Before you set out to plan the 10,000-hour schedule for acquiring that skill you want to, it would be great to understand how this works. This idea was first discussed in “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance”, a 1993 psychology paper authored by Anders Ericsson and others. But the important question one can ask here is, will perform the same activity for over 10,000 hours make you an expert? Probably not. Anders Ericsson discussed the idea of ‘Deliberate Practice’ that speaks of a planned approach to practice. This theme was explored by the Freakonomics podcast recently.
In the episode, an American psychologist tried an experiment where she pushed herself to sing and learned to do so in a planned, phased manner. She trained for more than a year and proceeded not only to get better at singing professionally but finally realized her childhood dream, and she released a record. (See How Many Months Have 28 Days?)
The math goes like this
10000 hours / 4 hours a day = 2500 days.
2500 days / ~229 working days in a year = 10.9 years of Deliberate Practice of 4 hours daily.
Note: We have calculated the working days between 01.01.2020 and 31.12.2020, excluding the weekends and the holidays. This way, we get the 229 results. A special sign ”~” has been used to show that it’s an approximate value, as it wasn’t calculated if that value it’s identical for 10 years in a row.
Almost 11 years of deliberate practice for 4 hours only on the working days. The real value is between 6 and 10 years if you practice more than 4 hours daily and practice during some weekends and holidays.