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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?

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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 3.5 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
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dribble

if you want to know about his relationship with yoga then this is the book for you.

  • Overall

Could've been a pamphlet

It's a good system it's just that most of the book is about how he applied it to his own purposes so unless your desire to learn the exact same things he taught himself you're only going to find the first 2 chapters useful.

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Start today!

"You don't find time, you make it"

The emotional barrier is what you need to break in order to acquire any skill you want to proficiency, all it takes is motivation and practice. This book will provide the motivation, you provide the practice.

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  • Stevenson
  • NYACK, NY, United States
  • 03-08-15

The book is a "how to instructional"

Completely fluff. It fails at giving ideas and/or strategies of practice. The book is storytelling of how much the author understands a new learned skill. Then pads the storyline with information the reader can care less about.

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  • Timothy
  • Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 03-05-15

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.

  • Overall
  • Anthony
  • York, Ontario, Canada
  • 03-01-15

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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.