Hack your commute: Track the development of new skills

Spending 10,000 hours on anything can seem daunting but a new app can help you track achievement levels for new skills.

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We’ve previously written in ‘Hack your commute’ about the 10,000-hour rule, named after the amount of practice it supposedly takes to become an expert in something. Though the number itself is most likely flawed, we worked out that a career’s commuting offers ample time to build up proficiency in an area you’ve previously never tried.

While we hope that article has inspired many a reader to take the opportunity to pick up and hone a new skill – whether it be a language, advanced algebra or a professional specialism – it’s also clear that 10,000 hours represents a pretty daunting mountain to climb and until you’re near the summit it will be hard to know how far you’ve progressed. This is where an app called 10,000+ could help out.

Available on Google Play for Android devices, it allows you to create several skills and start a stopwatch to record how long you spend on each one. It then keeps a running total for each skill.

This number itself won’t be hugely helpful in isolation, but the app also provides analytics to record and display how your practice time has been distributed across the days, weeks, months and years. From this, it calculates the predicted date that you will reach 10,000 hours, so you know if you’re keeping pace with your goal.

If you’re serious about developing your new skill quickly, you’ll probably realise you need to take it up outside your commute too, when the app tells you your predicted completion date is in 2089.

Luckily, 10,000+ gives you 15 achievement levels on the way to the magic number of hours, so if that target ultimately looks impossible you can incentivise yourself against more modest progress stages. It won’t make you an expert in the skill, but it will tell you how close you are to getting there.

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