How to Achieve the 10,000 Hour Rule

By Amanda Hill
Blog Content Contributor

The famous 10,000 rule… what is it…and how do we go about accomplishing such a thing?Good news… it is not as daunting as it seems.  Obtaining self-discipline and breaking this enormous block of time into chunks will allow this process seem achievable. Influencers, such as Bill Gates, didn’t complete college, but became a billionaire.  This desire could be true for all of us!  With desire, persistence, and dedication, you can achieve mastery in any subject that appeals to you personally.

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Photo via Pixabay

The example regarding Bill Gates is proof that IQ is not the dominant indicator of success. Consistent practice will advance your talent to its highest degree.  Everyone from Bill Gates’s ability to program, to The Beatles’ ability to play music, proves that 10,000 of practice in any skill will allow you to achieve expertise.  As The Halo Neuroscience Team states “time spent perfecting an activity, coupled with performing it correctly, is the most influential factor in becoming an expert at it – from programming, to playing, to painting”.

So what exactly is the 10,000 hour rule?  Malcolm Gladwell states that “it takes about ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in any field”.  So to break apart that massive block of time, working forty hours a week, five days a week (the normal work week), it will take you five years to complete 10,000 hours of work.  For those of us who are trying to pursue something other than our current profession, 10,000 hours also equates to three hours a day for ten consecutive years.  Practice the 9 to 5 workday and the 5 to 9 personal project philosophy to achieve both your paycheck and mastery in a skill.

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Photo via Pixabay

An important trait to achieve this process is self-discipline.  The purpose of the 10,000-hour rule is to achieve some goal, and self-discipline is a critical trait to achieve any goal. Repetition is important to obtain both self-discipline and 10,000 hours.  Practice, practice, practice, and persistence is the only way to move forward.  This can be challenging at times because the benefits are not always quickly noticeable.  Be sure to work in an organized and clean environment to free yourself from distractions.  It also important to set goals to keep yourself on track.  Break apart your desired goal into a series of steps that will allow you to achieve that goal, then set a reasonable time frame for you to accomplish each step.  It’s a good idea to reward yourself after achieving a particular goal to keep yourself motivated during this long process.

The key is to be in love with what you are doing.  Being consumed by the tasks of the skill you wish to perfect will not make the 10,000-hour rule seem like a chore.  Go at it day in and day out and never give up.  Role models such as British cyclist, Victoria Pendleton, trained four hours a day, six days a week to achieve expertise. Another example is English competitive swimmer, Rebecca Adlington, who has trained since she was 12 years of age, and completed about 9,000 hours of practice. Since becoming an expert sounds pretty impressive, why not start you first hour today. 10,000 hours sounds a bit daunting, but the sooner you get started, the sooner you finish.  These 10,000 hours are an investment in yourself, so make sure you’re dedicated to the process.

James Jordan II

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