Most people don’t know anything about a given skill. But it’s not as simple as “I know” or “I don’t know”. Skill is in categories – beginner, novice, intermediate, master or whatever.

Lately I have to learn a lot all at once, what with the whole selling a book thing. So I have far more skills to learn than time to do it.

So I’m picking skills one at a time and bringing them up by one standard deviation.

The average knowledge of the skill is near zero. One standard deviation up is a beginner. The next deviation up is a bit higher. Each deviation takes longer, and I could put years of effort into most of these skills…

But I don’t have to put in years. I can just bring my skill up by one standard deviation and see what happens. If it helps, I should put in more effort later. It goes on my “to do” list.

And if not, there’s never a shortage of awesome-looking skills to learn.