Have you ever struggled to learn a new skill while knowing nothing about it? This article will show you a method to learn new skills in a fun, engaging, and exciting way.
Gladwell -author of “Outliers: The Story of Success” explains that reaching the 10,000-Hour Rule, which he considers the key to success in any field, is simply a matter of practicing a specific task that can be accomplished with 20 hours of work a week for 10 years. However, this method is demonstrably not true, all you need is 20 hours. You just need to allocate 4 hours/day for 1 month. Even in the busiest schedule, if you can spend 30 minutes to 1 hour a day, to sit down and finally learn what you really wanted to learn, you will be amazed by what you will find. This method is discovered by Josh Kaufman-author and business adviser.
The method is made up of 5 simple steps:
1-Decide Exactly What You Want
This step can be really easy and hard at the same time. It depends on the level of self-awareness. In fact, if you’re able to define exactly what you want to be able to do the easier it will be for you to find ways to accomplish that desire to end result as quickly and efficiently as possible.
People who “know themselves” will find it easy. Whereas, others who can’t decide what they really like to do for the rest of their lives will find it really hard to choose a topic. In fact, these people will begin to work on a certain skill, once they’re stuck, they will change the skill and restart from 0.
To solve this issue, try to meditate for 5 minutes, once per day for 1 week. Think of something you’re really passionate about and imagine yourself in 10 or 20 years from now. Ask yourself this question: “What will I become if I master this specific skill?”. Write down all the answers on a paper and read it every day. Store it on your phone or stick it on the back of your closet. This will keep you motivated and push you to make that extra step.
2-Deconstructing The Skill
Or as I like to name it: “divide and conquer”.
Most of the things that we think of as skills aren’t really just one skill. As a matter of fact, they’re bundles of smaller sub-skills that we use in combination with each other. For example programming, it’s not just one thing. In fact, it’s a bundle of all sorts of things. To master coding skills, you need to increase your critical thinking and debugging skills, learn the ins and outs of the APIs and frameworks you will be using, etc…
Same for golf, basketball, sales, and other skills.
As a result, instead of learning let’s say basketball as a global skill, try to break it apart into these smaller parts and practice the most important sub-skills, the thing that you’re going to use most first. That allows you to focus on the elements of practice that actually give you the performance that you’re looking for. Therefore, the key is to practice the individual sub-skills
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Research just enough that you’re able to identify the most important sub-skills involved in whatever it is that you want to learn how to do, also, to understand how you will be able to self-correct as you’re practicing. To do so, find three to five books, courses, mentors or people that can help you do that initial deconstruction and understand which are the sub-skills that are going to help you to possibly master the skill as quickly as possible.
The trick is to prevent that research to become a form of procrastination in itself. The best approach is to pick 3,4 or 5 resources but don’t go through them completely. Just skim them. Catch the ideas that come up over and over and over. Those concepts and those techniques are particularly important. Those are the things that you should know in order to self-correct as you practice, and those are the sub-skills that you should probably practice first.
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4-Remove Barriers To Practice
Set up the environment that will actually help and motivate you to sit down and do the thing that you want to get better at it.
There are hundreds of distractions that keep you away from success. For instance, your cell phone, TV, friends, etc…
To overcome these distractions, you should turn off your cell phone, remove the distractions that can take your focus away from whatever this thing that you’re trying to practice is and make sure that the time that you’ve set aside to practice in a way that was going to make you better is as undivided and focused as possible. Likewise, do anything you can to make it easy for yourself to practice. For example, let’s say you want to learn how to use a guitar. Which is easier, to use the guitar that is just next to the chair that you usually sit on, or go to the next part of the house to pick the guitar that is in the case every time you want to practice. Therefore, by putting the guitar next to you, it will be easier for you to remind yourself that practice is a priority.
Anything you can do to remove the effort from desiring to practice to getting started is a benefit since it helps you do what you’re already decided to do.
This is a very important step. Pre-commit to at least 20 hours of focused deliberate practice before you begin. That pre-commitment is very important because it serves the purpose of deciding whether you’re going to invest at least 20 hours in this skill or give up. It allows you to check up on yourself and ask yourself this question: “How important is this really?” You should know that the first few hours of practice are frustrating for everybody at the beginning of everything. By pre-commitment, you’re guaranteeing to yourself that you’re going to make it through those hard times where nothing is working or when you come up against an unexpected obstacle and don’t know how to overcome it.
There’s no magic to it. It’s just focused strategic effort invested in something you care about and rewarding to yourself, and to your life.
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The process of learning isn’t difficult. However, what you’re doing in this process is just removing all of the frustrations or barriers that get in your way of sitting down to the work.