  3. Remove barriers to learning: Identify and remove anything that distracts you from focusing on the skill you want to learn.
  4. Practise at least 20 hours.

20 hours amounts to just 40 minutes a day for a month, so what are you waiting for?

The First 20 Hours


  • So he is taking Ferriss’s 4-hour idea which incorporates Benny Lewis’s ideas on breaking down a language and he is saying they are his. This is now three people claiming they all came up with the same idea and are calling it something different.

      • Never meant to. I know who they are because I have read the Ferriss books and the Lewis books in the process of trying to learn some new things ie German and drawing. I just noticed that this is the third person in the last few months that I have been looking that has come out with the same idea …..but different enough to say it is different. I suspect every breakthrough in history probably has the same pattern but it was odd to me.

  • I want to learn how to perform brain surgery… That’s a skill right? This should be a good start.
    Now off to find some victims…erm volunteers…erm patients.

  • @juststu82 You are probably correct – this dude Kaufman specializes in re-presenting other peoples work. Anthony Robbins, who does the same thing – only much more charismatically – calls it synthesizing information . If you can stay awake long enough to listen though what is in fact a long boring pitch for his new book of same name you’ll know if its a straight rip off of the others as you suspect or if he has anything original to add. His plagiarism reframed as research is making him and others of his ilk a good income

  • In the good ol’ days we called this “faking it”.
    E.G. Robbins even gets the name wrong – its called “synopsising” (invented as a word by Kylneth 40 years ago as a teaching tool) and is a typical mistake of the uneducated…….

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