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?

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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

Good Essay not really an audio book

What disappointed you about The First 20 Hours?

Kaufman is clearly passionate about his topic but its more of an essay than a full book.


What could Josh Kaufman have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Less lists more substance when describing how he learnt each subject.


How did the narrator detract from the book?

lists lists and more lists


Any additional comments?

the first 20 pages are very good and they have made me get off my couch and pick up my ukulele. His TED talk on the topic is worth a visit

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- Jen

Pretty Disappointing

Would you try another book written by Josh Kaufman or narrated by Josh Kaufman?

Yes, I like his writing and his narration is very good


What was most disappointing about Josh Kaufman’s story?

Got to say I am a little disappointed with it. Essentially 2/3 of the book are the case study examples of the new skills that the author decided to learn. Unless you are really interested in learning how to do yoga, web programming, touch-typing, play the Ukulele, the board game GO or windsurfing for yourself then the majority of the book can be pretty boring and somewhat tedious.

All the actually useful information and takeaways from the book (unless you are interested in the above skills) are in the first 3 chapters (40 pages) & the final 2 pages of the Afterword at the end.


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- Gym Addict

Book Details

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