How Many Hours Does It Take to Be Proficient at Something?
What’s the result that you want to accomplish? Do you want to play guitar better than Stevie Ray Vaughan or be one of the people who design moon rockets?
Whatever it is the one hard fast rule is you must show up and put in the work.
I must have read a hundred books on how to play the piano.
Nope can barely play “Chopsticks.” After days, weeks, and years of practice — Carnegie Hall.
Showing Up Isn’t the Only Key
If you want to be proficient at something, it’s more than just desire. A person spending 4 hours a day will progress faster than someone putting in 2 hours per day.
Both are putting in the time needed, and it may take both the same number of total hours.
The difference is the person putting in four hours will accomplish the goal faster — same hours for both — one just gets it done quicker.
The amount of available time you must devote to your goal is another consideration. “Success is the day-to-day progression toward a worthwhile goal or dream.”
Are more hours put in equal to a successful outcome? Let’s look deeper.
There Are Exceptions
If I want to run a marathon in six months, how will I prepare? Right now, if I wanted to run a 100-yard dash they’d time me with a calendar.
Training 18–20 hours a day is probably going to damage my body beyond repair.
It’s not just the number of hours per day or week but how those hours are spent to be efficient and productive in the proficiency process.
Cramming the night before the final exam will probably not help you pass the test.
You’d be better off getting a good night’s sleep and hope your subconscious will remember the lectures and pop those answers into your mind.
There Are Exceptions to Exceptions
We’ve all read books cover to cover in one sitting. Other times it might take a week to finish one.