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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

3.5 (717 )
5 star
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Overall
3.4 (608 )
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Story
3.8 (607 )
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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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  •  
    Ziv Pollak Canada 01-14-14
    Ziv Pollak Canada 01-14-14 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
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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 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    les JOPLIN, MO, United States 08-14-13
    les JOPLIN, MO, United States 08-14-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Should have read the reviews first!"
    What disappointed you about The First 20 Hours?

    All the examples he gave were boring as s#!t. If you are planning on doing any of his examples, then you will love it. If you're not planning on it, then it is a waste of time.


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

    No, just turned me off from other books from the author.


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

    This book has great potential, but in reality it sucks (only the first 45 minutes are worth listening to).


    Any additional comments?

    I hope Josh reads his customers comments and takes their suggestions into account for this next book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 08-08-13
    Michael 08-08-13

    Classics, history, historical fiction, marketing, Napoleonic stuff and of course 'Boys own Adventure'. This is my bent. Occasional self help as well.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting"

    Worth a listen to if you having trouble trying to commit to learning a new skill. Reduce your expectations, research, be realistic but most of all commit to regular working at it. A high threshold to aggravation is helpful. I was amazed at his ability to learn a musical instrument but would of like to seen his ability to learn a language as memory wasn't really covered besides the repetition put in to make muscle memory.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 08-06-13
    Jennifer Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 08-06-13 Member Since 2011

    Jennifer B.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "left feeling something promised was missing"

    The narrator, and author is very appealing. The idea is sound - that the 10,000 hours of practice is needed for world-class performance, but not for competence, personal satisfaction, and just good enough.

    The narrator carefully points out those things that are necessary for success in a new venture - a lovable project, a plan, scheduling time for practice etc., but when he comes to give his examples, there is not the same follow-through. I finished this book feeling somehow abandoned by the author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Anthold Porter Ranch, CA, United States 07-14-13
    Dave Anthold Porter Ranch, CA, United States 07-14-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Techniques for Learning"

    Josh takes you through a comprehensive plan for learning anything quickly. That first 20 hours is crucial in your ability to learn (whatever it is you want to learn) and eventually master.

    In addition, he walks you through different examples of how he learned to program, play an instrument and learn a new touch typing method. I listened to the examples I wanted to and moved on (as he gave us permission to).

    All in all, I think it is a book I would go back to again and again to refresh my skills and challenge myself to learn something new.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David CHERRY HILL, NJ, United States 07-11-13
    David CHERRY HILL, NJ, United States 07-11-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Let Down"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Anyone who needs clear structure on how to learn something new.


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

    No


    Have you listened to any of Josh Kaufman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I loved Josh Kaufman's the Personal MBA and was really excited for this book. After the first chapter I listened to Josh drone on about how he learned things. Big waste of time.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lasse brøndby, Denmark 07-01-13
    Lasse brøndby, Denmark 07-01-13

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great tips but boring story"
    What disappointed you about The First 20 Hours?

    I was disappointed by hearing the storys about how he used the technique to learn new skills.The book started great with tips and techniques. After that he tell about how he used it to learn new skills. But after listning to 15 different yoga position and a lot of command i will never use i got bored and didn't listen to the rest of the book.


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

    No i still like this kind of books.


    Have you listened to any of Josh Kaufman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    He have a great voice and you get access to some extra material on his website.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • sarah
    Harefield, United Kingdom
    7/15/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not a good listen"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I'm not sure who would want to listen to this book - somebody who wanted to learn how to do yoga? the book went through all the yoga positions and how to do them? I have done yoga I really didn't need anybody to tell me how to do it? I thought it was going to give me a game plan for learning some sort of framework but it didn't.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Josh Kaufman again?

    No


    What didn’t you like about Josh Kaufman’s performance?

    the content


    Any additional comments?

    Don't buy

    15 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • Joe Morrison
    6/3/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointed"
    What disappointed you about The First 20 Hours?

    after such a brilliant first book this really missed the mark.it seemed very repetitive and self serving


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

    no


    Would you be willing to try another one of Josh Kaufman’s performances?

    prob not


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointed


    Any additional comments?

    none

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jen
    surrey, United Kingdom
    2/24/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good Essay not really an audio book"
    What disappointed you about The First 20 Hours?

    Kaufman is clearly passionate about his topic but its more of an essay than a full book.


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

    Less lists more substance when describing how he learnt each subject.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    lists lists and more lists


    Any additional comments?

    the first 20 pages are very good and they have made me get off my couch and pick up my ukulele. His TED talk on the topic is worth a visit

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Theo
    1/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very good listen"

    He highlights what we know we should do with a lot of passion and enthusiasm. It is then up to you to make decisions about what you want in life

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gym Addict
    Trinidad & Tobago
    5/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Pretty Disappointing"
    Would you try another book written by Josh Kaufman or narrated by Josh Kaufman?

    Yes, I like his writing and his narration is very good


    What was most disappointing about Josh Kaufman’s story?

    Got to say I am a little disappointed with it. Essentially 2/3 of the book are the case study examples of the new skills that the author decided to learn. Unless you are really interested in learning how to do yoga, web programming, touch-typing, play the Ukulele, the board game GO or windsurfing for yourself then the majority of the book can be pretty boring and somewhat tedious.

    All the actually useful information and takeaways from the book (unless you are interested in the above skills) are in the first 3 chapters (40 pages) & the final 2 pages of the Afterword at the end.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Rik
    5/21/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very inspiring"

    I've just finished listening to this and am about to start again to try and embed it!

    Highly recommend!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew Ebling
    4/26/15
    Overall
    "Insightful and inspiring listen"

    Although others have criticised this book for only being a few chapters of "meat" followed by examples, I found the examples to be the realisation of the meat of the book - the application of the principles contained.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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