If knowledge and understanding is key to wealth creation then we need ways to accelerate our learning. Fortunately a lot of research has been done in this area. In his book, The First 20 Hours: How to Learn anything Fast, Josh Kaufman highlights the five key steps to learn anything new within 20 hours.
1. Decide what you want to learn. One must be very clear on what they really want. You have to form a clear picture of what the desired end will look like. You have to be very intentional on what you want to achieve. For instance say you want to become more financially literate. You have to imagine yourself being able to read comfortably any company annual report or business related literature. You need to see yourself being able to apply this new found knowledge to streamline your finances, business ventures and projects.
2. Break down the skills involved. Financial literacy is a big word which can be broken down into its component parts. These would include understanding cash flows, budgeting, expense management, project management, marketing, sales, risk, accounting, reporting, economics, strategy, etc. Once broken down simply concentrate on learning one aspect at a time. For example start by learning how to form a simple monthly budget.
3. Researching. Identify 3 to 5 resources related to the one skill you want to develop and quickly skim through them. The idea is to grasp the key concepts which are most critical. So identify books, websites, audio books, videos, etc. related to budgeting. Identify the key lessons and immediately put them in action.
4. Remove barriers to practice. You need 20 hours to grasp the key concepts of any subject. This translates to 40 minutes a day for 30 days. Once you set aside those 40 minutes nothing MUST distract you when you are practicing what you are learning. This means no TV, no phones, no kids, no Facebook, no Whatsapp. You must have total concentration in these 40 minutes.
5. Commit to at least 20 hours of focused learning and deliberate practice before you start. You MUST have a mindset of total commitment to learn something new before you start. The Law of concentration states that whatever you dwell upon grows and expands in your life.
Remember the people who succeed in life and become wealthy are the ones who do the things unsuccessful people don’t do.