Do We Need The 10,000 Hour Rule? How To Learn Fast!
It makes sense that I share how to learn, my whole brand is called “Just Keep Learning”wn
And I want to give a quick shoutout to a fellow creator, Michelle Khare who does an incredible job of documenting the process of learning skills.
She creates videos of her going from “I know nothing about this skill, like singing, chess, gaming and many, many more, to I have practiced and now I’m getting pretty good over and over again.”
I used to focus on my social media handle “At Just Tries” because creating videos like this is an absolute dream for me too.
But we can only do so much. And while I still do learn skills and document the process, podcasting takes up most of the time and energy for me at the moment.
Podcasting to me is THE ONE THING.
Filmmaking for Michelle is THE ONE THING.
But we still learn many, many other skills.
10,000 Hour Rule
Oftentimes when we think about learning a skill, we are introduced to the 10,000 hour rule.
The idea that it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to excel at our craft.
If you want to be a Musical Maestro, Chess GrandMaster, or PGA Tour Golfer then yes, it will probably take 10,000 hours.
This is valid research. But it doesn’t help us with most of the skills we want to learn.
Do We Need The 10,000 Hour Rule?
The rule doesn’t take into account many other factors.
It does not account for the differences in nature vs nurture. Maybe you have a dad who played in the NFL. Or perhaps you have the best coaches in the world. On the flip side, a car accident might have prevented your flexibility for gymnastics.
The other thing is that not all skills are equally difficult. Some skills can simply be mastered quicker than others.
Despite the arguments, the 10,000-hour rule is fair in reminding us that it’s important to have dedication and perseverance.
Regardless of the number of hours, mastery demands a significant investment of time and energy.
For me I will reach the 10,000 hour mark when it comes to teaching and podcasting. But for everything else I won’t. Yet, it’s still really valuable to get good at skills that we want to learn.
There is a local golf teacher here that has a sign on the business that says “Better Golf Is A Lot More Fun”. And that’s the truth. I’m not planning on winning a professional golf tournament, but I still want to get better.
Maybe you want to read faster. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to sing, be stronger in the gym, or learn how to garden.
So how can we learn in the shortest time possible?
How To Learn
I love the quote “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
With this quote, Antoine De Sainte-Exupery reminds us that clarity and simplicity are more valuable than complexity.
Over the years, I have distilled my framework for how to learn into one sentence:
“Deliberate practice, anchored to the true skill, with timely, efficient feedback yields exponential results.”
Steps To Learn A Skill
Now what if we wanted to elaborate on that framework to give you a step by step guide to learn something efficiently?
In later episodes I can quote and share some specific learning frameworks from creators like Carol Dweck and Tim Ferris, but today I’ll mention a checklist of things we should have to learn anything fast.
- Define your target performance level. Decide what you want? Clearly define what it is you want to aim to do?
- Deconstruct the skill into its component parts. Break it down into manageable chunks to learn.
- Prioritize the most important sub-skills for you first. Apply Pareto’s Principle to your learning efforts.
- Don’t procrastinate. Try the actual skill in its truest possible form right away so you have the ability to anchor your learning.
- Research. Learn from teachers in books, courses, coaches and content how to learn the sub skills.
- Dedicate time in your schedule to focused, frictionless practice.
- Seek feedback as soon as possible from people who understand what it’s like to learn the skill.
- Commit to a minimum of forty dedicated hours in trying the skill.
- Create an environment of accountability by adding rewards, and or consequences for your effort.
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