Summary of How to Learn Anything...Fast

Looking for the video?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 5 minutes.

How to Learn Anything...Fast summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans




  • For Beginners
  • Applicable


According to an ancient Chinese proverb, “Learning is like rowing upstream: Not to advance is to drop back.” However, as business author Josh Kaufman points out, learning something new doesn’t have to be the excruciating upstream struggle that many people imagine. With clear insights and a ukulele solo, Kaufman expunges myths about learning and shares best practices in becoming proficient at any new activity. getAbstract recommends his charming presentation to anyone who has longed to take up a new instrument, language, sport or skill but dreads getting started.

About the Speaker

Business adviser and author Josh Kaufman wrote The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything…Fast.



A common misconception is that “it takes 10,000 hours to learn something.” This fallacy originally entered the public consciousness via psychologist K. Anders Ericsson’s studies of people who are leaders in their fields, such as chess grandmasters. These maestros, Ericsson found, excel by undergoing 10,000 hours of deliberate practice over the course of a decade. Yet most people who want to learn something new don’t aim to be world champions. In fact, if you follow the right process, you can become proficient at any new skill in just 20 hours, or 40 minutes every day for a month. To learn something quickly, take these five steps:

  1. Define what you ...

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

Why Constant Learners All Embrace the 5-Hour Rule
How to Get Better at the Things You Care About
How Do We Learn to Work with Intelligent Machines
To Raise Brave Girls, Encourage Adventure
1% Better Every Day

Related Channels

Comment on this summary

  • Avatar
  • Avatar
    Bradley Revell 2 years ago
    This makes sense. I don't like the use of the 10,000 hours here though as it isn't relevant. The 10,000 hours analogy has been used to represent the time required to realistically master a skill; not learn it.
  • Avatar
    Allison Stein 2 years ago
    Helpful information