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The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything...Fast
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The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything...Fast

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  3,793 ratings  ·  400 reviews
Forget the 10,000 hour rule— what if it’s possible to learn the basics of any new skill in 20 hours or less?
Take a moment to consider how many things you want to learn to do. What’s on your list? What’s holding you back from getting started? Are you worried about the time and effort it takes to acquire new skills—time you don’t have and effort you can’t spare?
Research su
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published June 13th 2013 by Portfolio (first published January 1st 2013)
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Popular Answered Questions
Qinyu Yeah, I use the method that the author learned Ukulele to learn Bawu, a traditional Chinese minority instrument. And I am at the same time in a wechat…moreYeah, I use the method that the author learned Ukulele to learn Bawu, a traditional Chinese minority instrument. And I am at the same time in a wechat group where there is 150 people who are learning it( self-study using videos and books) . I found that, by using some of his methods, (maybe also because I have learned erhu before, )I am learning much quicker than most of them,(Actually, they started to thought I am some kind of genius ⁄(⁄ ⁄•⁄ω⁄•⁄ ⁄)⁄ So it's helpful to me.
I saw some of comments give a low score just because they don't like the stuffs the author had learned.
My teacher once told us that every book is a mixture of sand and gold, and you need to pick up the gold yourself. Don't treat a book you're reading as an enemy눈_눈, but as a friend ◕‿◕。 It can also be applied to this case.(less)

Community Reviews

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3.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,793 ratings  ·  400 reviews

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May 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I wrote this book, so I may be biased...
Zack Ward
Jul 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
The problem with "The First 20 Hours" is that the author spends a majority of the book explaining what he learned (Yoga, Programming, touch typing, Go, Ukelele, Windsurfing) rather than how he learned it. Just look at his chapter on Yoga. He spends twenty pages explaining where yoga originated and the poses that he learned, but only one page of skill acquisition explanation (where he admits to referencing some books and online videos).

Essentially, Kaufman's book shows you that it is possible to
Liam Delahunty
Jun 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
The First Twenty Hours has an interesting idea and something useful for most of us in this time short attention wandering world getting to a degree of general competence in a topic rapidly.

I dislike several things about this book. The misuse of the 10,000 hours idea to become an expert. I've never ever heard anyone say it takes 10,000 hours to learn something (other than to misquote!). 10,000 hours is purely the amount of time required in competitive areas to become absolutely world class.

Jul 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
For the past 10 years or so, I've described myself as a dabbler. I am a Jill of many trades, an expert of none. I own a guitar and a ukulele, but I can only play 3 songs on each. I own language learning tools for Spanish, French, Arabic and Czech, and can barely speak anything other than English. I've taken 1 surf lesson and 1 stand up paddle board lesson and loved both. Someday, I would like to learn to build a website, make silver jewelry, and play the violin. I also work full time, exercise d ...more
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Very disappointing. There's an worthwhile idea here: it may take 10,000 hours, as others have suggested, to master something at the world-class level, but what about those areas where you just want to be competent enough to enjoy it and not humiliate yourself?

Unfortunately, this isn't really the book to help you. The first part is the 10 principles Kaufman has put together for Rapid Skill Acquisition, and they are mostly common sense. For example, do things you love, get rid of distractions, and
Ben Nesvig
Jun 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-reads
It's difficult to imagine a better book on skill building than The First 20 Hours. If you've ever found yourself thinking "I wish I knew how to ____" or "I wish I didn't quit ____ lessons as a kid," then this is the best book you can read. There are many other books on learning that I love, such as "The Art of Learning" by Josh Waitzkin, but this is by far the best step by step guide you can apply to learning any skill.

The first 40 pages are dedicated to the principles of effective learning and
Zainab Obaid
*أول 20 ساعة كيف تتعلم أي شئ بسرعة*

*الكاتب: جوش كاوفمان*

في الاربعين صفحة الأولى فقط!!! يشرح الكاتب مبادئ تعلم المهارات الجديدة بأسرع وقت ومع إهدار أقل طاقة، باستخدام استراتيجيات معينة ومركزة تؤدي إلى اكتسابك لتلك المهارة بشكل سريع وبمهارة عالية.
بعدها، (اكثر من ثلاثة ارباع الكتاب)!!! يركز الكاتب بشكل مبالغ!! وتفصيل دقيق!! ليشرح كيف انه هو استخدم هذه المبادئ على أرض الواقع في تعلم بعض المهارات مثل ممارسة اليوجا، العزف على الة موسيقية.

