This episode is about the tool that you can use to improve the quality of your life. It is about control freaks and why it is not so bad to monitor some aspects of your life. How to do it more effectively and without being too obsessed about it.
What you’ll discover
- Who are control freaks?
- Conclusions after I controlled amount of water I drink
- How I changed my behavior after tracking calories I eat
- Finance goals and how detailed accounting helped me
- What to do when you feel there is not enough time
- How I controlled my daily time spending
- Optimizing my time after tracking it
- The real value of keep tracking things
- How control over things is related to happiness
- I bet you know about control freaks – the people who are obsessed with controlling everything in their life. But sometimes such people control only one part. For instance, counting every calorie they eat, or every minute they spent on something, or writing down every single thought which comes in their minds. I should confess – I’m that kind of person.
- Without understanding how you can use tracking data that yo collects about your activities, it’s really hard to motivate yourself to keep all those records.
- I don’t want to spend extra efforts to monitor the amount of water, because I don’t feel that this is important for me. The reason is that even stats says that I should drink more – I don’t feel any changes while drinking more. But your case might be different.
- Before ordering something I have a clear understanding of what this or that dish gives to me. Is it vitamins, calories, pleasure and how does it work with the previous meal. No more freaking control, but a clear understanding of what I am doing right now and what do I get in the result.
- The third thing that I was controlling is money spending. I’m proud of myself that I was doing that for six years. I was using the application where I was adding the expenses and income distributing between 30 categories. My accuracy was $0.05 and the amount of money spent on unknown direction was around 0.5% range. Some of you think that I’m crazy. But I would say that I’m self-determined to reach my goals.
- The most influential monitoring process in my life is to track my own time. I have so many different ideas and so much energy to implement them. And the only thing that I don’t have – is time.
- First check-point is to understand where the time is draining. Then to figure out – can I decrease the amount of time spent on different activities. And the final goal was to change my daily habits.
- To create a single episode of my podcast and to promote it takes me around twenty hours per week and I manage to allocate that time without harm to my family relations and with no loss of productivity on my work. It was achieved thanks to monitoring and improving my time spending.
- Do I like to keep all those records? Sometimes, (actually, most of the time) I really hate it. Those apps are driving me crazy. I never could find a single app that will help with all my needs, this is always a compromise for me.
- But what do I like in the process of tracking things? I’m enjoying the clear picture of what’s going on in reality with my life right now. Do I eat enough or too much, so I spend my money wisely and will I regret for the time which was spent watching TV, meaningless conversations or something else.
- The definition of the word “sensibly” – 1) in a wise way that shows wisdom or prudence; 2) in a practical and functional rather than decorative manner. Becoming sensibly happy is not about swallowing a magic pill, but it’s about realizing who you are, where you are, and what you are doing right now. And by having answers on those questions, you can start changing your life if it’s needed.
- I’m not insisting you of tracking every single step in your life. Moreover, I believe that it would affect your happiness because instead of being focused on happy moments in your life you would spend your energy monitoring. But if you faced some issue in your life that would be a wise decision – to do the diagnostics properly by monitoring that aspect of your life. And only after having those monitoring results, that aggregated data – you would be able to choose the best way to fix the problem.
- You are becoming aggressively sometimes or losing motivation too often? Notify those moments and analyze them right away. Feeling the lack of time? Again, take the picture of your daily routines and remove redundant things.
- If you want to change something or to cure the problem – start using proper tools to monitor your current state. Please, don’t spend your resources without a clear understanding of what you are trying to fix.
The task for the next week
- If you have some problem or something you want to change – describe what this is about, how do you feel about it right now and what do you think the original reason for the problem is. This is hypothesis which will help you to choose an attribute you want to monitor.
- Describe the attribute itself. Is it the number of calories, number of hours or something else.
- Choose a monitoring tool. Paper notebook or smartphone app for instance.
- Decide how much time you need to monitor that attribute to get the clear picture, to get the understanding of the reality. Is it a week, a month or even more?
- Decide how often during the day you want to write all those records. Right after each situation or at the end of the day? Because this is some kind of commitment – are you really willing to do this.
- Remind yourself why do you want to do this, what is your final goal, visualize that goal.
And that’s it. Start monitoring!