The First 20 Hours

  • by Josh Kaufman
  • Narrated by Josh Kaufman
  • 7 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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?


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)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Finished the thesis early in the book

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Maybe someone in their early 20s with little experience in their life might like it.

Would you ever listen to anything by Josh Kaufman again?


Would you listen to another book narrated by Josh Kaufman?

Not sure. Really not going to.

What character would you cut from The First 20 Hours?

I'd kill all the stories about things he learned in his past.

Any additional comments?

Seriously, he finishes his thesis early in the book. The rest is just fill. He talks about how he learned yoga and computer programming (that's all in the past). This was all about 20/20 foresight. How about talking about his thesis and then actually applying it to something he knows nothing about. Write about that. Write about how it's something he wants to learn, but is fighting with all the self doubts, frustration and aggravation of finding the motivation to do what he intellectually wants, but has trouble finding the discipline to actually learn. Prove that thesis. Don't just introduce the thesis and then look back into the past about how it worked for things he already learned. Don't talk about things he had to learn for his business. I have to do that all the time. I have to learn about things I could care less about because I have to do it for my business.

All in all, this book talks about a thesis that could be stated in 3 lines. Only focus on learning one thing at a time. Devote the time to do it and don't let any other learning distractions stop you from this goal. And finally, think before you do. Plan how you're going to learn and do it intelligently. I have a problem with that idea because it all falls back to 20/20 foresight. You can't learn what's important and what isn't until you learn something about it.

In the end, this was a brief thesis that didn't need the full space of a book. It makes money for the author because it's not a brief article that he can put on his website--it's a book. And this book is a waste of time and money.

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- Grady

First 3 Chapters are enough

The book has a great start and fullfilled my expectations. The you get 30min of yoga history and you just stop listening.
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- Christophe

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-13-2013
  • Publisher: Worldly Wisdom Ventures LLC