Are you looking for a faster way to expertise?
You may have heard about the 10,000-hour rule which has been popularized as the gold standard for becoming an expert in any given field.
However, recent research suggests that there is a more realistic and achievable timeframe for expertise – the 100-hour rule.
The 10,000-hour rule was developed by author Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers: The Story of Success and suggests that 10,000 hours of deliberate practice are needed to become world-class in any field.
This has been a popular notion for many years but recent research points towards the fact that this theory is not necessarily accurate.
Think about it... during those 10,000 hours, the rate of learning isn’t constant: it’s subject to diminishing returns.
Could you tell the difference between a top tennis player with 9,000 hours of practice and one with 10,000 hours of practice?
Not unless you were a world-class expert yourself: by the time you’re that good, there are only teeny-tiny improvements left to make and they only come very slowly.
On the other hand, the 100-hour rule suggests that with approximately 100 hours of deep study, an individual can become proficient enough in any given field to have an impact on their career or life.
This shortened time frame allows you to quickly become proficient in any given field.
Someone with 100 hours of deliberate practice in any field will appear impressively good at it from the perspective of someone who’s never practiced it at all.
This applies to fields of knowledge as well as practical skills.
If you can dedicate 10 hours per week to any given topic or skill, in 10 weeks’ time you’ll be at a totally different level from where you are now.
The key to success with this method is breaking down the skill or area you're learning into smaller components that you can focus on.
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It all starts with breaking the new skill you want to learn into sub-skills or the new area in which you want to become an expert into important and critical components and the rest.
This helps prevent both overwhelm and burnout by giving you manageable chunks that can be tackled one at a time.
Once these elements are mastered, you can start to put them together in order to build expertise.
And you'll find that the benefits of learning grow exponentially as we go from novice to competent to world-class.
The 10,000-hour rule is based on becoming the best of the best and requires a tremendous amount of practice (and probably innate talent, too) to reach the top 1% in a given field.
But it probably only takes 100 hours of deep and deliberate learning or practice to go from knowing nothing to knowing more than 95% of the population—enough to make you competent, even to set you apart.
In other words… while it may take 10,000 hours to develop mastery, in many fields, we don’t need mastery.
We don’t need to achieve elite status; we need competence.
And it takes a fraction of those 10,000 hours to attain it.
The 10,000-hour rule is great for those who aspire to be elite.
But for those of us who lack the determination and focus – and are, frankly, too old anyway – the 100-hour rule could be just what we need.
Ultimately, the 100-hour rule offers an achievable and realistic way to expertise.
Sure it requires dedication and hard work but provides a much faster route than the 10,000-hour rule for those willing to invest their time wisely.
The rewards of expertise are great and available for anyone who puts in the effort - so why not give it a try?