Not long ago if you acquired one skill or trade then you could work and earn a living from it for the rest of your life. You felt secure that you could buy a home and provide for your family. Change was a rarity. Things have progresses so fast that now you need to keep updating and acquiring new skills constantly just to survive. If you stay still then you will be replaced or down sized. To progress you better be good at acquiring new skills and do so very quickly. It’s the only way to get ahead. You have acquire skills that are valuable and can get you a good return.
If you want to acquire a new skill quickly then follow these steps.
1. Pick a project that you are passionate about and that will give you the skills you want to develop.Or think of a skill that will add the most value to your life and family. If you are an international businessman then learning a new language such as Chinese,Spanish or Arabic could be very valuable.
2. Find someone else whose you like to spend time with and wants to acquire the same skill and share your progress, ideas and knowledge. This will make it more fun and provide added motivation and accountability. Check in daily with this partner by phone, Skype or in person and talk about what you are doing and how your progressing.
3. Just pick one skill and focus all your energy into developing it. Don’t dissipate your energy on more than one thing. If you pick several things then your progress will be much slower. The idea here is to pick up a new skill in the quickest possible time. You need a critical mass of focus, energy and time to do this.
4. Define your target performance level you want to achieve. Our goal isn’t world class level or becoming champion. You want to achieve a level of performance that will be valuable to you or a level you can enjoy. If you want to learn to play golf you aim is not to be the next Tiger Woods but to reach a level that you play with friends, colleagues or business partner and really enjoy it.
5. When you are learning then deconstruct the skill and break it down to chunks you can work on that will enhance your overall performance. If you can break it into chunks you can work on daily then you will have something to focus on and improve quickly.
6. Get all the gear and critical tools you need to acquire the new skill. This will make you feel like a professional. If you don’t have the tools you’ll make excuses for your lack of progress and for missing sessions.
7. Eliminate all excuses and barriers to practice. Get to it quickly. Don’t rationalise. Don’t over analyse things just get on with it now. Don’t procrastinate. The best time is always now. Get rid of phone, internet, and any other disruption.
8. Allocate dedicated time to practice. You will not suddenly have an extra 2 hours turning up in your schedule. Replace low value time with time dedicated to acquiring the skill you have chosen. If you spend 2 hours watching TV then replace it with high value time in learning the new skill. In long run you will much better. Allocate at least 90 minutes to practice daily. Break that down into 15 or 30 minute blocks of time. Use a timer. Once you start only stop when the timer stops. Allocate 100 hours total to start off and then review your performance level before you move onto a new skill.
9. Focus on both quality and speed. Don’t get bogged down with perfection at first. Just do it and the next time do it a little better. Try to improve every time.
10. Get feedback. The more immediate the feedback the better. If you can afford a coach then get one straight away. Use recording devices such as iphone, ipads or video camera to record your practice sessions. Analyse them and then focus on improving your level. You will identify things you can do better.
11. If get a chance at immersion and can get away then go for it. For example, there may be a course running in your area with an expert. If you have the time and money then get onto it. However, don’t rely on it.
With focus and effort follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to getting a new skill that could change your life for ever.