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The First 20 Hours Audiobook

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

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Publisher's Summary

"Learn anything... fast!"

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 suggests it takes 10,000 hours to develop a new skill. In this nonstop world when will you ever find that much time and energy?

To make matters worse, the early hours of practicing something new are always the most frustrating. That's why it's difficult to learn how to speak a new language, play an instrument, hit a golf ball, or shoot great photos. It's so much easier to watch TV or surf the web...

In The First 20 Hours, Josh Kaufman offers a systematic approach to rapid skill acquisition: how to learn any new skill as quickly as possible. His method shows you how to deconstruct complex skills, maximize productive practice, and remove common learning barriers. By completing just 20 hours of focused, deliberate practice you'll go from knowing absolutely nothing to performing noticeably well.

This method isn't theoretical: it's field-tested. Kaufman invites readers to join him as he field tests his approach by learning to program a Web application, play the ukulele, practice yoga, re-learn to touch type, get the hang of windsurfing, and study the world's oldest and most complex board game.

What do you want to learn?

Listen to The First 80 Minutes FREE from The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything . . . Fast!.

©2013 Worldly Wisdom Ventures LLC (P)2013 Worldly Wisdom Ventures LLC

What the Critics Say

"As a father of three, practicing neurosurgeon, and global journalist, I don't have a lot of free time on my hands. The First 20 Hours is a practical guide to learning beyond our mid-20s, when our brains are fully developed. Josh's book will inspire you to pick up forgotten hobbies and chase elusive dreams." (Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (762 )
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3.5 (647 )
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Story
3.8 (648 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Timothy Philadelphia, PA, United States 03-05-15
    Timothy Philadelphia, PA, United States 03-05-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Worth getting for if you have alot you want to do"
    If you could sum up The First 20 Hours in three words, what would they be?

    Research Plan Practice


    What did you like best about this story?

    The multiple examples of how he used his method in different ways.


    What three words best describe Josh Kaufman’s performance?

    Good First Try


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No but it did make me think and rethink how I go about learning new things.


    Any additional comments?

    If your on the fence about getting the book check youtube for Josh Kaufman.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony York, Ontario, Canada 03-01-15
    Anthony York, Ontario, Canada 03-01-15 Member Since 2013
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    34
    5
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    "Glad I ignored the bad review because yoga"

    It's not about yoga. The book is solid, enjoyed it and if you don't like the yoga walkthough of the technic, skip that chapter, the remaining examples run through his technique.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike O'Neil Edmonds, WA USA 02-20-15
    Mike O'Neil Edmonds, WA USA 02-20-15
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    "Incredibly helpful!"

    Really enjoyed this audio book. Feel like I now have an actual way to approach skill acquisition instead of just floundering and giving up when it feels like I am not improving. Worth the listen/read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. L. Morris Corvallis OR, USA 02-13-15
    J. L. Morris Corvallis OR, USA 02-13-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Tellin' It Like It Is"

    I have followed Kaufman's blog for a while and been a fan of the Personal MBA since he wrote a controversial article about whether an MBA is a good investment. I've always appreciated his honesty and straight forward style. He is a nerd in the best sense of that term and he's put together a manuscript that provides a generalized template for rapid skill acquisition with several blueprints for skills he learned himself -- he is his own guinea pig! These blueprints could actually be useful for copying what he did and the template is sufficient for putting together your own unique plan to learn anything else. He delivers exactly what he promised and makes a potentially dry topic fascinating in the process. Well done!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronalds 02-08-15
    Ronalds 02-08-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Great information"

    Will be learning nunchakus, guitar, backflip, full splits, photography, powerlifting, snowboarding, name memory, dancing, welding. Thats it at first... I can make time, it's easy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clelandian 02-02-15
    Clelandian 02-02-15
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    13
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    "Worthless book"

    Save your time and listen to something else. The book's message is this, "Try something and you can learn it." My advice…try another book, ANY book, and avoid this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    eddie laverty 01-31-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Too long"
    Any additional comments?

    Could have been much shorter and not lost any of the message. The descriptions were overly long and not all of the projects needed to be in there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan Centerville, UT, United States 01-11-15
    Ryan Centerville, UT, United States 01-11-15 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    "Mediocre Performance and Common Sense"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No, it wasn't. Josh Kaufman doesn't provide any great insights, only the same common sense repeated in different ways in an attempt to sound profound.


    Would you recommend The First 20 Hours to your friends? Why or why not?

    No, it's just the same common sense that you learn in school or hear repeated by people who are first learning something.


    What three words best describe Josh Kaufman’s performance?

    Rough, monotonous, boring.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Heavens no.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Efrat, Israel 11-27-14
    Jonathan Efrat, Israel 11-27-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This book is 1/3 great and 2/3 mediocre"

    I have to say I didn't know what I was buying when I first got this book... And that’s all my fault because the author is honest Josh Kaufman about what the book is.
    I saw a the Ted Talk by the author and decided this book should be great.
    And when I read the introduction I immediately understood this will be a great reading… during the first chapters.
    So, I’m writing the review so that futures readers will know what to expect.
    The premise of the book is that with 20 hours of focused practice you can become decent at anything… This doesn't contradict the 10,000 hours rule that says: if you want to be an expert on something you have to practice for 10,000 hours (which is normally done in 10 years).
    The author mainly says that with 20 hours you won’t be able to play an instrument like a virtuoso, but you’ll be able to pick a guitar and play in a bonfire… And that is fine with me.
    The first 3 chapters, Josh Kaufman, writes about acquiring a skill quickly and the importance of focus and discipline… So far so good.
    But the last 6 chapters are the summary of his successful attempts to learn new skills… If you are interested in learning exactly those 6 skills (Yoga, Programming, touch typing, ukulele and windsurfing) then you will enjoy the book in its entirety.
    I’m a programmer so when I read the chapter on programming I was thinking to myself either this guy is a genius or he left out most of the learning process, by the end of the chapter he did say that by trial and error he failed more than what he succeeded… But the feeling is that this should be easy, when it’s really not. So, after that chapter I just couldn't take him serious…
    Summing up, the first 3 chapters are great, the rest is disappointing but I guess a 40 pages book doesn't look to serious or interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adult Reader in Calgary Calgary, Canada 06-06-14
    Adult Reader in Calgary Calgary, Canada 06-06-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not good"

    Everything of value (not much IMHO) can be had with the free 80-minute preview also available here on Audible. If you think this is a self-help book that will teach you "How To Learn Anything ... Fast!" I'm afraid you will be disappointed.

    The author is not a skill acquisition expert. That in itself isn't a problem if he did some good synthesis of skill acquisition research and then explained meaningfully how he applied the research to his own learning. Unfortunately the book is little more than a collection of long-winded descriptions of his skills rather than a clear exposition of how he learned them. So for example before you hear anything about how he "learned" Yoga he goes into a lot of detail (Wikipedia grade summary) of Yoga, its history, etc. Maybe you will find these passages fascinating, i.e. descriptions of background material from someone who admits to being a total amateur at them. I found these long stretches incredibly dull and pointless given the true purpose of the book. I wanted to LEARN HOW TO LEARN, not to learn what the author learned from the internet about some of his hobbies. Even the parts where he talks about the skills themselves do not bear a very clear relation to the little bit of general advice he provides in the beginning.

    Especially as an audiobook (where it's hard to skip to the few places that might be of interest) this book just does not work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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