Learning in a month


Doesn’t learning something take 10,000 hours?

Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers popularised the idea that to become an expert it requires 10,000 hours of practice. He got to this figure by looking at the careers of top musicians and performers and finding the average time they spent dedicated to their art before they got to a world-class level.

If you worked non-stop for four weeks without breaks you would only have practiced for around 672 hours suggesting that mastering something in a month should be impossible.

However our aim isn’t to become the best in the world at what we learn. The secret behind Give it a Month is that getting quite good at a new skill doesn’t take much time at all.

When you first start learning something you can make progress really quickly whereas to go from good to expert level is what takes time. If you deconstruct the skill or area of knowledge you’d like to learn and spend time deliberating practicing and developing it you’ll be amazed at the results that you can get after a month. You can then decide to take your skill further or move onto something.

Further Reading

Part of our process is inspired by Josh Kaufman’s The First 20 Hours in which he explains how it’s possible to acquire skills in just a matter of hours.

If you’re interested in his method of rapid skill which he used to learn everything from meditation to the ancient Chinese game Go then his book is definitely worth checking out.