How Long Is 10000 Hours (And Why)?

How Long Is 10000 Hours (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 417 Days

The 10,000-hour rule has been around since the early 1970s, but it was popularised and brought to attention by Malcolm Gladwell, a well-known Canadian journalist, and novelist. This rule was highlighted in Malcolm’s best-selling book outliers. 

Outliers is a nonfiction book that investigates the fundamental characteristics that contribute to success and was published in 2008. The 10,000-hour rule was one of the factors highlighted in this book. “10,000 hours is the magic number of brilliance,” according to the book. 

Taking this remark at face value, it appears to be very straightforward. If you want to be exceptional at something, put in 10,000 hours of effort and you’ll have enough experience to be dubbed a genius.

How Long Is 10000 Hours 1

How Long Is 10000 Hours?

Time: 10000 HoursConversion
In Days417 Days
In Years1.1408 Years

It takes about 417 days to complete 10,000 hours. It has been 1.1408 years. If you dedicate three hours every day, it will take you around 3333 days, or a little over nine years.

While an initial reading of the sentence provides a simple enough explanation, the key to success or greatness isn’t simply devoting ten thousand hours to the subject. It is easy to idly dawdle and practise half-heartedly for as long as possible without actually learning or maintaining any skill sets.

The rule is built on a solid basis. While 20 hours of practice per week may not seem like a lot, practice must be done with purpose and attention. Every time you practise, you must have taken something away from the previous day’s work and must work diligently to make modifications to improve and refine your technique.

Scientists refer to this form of exercise as purposeful practice. Deliberate practise is when you practise getting better after each round. While the 10,000-hour rule specifies the amount of time one must practise, it fails to highlight that it is not how much one practises but how one practises that make the difference.

While the majority of experts in their area had roughly ten years of experience, some individuals who practised correctly would have mastered the field in eight to nine years. The appropriate kind of practice can help shorten the learning curve and make becoming a master in a certain profession easier and faster.

Why Is 10000 Hours That Long?

The ten thousand rule, as exciting and attainable as it may appear, is not universally applicable. This is because, according to Princeton University research, focused practice only accounts for a 12% difference in performance across multiple areas. 

This is because, while practice does make a difference, the amount of change varies on the field. In his book “The Click Moment,” Frans Johansson shows that in fields with a super stable structure, history, and foundation, practice can be regarded as a predictor of success.

Tennis, chess, and music are just a few instances of such fields. Rock and roll, entrepreneurship, and other vocations, on the other hand, are always inventing, evolving, and changing. Practice isn’t the only approach to advance and become an expert in these subjects. You can become a pioneer by innovating and having a direct impact on the field.

Another example is the rock and roll band the sex pistols, which achieved worldwide renown even though its lead bass player, Sid Vicious, could barely play the bass at a professional level.


While the ten thousand hour rule has a significant impact on some industries and professions, it has a much smaller impact on many others, making it perhaps less relevant than other elements that can contribute to success and excellence. The ten thousand rule’s essential idea, however, remains intact. 

The rule, which appears straightforward at first look by declaring “put in 10,000 hours of work and you will be a master,” can also be taken as “no matter what field you are in or where you start, if you put in enough hard work and effort, you will reach the top.” So, if you were confused about how long is 10000 hours or wanted to know it out of interest or curiosity, you know the answer now.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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