تقييم الكتاب: 2
Chung Chin
May 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
The First 20 Hours is a book about rapid skill acquisition. In this book, based on his research, Josh Kaufman lists down the four major steps of rapid skill acquisition:
a. Deconstruct
b. Learn
c. Remove barrier
d. Practice

Next, the author goes on to explain ten principles of rapid skill acquisition and ten principles of effective learning. The ten principles of rapid skill acquisition is a list of common-sense thinking to skill acquisition, put together nicely in a list for your checking. The ten p
Aljazi Al-Maghlouth
Aug 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
السبب الذي دعاني لقراءة هذا الكتاب هو مشاهدتي لعرض الكاتب في تيد، مما دفعني لؤءمن بنظريته، فأنا لا أختلف عنه كثيرًا فكل يوم تراودني رغبات في تعلم أشياء شتى ولا أملك تلك العشرة آلاف ساعة، فبإختصار هذا الكتاب كيف تتعلم أي شي لكن ليس لدرجة الإحتراف بل بالدرجة التي يمكنك ممارسة هذا الشي بأرياحية ويستعرض عشرة نقاط يجب ان تضعها في حسبانك. :
١. اختر موضوعًا تحبه فعلًا
٢. ركز طاقتك على مهارة واحدة في وقت واحد.
٣. حدد المستوى الذي تريد ان تصل اليه.
٤. حطم المهارة إلى أجزاء صغيرة وطور كل مهارة على حدى.
٥. ج
Jun 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: verlaten
The First 2 Hours: Pathway to Putrefication
Effortlessly it seems, the author has created a book that is simply unreadable. This defect, without exception, putrefies a book for me.

Should you, a reasonably intelligent person, decide to read this, I'll wager good money on the proposition that you won't need 20 hours to learn you wasted time and/or money. Indeed, the Vegas line on over/under is 2 hours, and I'll take the under.
SaRa Hanefa
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
كتابي ال (7) لعام 2019..📚💛

يتحدث الكتاب عن كيفية اكتساب المهارات والمواظبة عليها... وللحقيقة لقد أحببته كثيرًا.. ذكر بعض الخطوات والقواعد لإكتساب المهارات وهذا يساعدني بشكل كبير في أي مهارة أريد البدء بها..

أعجبني الكتاب وبشدة..💙
أنصح به..📚💜

دمتم قراء...📚💚


Jamie Doerschuck
Jul 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: self, owned
Josh Kaufman did a great job creating a lot of hype for the book, that's for sure. But I for one was a little disappointed upon actually reading 20 Hours. There are two chapters tops that detail his "method", two ten point lists, and the remaining 280 some odd pages are case studies.

Kaufman stresses "breaking down a skill" into smaller chunks, but doesn't really give any in-depth write up on how to do just that theory-wise. In the first chapter Kaufman says "Yes, the secret to learning skills q
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
فكرة الكتاب جميلة جدا و هي انه يمكنك اكتساب اي مهارة خلال 20 ساعة تقريبا
من خلال تطبيق 10 مبادئ عامة :
1/اختر مشروعا تحبه
2/ركز طاقتك على مهارة واحدة في نفس الوقت
3/حدد مستوى الاداء المستهدف
4/فكك المهارة الى مهارات اصغر
5/احصل على الادوات اللازمة
6/تخلص من عوائق التدريب
7/خصص وقت للتدريب
8/انشى حلقات تغذية استرجاعية
9/تدرب باستخدام الساعة و لفترات قصيرة
10/اكد على الكمية و السرعة
على حسب المهارة التي تريد اكتسابها يمكنك تطبيق المناسب من المباديء معها
* مقدمة الكتاب مفيدة و عامة و شرح للمبادئ
فيه مجموعة من النصائح عن كيف تتعلم اي شيء بسرعة وبعض الالعاب التي تنمي الذكاء
كتاب مهم لكل من يحب أن يتعلم وايضا انصح به لكل اب او ام من أجل تعليم وتنشئة أبنائهم بصورة جيدة
Colleen Wainwright
Jun 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: how-to, nonfiction
A crisp, well-written explanation of rapid skill acquisition that any learning junkie will find incredibly useful.

On the strength of the first three chapters alone, I've been recommending it to anyone who'll listen, but there's a wealth of additional data in the six case studies where the author used himself as guinea pig to test his theories. (They are, in case you've not read it elsewhere yet: yoga; a programming language; a non-QWERTY touch-typing system; an ancient Chinese strategy game cal
Aug 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
The first three chapters of this self-help book give some great tips to learning anything you want in 20 hours. You may not be an expert, but you should be able to have fun with that new skill.

However, the remaining 6 chapters are about how the author learned to play Go, windsurf, play the ukulele, learn computer programming, do yoga, and learn a keyboard that is not QWERTY.

These chapters were meant to show how to apply the tips to learning in a practical way. Unfortunately, there was WAY too mu
Yigit Yilmaz
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Her işin profesyonelleriyle icra edildiği günümüzde bir şeyde uzman olmak istiyorsak 10.000 saat harcamamız gerektiği tartışmaya kapalı bir konu gibi görülmeye başladı. Fakat bu teorinin göz ardı edilen tarafı 10.000 saat kuralını rekabetçi bir dünyada en üst düzeyde performans göstermek için gerekli bir koşul olması. Yani çocuğunuz uyumadan önce ona biraz gitar çalmak istiyorsanız John Lennon olmanıza gerek yok.

"İlk 20 saat" bir beceriyi 20 saatte temel düzeyde nasıl öğrenebileceğimizi anlatan
Sep 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
Really hoped it would be as well researched as Personal MBA, instead I got a mishmash of pop-productivity for a few pages and then the author learning random skills for the other 90%.
Trang Le
Aug 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Most books about study skills often have either, or both of the following shortcomings: 1. They're too obvious; 2. They're more like 1000-word blog posts repurposed into 200-page for commercial publication. I almost didn't pick up this book, considering that it receives only 3 out of 5 stars on both Amazon and Goodreads. I changed my mind after seeing the very polite replyof the author to a critical review.

