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The First 20 Hours Audiobook

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

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. What do you want to learn?
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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

3.5 (657 )
5 star
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3.4 (558 )
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Story
3.7 (558 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Jonathan Efrat, Israel 11-27-14
    Jonathan Efrat, Israel 11-27-14 Member Since 2013
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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
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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
  •  
    Coredapple 05-14-14
    Coredapple 05-14-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Nice guide"

    I can understand the negative reviews but the "filler" examples on the advice were quite interesting by themselves (as those were things I would have liked to learn mystelf) and so I did not find them a waste. The advice on programming and yoga were a bit too descriptive, however. Code samples are not ideal for an audible book and should have been summarised. The description of yoga postures also requires a picture or video and not ideal in an audio book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susana Arenys de Munt, Spain 04-23-14
    Susana Arenys de Munt, Spain 04-23-14
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    "Down to Earth but too detailed"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The initial chapters explain the method, and although they are common sense, nothing revolutionary, it is well explained and good to be reminded of. But the following chapters are really boring since it goes too deep into details about what he is learning, and unless you are interested in the same issues....like for instance playing the ukelele, it is just plain tedious. Couldn't keep my attention at all.


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

    No. Only worthwhile the few first chapters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dominic Moscow, Idaho, United States 01-31-14
    Dominic Moscow, Idaho, United States 01-31-14
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    "If you want to learn anything, this is the book!"
    What did you love best about The First 20 Hours?

    In depth analysis on how to learn any subject, many other things that are good for you and stufff.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    FRANZ RIEGER 01-24-14
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    "6 hour of crap"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    If He cut 6 hours of his detailed lerning experiences ad leave only the first hour.


    What could Josh Kaufman have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    We need how not what.
    Stop be greedy for make bigger book.


    Any additional comments?

    GET A REAL JOB

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ziv Pollak Canada 01-14-14
    Ziv Pollak Canada 01-14-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Dont bother"
    What disappointed you about The First 20 Hours?

    Introduction has nothing new to offer. Other chapters are a lof of "fluff" and very little content.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Josh Kaufman again?

    Nope


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Josh Kaufman?

    Wouldn't make a difference. Content is bad.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike 01-04-14
    Mike 01-04-14
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    "Dissapointed"

    Josh Kaufman did a good job at the beginning of this book talking about the learning process. The rest of the book he explained very well some history on Yoga which made me skip to the next chapter cause I was not interested in listen to 30 minutes about where yoga comes from and who what where. In another chapter he explained how he built a web site and how a server interacts with a client computer, if you have some knowledge about computers it was interesting but nothing to do or help you learn fast it was all about what he learned. There was little support for the title of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sam Anchorage, AK, United States 11-20-13
    sam Anchorage, AK, United States 11-20-13 Member Since 2006

    sjdickey

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Helping to help yourself more quickly"

    Read the book, listened to the audio book and set out to practice using the methods Josh described.

    Less then 20 hours later I was making acceptable hand cut dovetails.

    Just over 20 hours later I was coding to the just over basic level I needed to accomplish a specific task..

    Practical explanations of practical methodologies that worked. Since reading the book I have learned a new skill I wanted, Learned one I needed and learned one i Promptly abandoned.

    If you want to save yourself some time and learn more about skills and yourself this book is a must read.

    I do have to agree with some of the folks that gave this book poor reviews. You can save even more time by only reading the first few chapters that explain the method and thought processes. Over half the content is filler that without the hard copy will only make some sense.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lawrence Chesterfield, va, United States 08-20-13
    Lawrence Chesterfield, va, United States 08-20-13 Member Since 2014
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    "If you really listen to this book, you will learn"
    What did you love best about The First 20 Hours?

    The book is informative, instructive, and true to the author's intent. In the first 6 chapters, which is only 20% of the way through the book, you will learn everything you need. The remainder of the book reinforces these teachings with real examples, one which I'm sure will enlighten you, as it has enlightened and validated me.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The 6 stories which reinforce the key teaching of the book.


    What about Josh Kaufman’s performance did you like?

    His passion


    What insight do you think you’ll apply from The First 20 Hours?

    To be pleased to know something about lots of my interests, rather than nothing about things I am interested in.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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