Google the definition of “skill” and you get: the ability to do something well, expertise. And according to Josh Kaufman, just 20 hours is enough to become “reasonably good” at any skill, including to play the ukulele as he demonstrated during his Ted Talk.
Kaufman lays out 4 steps in his “rapid skill acquisition” method:
1. Deconstruct the skill – Break the skill down into its most basic parts. Which parts are necessary for hitting the goal you have? If your goal is to sing a song in Korean, you can primarily focus on pronunciation, not learning a bunch of vocabulary.
2. Learn enough to self correct – Bite-size learning to get started, and just enough to notice when you’re making mistakes. If the major pieces fit, keep going. Otherwise try something different.
3. Remove barriers to practice – Turn off your phone, unplug the TV. Put your language book in the middle of your room, not behind your stack of dirty laundry. And set aside time for the practice.
4. Practice for at least 20 hours – Commit to 20 hours from the start. You may need more practice after the 20 hours, but at least committing beforehand will help you push through any initial challenges or frustrations.
With these 4 simple steps and 20 hours, Kaufman suggests we can all overcome the fear of learning any skills. Wanna give it a try?
Do you have any skill on your wish list?