The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything... Fast! Hardcover – 13 Jun 2013
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A blockbuster in the making. After reading this book, you'll be ready to take on any number of skills and make progress on that big project you've been putting off for years (Chris Guillebeau, author of The $100 Startup)
Great opportunities are worthless without skills. No more excuses! Kaufman proves that we all have the capacity to become experts (Scott Belsky, founder, Behance, and author of Making Ideas Happen)
If you're like me, you'll get so inspired that you'll stop reading to apply this approach to your own procrastinated project. After reading the first five chapters I tried his technique to learn a new programming language, and I'm blown away with how fast I became fluent (Derek Sivers, founder, CD Baby, sivers.org)
In this inspiring little book, Josh Kaufman argues that you can get good enough at anything to enjoy yourself in just 20 hours. All that's standing between you and playing the ukulele is your TV time for the next two weeks (Laura Vanderkam, author of 168 Hours and What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast)
With the amount of information and change in the world today, the person who can adapt and learn the most quickly will be the most successful. Kaufman breaks down the science of learning in useful, entertaining, and fascinating ways. If you care about keeping your job, your business, or your edge, this book is for you (Pamela Slim, author of Escape from Cubicle Nation) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Josh Kaufman helps people make more money, get more done, and have more fun. His first book, The Personal MBA, is an international bestseller. He lives in Colorado. www.personalmba.com --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Even then, "the meat" is hardly rocket science. This has been well reviewed by others, but I am at a loss to know why. The useful advice (essentially "break up the task, cut out distractions, and make the effort") is all quite true. Do it and you will learn. But we all know that already. If you think that is a great insight you need far more help than this book gives.
Who am I to say these will help nobody ? If the first two chapters and examples work for you then good. But before you buy, do make sure you check out the first two chapters and an example so you know what you are buying.
I was livid that I had bought a Kindle book online which I would never have bought in paper format in a bookshop. But fortunately Kindle's "quick return" policy means I was allowed to return it. I did.
Josh Kaufman has a remarkable ability to break down a complex subject into easily digestible and very useful pieces. This time he was going to apply that ability to acquiring new skills. Being something of a learning addict myself, I could not wait to get my hands on his new book.
Having now read it, within 20 hours I might add, I thought I'd share what I thought about his new book.
Honestly, it's good. It's well written, concise, sometimes I even laughed out loud. It was truly an insightful read about how he broke down skill acquisition and how he applied it to various skills he acquired while working on this book. I can see how his new - I suppose you can call it a "skill acquisition method" - can help me to overcome emotional barriers and devoting 20 hours of deliberate practice to whatever skill I want to learn. I already have compiled a list of 12 items I want to explore over the next year.
So why four stars? Well, the thing is, the actual theory and model was explained in the space of 2 chapters. The first chapter spelled out the context, and the rest of the book were essentially case studies - or rather a documentary of his experiments and what he managed to achieve in 20 hours by applying his model in acquiring various skills.
Don't get me wrong, the case studies were insightful, and provided clues about what to expect when you try to apply the theory. My favourite chapters were learning to touch-type the Colemack keyboard layout - which explained brain plasticity, and the chapter about learning to windsurf which I found especially amusing.Read more ›
I found it just before it was due to be published, so pre-ordered and got a link to three A4 .pdfs of checklists which I really loved, and which remain on my wall. On the first page of the book, I laughed out loud with recognition of the picture Kaufman paints of himself as a serial learner, and drank in the first two chapters, eager for more. However, I learnt nothing that I hadn't seen summarised on those three sheets of A4.
The first two chapters, brilliant, although much of what is said is based on known learning theory which is not quoted, so either Kaufman spontaneously reinvented the main tenets of accelerated learning and experiential learning, or it has been dumbed down for a "popular" audience.
I found the case studies of Kaufman's own learning boring and skimmed over them, a shame as they take up most of the book. However, I know I have a massive activist learning style, so am sure reflecters and theorists will get a lot more out of this than I did.
The checklists will be used as reference time and time again, and the call to create a list of stuff I wanted to learn and take it seriously has resulted in my first ever personal learning plan outside of the workplace (piano, thai cooking, interior design, creating a mobile app, etc.). So I guess I'm glad I bought it, and will happily pass it on for someone else to get the same kick into action.
As a call to action, and a scaffolding for learning, worth every penny.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Extremely disappointing and misleading. This book is basically Kaufman bragging about how her learnt certain things. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Benson
Interesting little book. A bit disappointed by the lack of a clearly defined method which stems from the very broad range envisaged. Read morePublished 2 months ago by rodmcban
Rethink the way you learn and pick up new skills at a fast efficient pace.
As stated in other reviews, the first couple of chapters (and the very last bit of the book) has some valuable content and thereafter the book sort of fades out and dies a death. Read morePublished 5 months ago by MC
Interesting first chapter followed by filler for the rest of the book.Published 5 months ago by Kraftman
A real eye-opening book into how easy it is to learn pretty much anything! I've put it to the test, and I would say that it does actually work!Published 6 months ago by Courtney