How to Learn a New Skill

How to Learn a New Skill

Lately I've been trying to analyze how long it takes me to learn a new skill. During the process I came across a widely touted theory, highlighted in a 1993 psychology paper [http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/blogs/freakonomics/pdf/DeliberatePractice%28PsychologicalReview%29.pdf] and popularized by Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers. It says that anyone can master a skill with 10,000 hours of practice. What?! 10,000 hours? That's equivalent to five years of practice. But many of us have learne

Lately I've been trying to analyze how long it takes me to learn a new skill. During the process I came across a widely touted theory, highlighted in a 1993 psychology paper and popularized by Malcolm Gladwell’s book _Outliers. _It says that anyone can master a skill with 10,000 hours of practice.

What?! 10,000 hours? That's equivalent to five years of practice. But many of us have learned something that didn't take us close to that long, right? And in fact, other studies have actually proved Malcolm Gladwell's theory wrong.

What we need is the right way and the right approach to learning anything we want to learn. These four techniques that I'll discuss here will help you acquire any skill.

Deconstruct the skill

The first thing to do is to deconstruct the skill you want to learn. Decide exactly what you want to be able to do when you are done, and then look into the skill and break it down into smaller and smaller pieces.

Most of the things we think of as skills are actually a big bundle of skills that require us to do a lot of different things. The more you can break apart the skill the more you can decide exactly which parts of the skill will help you get to exactly what you want. Then you can practice those bits first.

If you practice the most important things first, you will be able to improve your performance the fastest.

new skill machine learning deconstruct

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