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The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything... Fast! | [Josh Kaufman]

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

3.4 (549 )
5 star
 (133)
4 star
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Overall
3.3 (465 )
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Story
3.6 (463 )
5 star
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4 star
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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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  •  
    JB NORTH CHILI, NY, United States 06-17-13
    JB NORTH CHILI, NY, United States 06-17-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "still evaluating but like what I hear so far"
    What made the experience of listening to The First 20 Hours the most enjoyable?

    enthusiastic author/narrator. concepts presented appear logical and sound.


    What about Josh Kaufman’s performance did you like?

    the author has a great deal of enthusiasm and sounds authoritative


    What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

    acquiring skills without necessarily needing to become an expert.... deciding how much I want to learn about a subject and not becoming overwhelmed and intimidated by it


    Any additional comments?

    I look forward to putting the concepts into practice

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Nelson Falls Church, VA USA 06-18-13
    Michael Nelson Falls Church, VA USA 06-18-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This solves a lot of issues..."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book codifies how to obtain skills quickly and I am thrilled to have it in my hands. So many people are wasting money trying to get an up-to-date skillset for this job market. Josh breaks this task down to easy-to-follow sub-tasks, allowing the learner a clear path to obtain tasks needed to make that person competitive in the job market.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is a game-changer and puts a path for skill acquisition within the reach of everyone. We have already given copies of this book to many friends and family members and will continue to do so.

    4 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay Florence, KY, United States 07-08-13
    Jay Florence, KY, United States 07-08-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Great book... If you love yoga and ukuleles?!"
    Would you try another book from Josh Kaufman and/or Josh Kaufman?

    Doubtful - the material was largely homogenous in learning new skills, but then it became so myopic in its ridiculous specificity and narrow focus on three random skills that it was nearly useless by the 3rd chapter.


    Has The First 20 Hours turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No - excellent writers exist, see John Acuff for example.


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

    Didn't matter - it's the material, not the delivery.


    What character would you cut from The First 20 Hours?

    The author.


    Any additional comments?

    A shame really, there was the making of a good subject here (efficiently acquiring new skills). Unfortunately instead of building out individual principles in the book with real data and additional insight from masters in various fields... We read how the author learned yoga - in excruciating detail.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tania 07-07-13
    tania 07-07-13 Member Since 2015

    TML

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Doesn't really teach you anything"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I wasn't really impressed by the book. Read the title, listen to the first few chapters, and that's all one would need. The rest of the book is about the author learning new activities but without passing any real lessons on to the readers.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Josh Kaufman again?

    maybe


    Which scene was your favorite?

    n/a


    What character would you cut from The First 20 Hours?

    n/a


    Any additional comments?

    I thought the way he talked about not dying and not getting hurt while pursuing a new hobby was pretty funny.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Henderson, Colorado, United States 06-25-13
    James Henderson, Colorado, United States 06-25-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Total Hypocrite"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The vocal performance is fine, but the content is garbage. The first hour he spends talking about how it is a waste of time to listen to theory and that you should learn by practicing, and then proceeds to go on for what seems like hours about the history of Yoga. He has several other "case studies" but frankly I'm done. This is only a magazine article worth of content stretched out into a very boring dry book.


    What was most disappointing about Josh Kaufman’s story?

    That he betrayed his core message roughly a 1/4 of the way through the book by wasting time with history and theory, which were things he said to avoid in the previous chapter.


    What three words best describe Josh Kaufman’s voice?

    regular, normal, plain


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The core message, while basic, was admirable. Practice. Focus on application and not theory. Use your time wisely. But after that the whole thing implodes. He didn't even really talk about how he was applying his methods during his case study portions. It was just history and theory, which again were things he had previously told us to avoid.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm upset with myself for having purchased this.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick Chicago, IL, United States 06-24-13
    Patrick Chicago, IL, United States 06-24-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Terrible book"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    silence. it would have been better to have listened to nothing rather than the 7 hours of babble from josh kaufman.


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Munnelly Ireland 11-12-13
    D. Munnelly Ireland 11-12-13 Member Since 2011

    D. Transform

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    "Should be titled stuff you have no interest in"
    What disappointed you about The First 20 Hours?

    The first hour was fine then just turn it off


    What was most disappointing about Josh Kaufman’s story?

    Focused on skills i have zero interest in acquiring


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    no


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The First 20 Hours?

    everything after about the first hour


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sanjaya Jakarta, Indonesia 10-28-13
    Sanjaya Jakarta, Indonesia 10-28-13 Member Since 2013
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    "I don't learn much."
    Would you try another book from Josh Kaufman and/or Josh Kaufman?

    This is my second book from Josh Kaufman. I read the Personal MBA, not from audiobook. I think Josh has a give to write in a simple, easy to understand way. So, yeah, I will perhaps buy another book of Josh, but not the audiobook.


    Has The First 20 Hours turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No. I like personal development book and I think this book has something to offer that is very unique.


    How could the performance have been better?

    I think Josh is not the best narrator even for his own book (sorry Josh). Perhaps it will be better to use professional narrator.


    Did The First 20 Hours inspire you to do anything?

    Yes, the first 20 hours inspire me to learn Golf.


    Any additional comments?

    I feel a bit disappointed because I have read the article by Josh before reading the book, and I don't find anything more valuable from the book.

    Also the examples that Josh gave in the book does not interest me at all. I don't want to learn yoga, programming, windsurfing, or typing. And this part bored me so much, which is maybe 70% of the book (well, maybe not that much, but in boredom time feels longer).

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel GRAND RAPIDS, MI, United States 09-04-13
    Daniel GRAND RAPIDS, MI, United States 09-04-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Learn to breath, Josh"
    Would you try another book from Josh Kaufman and/or Josh Kaufman?

    Only if it isn't read by Josh. His heavy inhale and sentence sprinting is overwhelming.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The performance could have been better if the reader wasn't rushing to start every sentence with an aggressive inhale then speaking each word as short as possible. Read at a normal pace and don't breath into the mic.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Some interesting examples were used, but the book reveals nothing worth the purchase. RD version - learn fast by committing to learn one thing at a time without distractions.


    Any additional comments?

    Josh needs to hire a professional reader. Reading is not his strong suit!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dean TEMPE, AZ, United States 08-29-13
    dean TEMPE, AZ, United States 08-29-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Painful"

    This book didn't really say much of anything. All it said is what you already know. Take a complex project, break it into smaller chunks, and study the smaller chunks. :(

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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