I'm just a dumb troglodyte who like reading. Me feel good after I read book.
It pains me to write a negative review of any book considering how hard the author must have worked to get published. I would have written a positive review if I had stopped reading/listening after completing chapter 3. In 20-HRS the theory, philosophy, research, and approach to how to tackle a new subject is very strong. The application, as exhibited in the second half of the book, is actually very boring. Mr. Kaufman knows his learning theory and communicates an well organized plan on how to attack any new subject. However, it was very difficult to listen to the nuance of yoga or the manusha of how to play GO for 2 hours. At times I failed to relate his primary learning tenants established in the early chapters to the later application chapters. This book cannot sustain your interest past 3 hours.
It's in the top 20% of all the personal improvement books I've listened to.
It reinforces the idea of Deliberate Practice, which I first heard about in "Talent is Overrated".
Any time an author is reading his own book, it's going to be hit or miss. Fortunately, Josh Kaufman read it well. Having the author read his own book wasn't a negative at all.
The notion that you don't have to be a black-belt expert at everything. That if you want to learn something, spend 20 hours learning it in an effective manner and then you're good enough to move on to another skill.
I wasn't a huge fan of all the examples - how he learned Go, or to type, or to program, etc. Seemed a bit like filler. But it's worth listening to nonetheless.
focus on the art of learning, or rapid skill acquisition. I understand using something like yoga as an example of how you do RSA, but for about the last hour I've been listening to how to actually DO yoga, which doesn't interest me. I didn't want to hear about what you learned about yoga.
Made me Smarter
The web programming example walked through the steps, giving an exact account of what the solution would look like in practice. Not only that, the example is so detailed, with resources listed, that I want to re-listen and build a web based program myself.
Josh's voice is easy to listen too, and he does a great job of translating sincerity in wanting to help anyone learn whatever they want to learn, fast. The willingness to so honestly and openly share his knowledge is admirable.
It is not a one sitting book. It not long though, and sections motivated me to get up and Practice what I want to Learn. Very motivational.
I shared this book with co-workers who are studying for project management certifications. Three of them, who reviewed the material, were impressed and are using the 'practice' concept for studying, rather than spending so much time on reading material. One successfully passed the exam, and the rest of us have our exams scheduled soon.
For the sake of the brevity that this book promotes I will say that " this book is Josh Kaughman's TED Talk except far less charming plus seven hours of material that adds nothing to the message"
The first part of the book where Kaufman talks about the principles of skill acquisition is the core of this book. After that, the chapters on his personal skill acquisition provides good examples of how it can be done, but it is not necessary to listen to them all. Kaufmann does an excellent job in narrating his own book with clear diction and a calm voice which makes it easily possible to listen to this book in double speed.
The theme of this book can be summed up by the title. If you want to learn anything, spend 20 hours doing it. While it does not contain a lot of new information, it is very well presented and a helpful motivator. Now he needs to write a book "How to Get to the Gym".