The first thing to do is decide how much time you should spend educating yourself. The easiest way to figure this out is to ask how long this task should take you to complete.
How long does it typically take people?
How g-loaded of a task is it?
-Highly g-loaded (e.g. publishing a math paper): This requires more mental preparation ahead of time than you think, and less work than you think. You should spend >95% of your time estimate (above) mentally preparing.
-Low g-loading (e.g. finishing a college degree). This requires less mental preparation ahead of time than you think, and more work than you think. You should spend <10% of your time estimate mentally preparing.
What IQ decile do you fall into? Multiply the mental preparation time estimate by the following:
0th decile: It should take you 25x as long as average
1st decile: It should take you 10x as long as average
2nd decile: It should take you 5x as long as average
3rd decile: 2x
4th decile: 1.5x
5th decile: Average
6th decile: 2/3x
7th decile: 1/2x
8th decile: 1/5x
9th decile: 1/10x
What conscientiousness decile do you fall into? Multiply your estimate of the time needed to churn out the work by the following:
0th decile: It should take you 5x as long as average
1st decile: It should take you 3x as long as average
2nd decile: It should take you 2x as long as average
3rd decile: 1.4x
4th decile: 1.2x
5th decile: Average
6th decile: 0.8x
7th decile: 0.7x
8th decile: 0.5x
9th decile: 0.3x
So even someone with pretty low conscientiousness can become a pretty good musician or gamer, for example, but it’ll take them twice as much practice time because they won’t be applying themselves as hard over their practice sessions. I think this is because people have a preferred stress level. My sports watch reports that my average stress level, almost every day, is around 33. (illuminati confirmed)
Considering my daily lifestyle right now is as close as humanly possible to 100% self-determined, this indicates that it’s my preferred stress level. My conscientiousness is also about the 33rd percentile. 35th, according to Jordan Peterson’s dataset. That puts me in the 3rd decile, so I should expect to take about 40% longer than average to clean my room, bucko.
I ought to make a quick chart for IQ deciles…
0th decile: < 81
1st decile: 81 – 87
2nd decile: 88 – 92
3rd decile: 93 – 96
4th decile: 97 – 100
5th decile: 100 – 103
6th decile: 104 -107
7th decile: 108 – 112
8th decile: 113 – 119
9th decile: 120 and up
Let’s run through a couple of examples.
- Developing callouses on your fingers for guitar playing.
This takes most people a couple of weeks. It requires zero mental preparation. Therefore, a 150-IQ person with 2nd decile conscientiousness will take about 4 weeks. An 85-IQ person with 8th decile conscientiousness will take about 1 week. Both should jump right into the task without planning it out.
2. Publishing a math paper.
Let’s say this takes an average of 10 years, because that’s about how long a PhD takes. And we’ll assume it has a very high g-loading. So the average person will spend the first 9.5 years learning about math, and then only half a year actually writing the paper (probably their dissertation).
Now that I’m actually getting my fingers into a couple of examples, I think we should shift the IQ deciles up to indicate the g-loading. So the “average” mathematician will have an IQ of around 130, whereas the top decile will be more like 150. Assuming that guess were correct, then a person with a 155-IQ should expect to spend only 1 year studying and then about half a year actually writing the paper (depending on their conscientiousness).