The book opens with several uncomfortable truths about learning something new that we oft
Ben Drexler
Aug 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: achievement
I have very, very mixed feelings about this book. Baked into its central conceit is a kind of disdain for mastering a skill. The author is up-front about his desire to acquire a base-level competency in many different skills rather than master any one of them. In some chapters, his approach to learning stumbles upon some unique insights as to how human beings acquire new skills. In some chapters, it's painfully clear that this approach has led him to a very superficial understanding of the pursu ...more
Nov 18, 2013 rated it did not like it
Read the first three chapters. Everything else was just about what he personally learned and not terribly interesting. Basically, you can do anything if you make it a daily priority for a couple weeks. Which is obvious, but I guess I was hoping for some big secret to be revealed. Or at the very least, a funny writing style.
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
Many skills can be learned to a sufficient level with 20 hours of focused, strategic effort. In order to do so: deconstruct it into the smallest possible subskills, learn enough about each subskill to be able to practice effectively and self-correct, remove any physical, mental, or emotional barriers, practice the most important subskills for at least 20 hours.
May Ling
Jul 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Summary: Great framework in the front. Then 6 examples of skills that were picked up within the year. The front chapters get the 4 stars, the back I could take or leave.

I like the framework which include:
1) Deciding
2) Deconstructing
3) Learning
4) Removing (obstacles)
5) Practicing

This is more or less true for all new things. I also really like he describes - in not so many words, what Skills acquisition is not. That's important. The idea that you will be expert at anything is silly.

I think he cho
Christie Dunne-Murphy
Useful for the breakdown of how to get mobilized on learning a skill in the first place. Emphasis on practice was a good reminder. The breakdown checksheet is practical if used. As is the idea of tackling 'lovable projects', finding a compelling reason to learn skills.

A condensed secular and materialist history of yoga condensed in here also.

I found the descriptions of yoga poses unnecessary.

Overall a decent guide to learning a skill and tackling the initial fear and resistance hump. No more.
Marwen Aouiti
Aug 14, 2018 rated it liked it
It is a good book where you can find strategies and analysis from an experienced author about planning and learning how to learn new skills.
Sometimes you may feel bored because you'll be reading about things for the first time; well you can skip that but it's recommended to read the summary after every learning experience to get the maximum profit from the author's experience.
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
كتاب يدلك على الطريقة التي تحلل فيها اي مهارة لاجزاء وتبني بيئة محطية تساعدك على الوصول الى درجة الاتقان التي تراها مناسبه
كتاب عملي جدا براي
بعيدا عن الاوهام والتحفيز المبالغ فيه
الكاتب بالغ في شرح تجربته في شرح بعض المهارات التي تعلمها ودخل في تفاصيل مملة جدا في بعض الاحيان
لكن في المجمل التجارب كافية وفيها انواع مختلقة من المهارات الفكرية والحركية
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
The first part has an amazing overview of the process and guides the reader towards optimized skill acquisition.

The second part shows how the author used his techniques in a bunch of different projects, but it becomes a bit boring because he talks a lot about the skill itself and not so much about the structured process.
Yann Duarte
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
pra quem gosta do estilo diy, o livro dá boas ideias em como abordar o aprendizado de novas habilidades... desconstruindo o processo em várias etapas, o autor auxilia a vencer a barreira do desconhecido que muitas vezes nos desanima e frustra o processo... muito bom!
Geof Morgan
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book is an interesting idea, I thought. So dry to read.

Here it all is paraphrased (as I understood it, Spoiler alert...)


Presented as 2x checklists of principals; used for learning things as fast as possible.

List #1 FOCUSED PRACTICE (Skill Acquisition) Doing the thing, to practice in context is the most important thing you can do to acquire a "skill."

1. Choose a loveable subject | Be an individual and choose what you want to do.
Prime skill = your most lo
Daniel Christensen
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I put this in the post- Tim Ferris, ‘how to get awesome quick’ genre.

This is a book about how to get ‘good enough’ in 20-ish hours.

The author lays out some ideas around rapid learning and skill acquisition (spaced repetition, inversion etc.). I quite enjoyed this bit.

He’s advocating for generalism., and for having the courage to invest 20 hours in a lovable project. So, in many ways this is a motivational tome. He argues quite strongly you will never 'find time' for a project. You have to make
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Josh Kaufman is an independent business teacher, education activist, and author of The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business.

Josh's unique, multidisciplinary approach to business education has helped hundreds of thousands of readers around the world master foundational business concepts on their own terms, and his work has been featured in BusinessWeek, Fortune, and Fast Company, as well as by
“The best thing that can happen to a human being is to find a problem, to fall in love with that problem, and to live trying to solve that problem, unless another problem even more lovable appears.” 7 likes
“If you rely on finding time to do something, it will never be done. If you want to find time, you must make time.” 7 likes
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