How To Learn Any New Skill In Just 20 Hours or Less?

How To Learn Any New Skill In Just 20 Hours or Less?

Ages ago, our forefathers learned to light the ‘Smoke Signals’ to pass information. Then they learned to send messages through ‘Pigeon Carriers’. Our Grandfathers learned to use ‘Telegraphs’ to do the same. Our fathers used landlines where we’re using smartphones to communicate.  And what’s next? Our kids may learn to do ‘Telepathy’! (This might be possible with the hope of Steve Wozniak and Michio Kaku)

…In this ever-changing world, we all should continuously reinvent ourselves to keep up with the pace. But, the question is ‘How should we spend the time to learn new skills in this busy world without quitting our job or passion?’

-Let’s stop thinking. Josh Kaufman has the answer to our question.

“With just 20 hours of focused, deliberate practice you can go from absolutely nothing to performing noticeably well”,  says Josh Kaufman, in his book- The First 20 Hours: How to learn anything Fast

He breaks down the learning of new skills and shows how to acquire any new skill in 20 hours or less. With the help of his strategy, we can learn anything new faster than ever. Yes, we can learn even the rocket science in 20 hours and compete with Elon Musk!

How dude?

Josh Kaufman– best selling author, entrepreneur and an autodidact , has learnt brand new skills in the past 12 months without quitting his day job or ignoring his family. Look what he learnt with his strategy….

  • How to code – His entire business runs on software he wrote.
  • How to do yoga- He’s getting stronger and more flexible every day.
  • How to windsurf-Having super fun during weekends.
  • How to play ukulele-He’s playing many popular songs.
  • How to play Go- He’s playing this oldest strategic board game.
  • How to touch type- He types through a keyboard layout called Colemak, which is more efficient than QWERTY keyboard we people use.
  • How to shoot and edit a movie- It’s rated No.2 in and generates him a revenue of $20,000.

While learning these skills, he taught three business training courses, took care of his two-year-old-daughter, helped his wife build her business and wrote the manuscript for his second book.

Now, It’s time for us to learn anything new faster than ever!

The following four things are the secret mantra of fast learning.

Just Break Down The Skills:

Most of the skills we want to learn are the bundles of sub-skills that occur in combination. The first thing to do is ‘Break down the skill you want to learn into sub-skills and prepare a sub-skill set’.

  • For Public Speaking – Body language, presentation skills, fluency.
  • For Java Coding – Syntax, basics of variables, comparison operators and if/then statements.

If you find difficulty in breaking down a skill, follow these steps to get them done:

  • Get expert advice to break the skill you want to learn. Use and for the chat and video assistance from experts.
  • Find a relevant forum. Get connected with persons who are also learning the skill. is one of the best places to start with.
  • Watch videos of the ‘Master in that skill’. Analyse what they do. You will find the maximum of key elements of skill.

Build a LEGO block:

By LEGO block, I mean ‘Prioritise the sub-skill elements of the skill and practise one by one based on the priority’.  Do not practise every sub-skill with the equal amount of importance and time. Find an essential sub-skill followed by the least essentials. Concentrate 60% of your practising time in an essential sub-skill. Spend the rest on the remaining skills.

Say ‘No’ to the barriers:

While learning, there are barriers that tempt us to stop. Find the barriers and make yourself to overcome them. Here are the most common barriers to learning.

  • We just talk!– Most of us, say things like ‘ I want to learn Machine Learning someday’ and never sit down to actually make a plan to practice. Be a doer! – Learn how to overcome procrastination.
  • Is this a Zombie? – When learning something new, it’s natural to have enormous gaps in your understanding of the topic. You’re aware of what you don’t know and this state will create a fear and uncertainty. Don’t just give up- Perseverance always pays!
  • He’s better than me?– We all have this habit of comparing against others at whatever we do. This will spoil our learning and it’s a crucial barrier to learning new skills. Stop looking onto others!
  • I’m tired of this! – At the beginning stage of learning, we feel frustrated and it’s very common for all learners. We know it’s hard but keep on practising.
  • ‘Mary updated a story’– Yes, our smartphones ping us with notifications, calls, text messages, etc. every time. Unplug your electronic devices and gadgets while learning.

Stop learning start doing- 40 minutes a day for about a Month!

Doing is the actual learning. After preparing all the above-said steps, gather learning materials and resources. Learn what to do and just do….But before doing, sit down, take out your calendar, and do the math.

  • When exactly are you going to practice?
  • What are you going to give up, reschedule, or stop doing to make the time? Allot 40 minutes a day for about a month.
  • Make sure to stick to your schedule and set the timer for 40 minutes.
  • Start practising the skill at the corresponding time.

Also Read: The science-backed proven strategies for effective learning of anything


“The first few hours of learning anything are frustrating and confusing. At 2-4 hours of learning, you begin to get the hang of it. By hours 4-6, you start to see really exciting results. By hours 15-20, you’re better than most people will ever be.”

Pro Tips:

  • Always keep on tracking your progress and motivate yourself while learning. Habitica is the best online platform to get motivation and keep track of your progress.
  • Keep all your focus on learning for a month and avoid distractions that make you stop practising. Use the following forums to increase your willpower and focus. Get Motivated Buddies and College info geek
  • We have a tendency to search, read, scroll and store. Don’t spend most of your time by doing these. This will procrastinate actual learning.
  • Don’t be in the mindset of being an expert.  You don’t need to be an expert – you just need to practice enough to get the results you want, whatever they might be.

Useful sites for learning:

We want to reduce your time in search for useful sites to learn. Hence, we share them herewith.

  • Skillshare (for everything from programming to cooking to music)
  • italki (for language teachers)
  • Treehouse (for programming courses)
  • Lynda (most “digital skills” that you can think of)
  • Coursera (more “academic” and formal, but still useful, especially for more technical skills)

Just jump in, follow these strategies, start messing around and make mistakes. When you look back after a month or even years later, you can see how far you’ve come and you’ll be glad that your friends will appreciate you for performing well at the particular skill!

Still, you feel struggling! Join our discussion at Buzzyard or mail us your query to We’ll help you to learn new skills- faster than ever. So what are you waiting for?

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