How To Learn A New Skill

Posted by
Jeff Black On Oct 20 , 2017

To learn a new skill, break it down into smaller parts so that you can learn it at your own pace. Keep practicing it until the habit/skill becomes second nature. This formula applies to any skill; whether physical or mental. The author Josh Kaufman in his book, The First 20 Hours, argues that you can learn basic proficiency in almost any skill in under 20 hours of dedicated practice. His process for doing this breaks down into a series of four distinct steps.

Deconstruct The Skill

The first step in Kaufman’s process is to deconstruct the skill. Break it into smaller parts and then work on each of these aspects. For example, if you aim to learn the guitar, start with the basic chords. Next, move on to learn the chords relevant to your song. With this process, you may be able to play the full chords and know enough about the different techniques for the song. You have to set about achieving your goals systematically – learning to play your favorite song on the guitar step by step!

Learn About Each Sub-Skill

At this point, you want to take each sub-skill that you have prioritized and learn enough about it so that you can practice well. Meanwhile, identify your mistakes and correct wherever wrong.

Eliminate Barriers to Success

The third step is to remove any potential obstacles that affect your practice. Many students lack motivation in the long-term. So find ways to energize yourself on a constant basis. You could find a partner or join a forum where you can talk about your interest. Sometimes, a simple thing like making a record of things that you have practiced every day is all you need. By doing this, you can see a chain developing that you don’t want to break.

Practice Deliberately

The fourth and final step of the process is to practice deliberately. In The First 20 Hours, Josh Kaufman’s rule is that you must practice consciously until you have achieved your goals for each sub-skill that you prioritized or until you have hit 20 hours of dedicated work. You can learn by using a timer or a clock and track the number of hours you work. It helps to analyze your performance; see the mistakes you’re making, and make improvements.

Here are a few additional tips you can use to make your journey even more successful.

• Attempt to imitate the work of a master. Analyze their job and then try to emulate.

• Get a coach or an online class help tutor and a course that you wish to take. Having a reliable online help tutor is a great option when you want help with a particular task.

The best time to start learning a skill is now! So whatever it is that you want to learn, use these four steps and get started right away.