How Much Time Does It Take to Learn Something New?

How Much Time Does It Take to Learn Something New?

One of the questions we are asked by online learners all the time is – how much time does it take to learn a new skill, such as Data AnalysisFinancial AnalysisIntermediate-Level Excel or Business Presentation.

Well….that depends on your commitment and ability to focus or concentrate. Josh Kaufman, who wrote one of the best books on MBA of all time, The Personal MBA, famously said, it take only 20 hours to learn absolutely any new skill.

That goes against conventional wisdom that says it takes 10,000 hours to master a new skill. Kaufman disagrees with that vehemently and argues you don’t really need that much time.

Kaufman’s 4-step process to mastering anything new skill is as follows…

#1: Deconstructing the skill – Understanding what the skill is about and deciding how much of it you want to learn, and what is relevant to you.

#2: Learning enough to self-correct yourself as you go along – The next step is to learn just enough to know when you’re making a mistake. You should be able to self-correct yourself and not depend on someone else to correct your mistakes.

#3: Eliminating all distractions – Distractions are what Kaufman calls “practice barriers”. If you want to learn any skill fast, you have to get rid of distractions such as Twitter, Facebook, binge-watching YouTube videos or Netflix and so on.

#4: Focused Practice – You have t practice the new skill for a total of 20 hours. These 20 hours should be a highly focused and concentrated period where you make every minute count.

The Roadblocks to Learning Something New

It’s not easy to learn something new. We find that most learns start off with a new online course enthusiastically enough. But then once the basics are done and the lessons get more and more complex, they become frustrated, distracted and end up losing interest.

When things get tough, you cannot give up – you have to practice more. Your motivation plays a big role in this. So if you really want to get a data analyst’s job or a financial analyst’s job at a major bank or financial institution, you will have the motivation to work extra hard at the online courses in Data Analysis or Financial Analysis.

Once you get through the tough initial period, and persist through the hard lessons, things will get much easier. You will experience a dramatic level of improvement in your skills in a very short time. The frustration goes away, replaced by a new found interest and enthusiasm. The fear or dread of not being good enough able to master a complex new topic goes away. You will become confident and gain in self-respect and self-esteem.


Learning doesn’t have to be gamified – it is a means to an end. Nobody enjoys learning Excel, but when you do the SKILLFIN LEARNING course on Data Visualization Skills in Excel, you will get an edge over your competitors when applying for a data analyst or financial analyst job at a top bank. Focus and never give up!

P.S. Please log in to provide your comments

Share This Post:

One thought on “How Much Time Does It Take to Learn Something New?”

  1. cleaning and maintenance services March 25, 2024

    wow, awesome blog.Really looking forward to read more. Really Cool.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.