Wednesday, March 13, 2019

How many hours to master a skill?

Joshua Burkhart
We don’t need 10,000 hours to master a skill. Here are 5+ steps
You’ve probably heard the theory that it takes 10,000 hours for skill mastery.
It’s been a huge part of the self-development community since Malcolm Gladwell released his book Outliers (wiki version).
The gist of Outliers
If you’re anything like me, you’ve already run the math to determine how many hours a day for how many years you’ll have to spend in order to master meditation, yoga, martial arts, and everything else from writing to cooking.
In some ways this has been empowering. I feel like I can pick up any task, give it 20 years, and master it. In other ways it’s been overwhelming. I mean that’s a lot of practice.

There’s good news: Gladwell was wrong

You see, he didn’t actually interview researcher Anders Ericcson, the scientist whose work he based his 10,000 hour rule on. So he ended up misinterpreting the information. (Journalists and self-help gurus of can't handle scientific data).
So let’s set the record straight, it’s not exactly how much we practice, but rather how we practice.
According to Anders Ericcson there are two essential parts to practice, which he shares on a Freakonomics episode (LISTEN).

Purposeful practice
Purposeful practice is when we actually pick a target — something that we want to improve — and we find a training activity that would allow us to actually improve that particular aspect.

Deliberate practice
How I see myself when I sit to meditate -- a star in space in a pyramid (Ariana Grande)
We think of deliberate practice requiring a teacher that actually has had experience of how to help individuals reach very high levels of performance.

Behavioral shifts occur when we break larger tasks down into their smaller components and practice them one step at a time, with some good teaching, self-awareness, and coaching.

Now in my own experience, a skill’s learning curve tends to be in our favor. 

You might not achieve quick mastery, but you can get exponentially better with just a little effort. 

Right now we’ll be exploring five key points that will help you gain proficiency in any skill. More

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