# How to Quickly Master New Skills
This is a summary of "How to kick ass at a new skill you're not wildly passionate about (opens new window)" by Amy Hoy. All credit should go to her for that masterpiece of a blog post.
This is my perspective and summary of her amazing (much more colorfully written 3500+ word) post. You should probably go read it for yourself if this summary appeals to you at all.
# Quitting vs Mastering a Skill
- We quickly master skills which feel easy and quit learning those which feel difficult to become proficient at.
- It's adventageous for us to have become proficient at more than just one skill (see my principle on investing in flexibility (opens new window))
- The trick is to make the learning/mastering part feel easy
- Have a plan. Stick to the plan. The plan is what's below.
# Quickly Start to Expert Advice ("Plunge")
Goal: Get a sense of the operating rules behind what you want to learn; the components, the steps, what is important, what is not important, the process
- Research a maximum of 3-6 articles or videos by experts (hint: this should take hours, not days or weeks)
- Write down what you learned
# Set Yourself up for Success ("K.I.S.S.")
Goal: Feel the "win" by hitting a low bar
- Simplify and distill the process or instructions into less steps, dependencies, requirements, and/or a smaller, simpler output (hint: use training wheels and don't shoot for perfection the way the experts to it). Learn how to do the skill "the easy way".
- Try to do the skill
# Use What You Made ("Proof")
Goal: Identify the one major thing that isn't right with it by using/testing it yourself
- Ship it, even if you don't want to. Especially if it kinda sucks.
- You can only learn what went wrong with it by using/shipping/exposing/doing/eating/testing/showing it
- Identify one big thing to fix. This gives you the next piece to focus on.
# Compare to a Superior Work ("Compare")
Goal: Measure progress on "easy mode" and find a maximum of 1 or 2 areas for improvement
- Remember: You are not your work.
- You can tell if you're progressing if you measure against superior work.
- Progress gives you a dopamine hit. Dopamine hits keep you enjoying the process. Enjoying the process makes it feel easy. Feeling easy creates motivation for more progress. Rinse and repeat.
- Pick ONLY 1 or 2 examples to measure against
- Pick examples to measure against that are similar in scope to what you made
- Pick examples that are good, not perfect (hint: "good" = "things that work well for their intended purpose")
- Find 1 or 2 areas for improvement in your work vs chosen examples
- Find areas for improvement in the examples' work (there's always mistakes)
# Understand the Reason for your Errors ("Reason")
Goal: Identify why the areas for improvement are wrong using the theory understood above
- Using the "Quickly Start to Expert Advice" step (understanding the theory of what makes the output "good"), identify the reason for the errors - the "why"
- In the previous step you identified what's wrong, but this step is about identifying why it's wrong.
# Work on One Error at a Time ("Isolate")
Goal: Change one thing at a time to be able to measure progress
- Tweak/change only one thing at a time. This allows you to know you've fixed the problem area with the next iteration.
# Iterate Quickly ("Repeat")
Goal Continue to take action (ship again with 1 tweak)
- To create success, eliminate failure, one point at a time
- Keep moving forward. Keep taking action. Keep shipping.
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