With just 20 hours of focused, deliberate practice, you can go from knowing absolutely nothing to performing noticeably well. That’s the message from Josh Kaufman, author of The First 20 Hours.

  1. Define exactly what you want to do. See the outcome clearly.
  2. Deconstruct the skill: Break down the parts and find the most important things to practice first. Remove the barriers to practice. Turn off the tv, the cellphone and lock the door.
    If you were learning to play a musical instrument, for example, knowing just a few chords gives you access to tons of songs. If you want to
    learn a new language, learn the most common 2,000 words and you’ll have 80% text coverage.
  3. Self-correct: Use reference materials to learn enough that you know when you make a mistake so you can correct yourself.
  4. Remove barriers to learning: Identify and remove anything that distracts you from focusing on the skill you want to learn.
  5. Practice at least 20 hours.