Does the 10000 hour rule really work? Is it a timeline we should set for ourselves when trying to master a hobby? This is what Malcolm Gladwell lays out in his book “Outliers”. This principle is really effective if you intend to develop lifelong learning of any hobby or skill you choose. That is if you intend to master it over a long period of time.
According to research, in learning any skill, with the aim of getting to elite levels, you need to practice that skill for at least 10,000 hours in order to become truly proficient at it. Having an understanding of how these principle works gives you a good basis for going through with your hobby. It creates a sense of patience, giving you the necessary mindset of a can-do person, a person who sticks with a hobby for a prolonged period, probably because that’s how mastering anything works, time, patience, and practice.
Thus, the 10,000 Hour rule if adopted as a guiding principle can help you stay focused on developing a skill rather than having the patience to really put in the effort.
So, in this article, we will be discussing the 10000 Hour rule for the purpose of applying its logic when practicing a hobby.
The 10,000 Hour Rule
The 10,000 Hour principle is based on the idea that to actually become an expert at anything, a time investment of 10,000 hours of practice is essential. This was based on a number of observations scientists have seen time and time again when studying elite people in their respective fields, especially in sports and music.
Exactly what Malcolm Gladwell argued in his book, “Outliers“. Specifically making the claim that becoming a world-class elite in your field requires you to have favorable circumstances that will afford you 10,000 hours of practice.
Malcolm Gladwell’s Summary of the 10,000 Hour Rule
Malcolm Gladwell, within the book, makes the point about how specialized persons get good at what they do by putting in 10,000 hours of intensive practice. To reach mastery, you need to have the patience to invest the required effort over a period of about ten years. According to him, of course, research is the only way to truly achieve mastery of what you’re doing. In other words, before it becomes truly second nature.
He later went on to discuss how notable names like Bill Joy, Bill Gates, The Beatles, and others as well. However, we won’t go into much detail here. But the key point is that all these people had opportunities to practice a skill for 10,000 hours which made a big difference in their careers. They became very specialized in their fields because of the amount of time they had to exert themselves in learning the skill.
Is the 10,000 Hour Rule an Effective Theory
There are different perspectives on this concept and whether it counts for mastering any skill. However, becoming proficient at any hobby or skill still requires an enormous amount of practice and hard work.
We won’t hesitate to debunk the theory, and neither should you set limits for yourselves because of it. What is important here is that to get truly specialized at any hobby you pick up; you need to exert yourself and put in the time, using well-researched methods and strategies for effective learning.
The idea is to put in the time mindlessly, but to be intentional at it, deliberately breaking down the complex skill and practicing each part to its fullest extent. As we like to put it, develop complexity by focusing on the specifics.
Techniques or Strategies For Effective Practice
- Start using the Feynman Technique.
- Practice deliberately.
- Study the giants in your field.
- Make a list of all the skills and sub-skills you need to learn.
- Practice the Pomodoro technique.
List of Books By Malcolm Gladwell
Want to learn more about Malcolm Gladwell, here is a list of books by one of the New York Times bestsellers.
- The Tipping Point
- What the Dog Saw
- David and Goliath
- The Bomber Mafia
- Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
- Miracle and Wonder: Conversations with Paul Simon
- I Hate the Ivy League: Riffs and Rants on Elite Education
- The Myths of Meritocracy: A Revisionist History Anthology
The 10,000 Hour rule provides an effective guideline for effective skill development. It can help you really have a long-term perspective on your hobby without backing out when you face problems.