It takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something. A generalisation, of course. And here’s another: As people age they stop believing they have time to master new things. I think this is bollocks. I am an advocate for always learning and mastering new things.
Urged on by my recent revelation that I can now code [!] (I’m building a responsive website at the moment) I thought it would be interesting to calculate exactly how many sets of 10,000 hours’ spare time we all have left. I.e. How many things you have time to become an expert at. Clearly, these are generalisations, but they should at the very least give you some confidence.
If you’re 30 years old, you have 55,296 spare hours left (you can become an expert in over five new things)
Even if you’re 50, you have 38,016 spare hours left (that’s nearly four new things you can master in your lifetime)
Here’s the maths (explained underneath in more detail):
I based this on the UK’s average life expectancy of 79.5 years, and a retirement age of 65.
‘Spare time’ was then calculated for pre-retirement and post-retirement years…
For pre-retirement years, I’ve based it on spending two hours per weekday and four hours per weekend day. Post-retirement, I based it on spending six hours a day for six days of the week. I realise this is a lot of time, but it requires some obsessiveness to really master things. I have allowed time for family and friends and for both pre- and post-retirement, I allowed 4 weeks’ off for holidays.
I haven’t taken into account illnesses. But these are just ballparks.
You can work out how many things you have time to become an expert in by replacing the y in the equation with your age:
No excuses. It’s not too late to learn. Go and master something new.
Update: James Pryor made a calculator :)