New York Times Best Selling author “Tim Ferriss”, shares his 4 Ways to master any new skill this year.
Tim takes a 20/80 approach when learning new skills and techniques and has a knack for identifying the 20% effort that generates 80% of the results.
In Tim Ferriss latest book, The Four Hour Chef, Tim explains how he turned himself from a cooking rookie into world-class chef. He also outlines in great detail what I think is a breakthrough model for learning in a fast-paced world.
I met with Tim recently to learn more about his methodology, which he calls D.S.S.S (or “diss”) for short. It has four steps: Deconstruction, Selection, Sequencing and Stakes.
4 Ways To Master A New Skill In 2013 By Tim Ferriss
The first step, Tim suggests, is to start with the outcome in mind. You need to know very specifically what you hope to achieve and how to measure it. Then, you can work backward and identify the specific ingredients that are required to succeed.
For example, in his quest to become a three-time New York Times best-selling author, Ferriss deconstructed the grassroots support that made Fifty Shades of Gray a smash. He also keeps a massive swipe file in Evernote of different book marketing campaigns that caught his eye.
In Chef Ferriss recommends seeking out and meeting pros who are at the height of their game. This is something I try to do regularly.
The goal here is simple – it’s to identify commonalities.
The next part of the process, Ferriss says, is to hone this down to the difference makers – the critical 20%.
Some of these techniques will be timeless principles that have worked for years. For example, when it comes to books, good writing remains good writing. Hard work remains hard work.
However, this also means attacking a subject with a beginner’s mind and asking “seemingly ridiculous questions” Ferriss told me. This Zen-like approach led to a partnership with BitTorrent that drove one million free downloads for Chef without any negative impact on sales – plus a ton of media coverage.
Success, of course, is not just what you do but how you do it. That’s where sequencing comes in.
Ferriss uses a series of two week tests to determine how to order the various 20% skills in the right order. This gives him several different data sets that he can compare. The key is to pick hard numbers (like sales data).
Finally, there’s stakes. This is what keeps you motivated. In a career context, Ferriss says, the stakes are built in. If you don’t stay ahead, your career can flatline.
However, if you need motivation, the author suggests using sites like StickK – where you make your commitments public and incur financial consequences if you fail to meet them.
For more on Tim Ferriss’ D.S.S.S. approach to learning and, oh by the way, several hundred pages on how to master cooking, you can pick up ” The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life “.
Article By Steve Rubel | LinkedIn.com