Learning new skills is paramount in today’s world. Whether you are searching for a first job, seeking a promotion in your current job or planning to make a career pivot, your ability to learn new skills (fast) will be your best friend.
In his book “The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything. Fast!”, Josh Kaufman suggests the following 10 steps to gain a new skill quickly:
- Choose a project you love, a project you are very curious about.
- Focus your energy on one skill at a time, don’t try to learn everything at once.
- Define your target performance level, when you become “good enough” on the skill. This will define how long and how much energy you will put in this project.
- Deconstruct the skill into sub-skills. Divide and conquer.
- Obtain critical tools, the tools you need for practice and performance.
- Eliminate barriers to practice, including emotional barriers. Set your environment in a way to reduce the effort required to practice. Remove distractions, put your mobile phone away, etc.
- Make dedicated time for practice, MAKE it.
- Create fast feedback loops. Feedback is to get accurate information about how well you are performing. Using this information to improve the performance creates a feedback loop. The faster the loop, the faster the learning.
- Practice by the clock in short bursts. You may try the Pomodoro technique.
- Emphasize quantity and speed. Don’t seek perfection. Quantity is better than quality for learning a new skill.
To be at your best performance, and accelerate your learning curve, make sure you are in the zone, or in a flow state. More on that in future posts.