Thursday, October 1, 2015

10,000 hour Rule? Try 20!

Did you ever hear that it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to be really good at something? I first came across this concept when reading Malcom Gladwell’s book ”Outliers”. He quoted research and case studies showing that athletes become great; musicians become famous (like the four guys from Liverpool); and smart guys become Bill Gates- primarily because they spent 10,000 hours perfecting their skills. While listening to a Ted talk ( The first 20 hours—how to learn anything) one day, this guy named Josh Kaufman tells me that the 10,000 hours is only if you want to be exceptionally good- top of your field- great. If you only want to learn a new skill, hobby etc. it only takes 20 hours or 45min a day for about a month. Wait a minute, I just wasted 300 hours at calligraphy class?! As most of us have limited free time between work, carpooling kids and repairing the house, enjoyable things like new hobbies, sports and game skills or playing an instrument, get postponed or cancelled due to unrealistic expectations of time involvement. Josh Kaufman says there are 4 steps to this amazing 20 hour technique: 1) Deconstruct the skill – break it down to small pieces and practice the hardest parts the most 2) Learn enough to self-correct – use DVD’s, YouTube etc. 3) Remove practice barriers or just plan time to practice 4) Practice at least 20 hours. Josh demonstrated this theory by putting in 20 hours of time learning to play the ukulele . I assure you – after only 20 hours of ukulele practice, he is among my TOP 5 FAVORITE UKULELE PLAYERS EVER! So have at it you future accordion, bridge, pickle ball players, yoga, cross-fitters, chefs, wine connoisseurs, ballroom dancers, gardeners, fishermen, artists, writers, volunteers- you can do it with less time than you ever imagined! Good luck on your new endeavors and thanks, Josh!