I started back on the quantified self track later in February. A few times a year (or more) I get data hungry, so I started using Optimized again as a starting point. It’s a great little app, and between that and my Life Priority List (hardest. task. ever.), I set a handful (more than a handful) of pretty straightforward goals. Pinpointing where I spent my time helped with both the goals and the priority list.
Graph from Optimized on where I spend my time. Note that this is skewed because the app kept deleting my data. [Health 60.3%, creativity 2.3%, pleasure 10.8% (which includes things like Skype and reading), and routine 26.6%] From here, I get a brief overview that I’d like to spend more time on creativity.
Optimized then offers correlations and shows how accurate they may or may not be.
The more time you log, the more accurate they become. My overall mood correlates positively with the time i spend on health. I can later further break this down and see how, for example, including more cycling in my routine affects my mood. Sometimes, however, it might be more useful for me to log cycling as both “cycling” and “exercise” to get a bigger picture of how exercise in general maps out onto mood, for example, so I could do the same for skating, walking, or dance.
Both pictures also offer a disclaimer about correlation—that correlation ≠ causation. But, it’s a helpful starting point. In the above, the app has determined that time spent on routine activities correlate positively with time spent on health activities by 25.6%, but notes that this correlation is only based on 19 data points… so it’s likely not too accurate. Yet.
I did pretty okay getting rolling on the goals and the logging in the last week and a bit of February, and I’ll continue that process in March. I’ve got a badass spreadsheet even, very loosely based on the life goals spreadsheet tutorial from Ryan Dube.
Note that even though I have my goals defined, certain ones—like sleep—probably do better with context. For now, I’m just interested in the raw numbers and can map it out against other factors later. Cycling, however, based on my not-too-intensive 40 minute/week goal, isn’t too lofty of a goal to achieve (which means I should at least have 20 minutes this week considering it is Wednesday, no? :])
Here’s where I’m at in terms of goals for March. While I set goals within Optimized (which Ari, the happy little robot, will tell me about), the nice thing about this system via Excel is that I can map things out in terms of progress. With the chart above, you’ll see each bar shows how close I was to my goal of 7 hours 35 minutes (7.56 hours) of sleep, or the progress towards my weekly goal for cycling. Certain goals also are monthly, which means I have a weekly progress-towards-monthly-goal bar, and then a final bar.
Because nerd things, duh.
These are the goals I’ve got all mapped out in spreadsheet form for March, broken into the categories from from Optimized over there. Health, Routine, Pleasure and Creativity. Below, I’ve vaguely split the lists into physical, spiritual/emotional (/creative), social, occupational, and intellectual wellness.
- Sleep, about 7.5 hours a night
- Exercise [total: 21 minutes, 4 days per week—not a lot but more than I am doing]
- Cycling – 40 minutes per week
- Dance – 1 hour per month
- Yoga – 30 minutes per week (I should get on that.)
- Meds, 5 minutes a day (this is approximate but should be enough to mean I am taking everything I should be taking… including the often-forgotten midday doses.)
- Brush teeth, 4 minutes a day (2 minutes, twice a day)
- Meditation, 20 minutes per week
- Journaling, 5 minutes per day
- Personal blog, 1 hour/week (so you’ll be seeing more of me)
- Creating, 1 hour/week (this is called visual arts in Optimized)
- Movie making – 1 hour/month
- Spend more time with more people (I quantified this as “4 hours per month with people from the “friends” category in Optimized.
- Look for [more] work, 1 hour per week
- Work – blogging, 3 hours per week
- Creative writing – 20 minutes/day (may overlap with personal blogging, etc.)
- Log finances – 5 minutes/day (I’m using an app called DayCost for this. All manual because I am not into a 3rd party app connecting to my banks.)
- Reading for fun – 30 minutes per week
- Web surfing – maximum 6 hours per day (let’s be honest… this can suck a lot of time but also my work kind of overlaps with web surfing sometimes.)
It’s a pretty ambitious list so the rationale for the Excel spreadsheet is to see how close I get, and how to adjust these things later on.
I also have a to-do list of things I never accomplish. So, here’s what I’ve got on there because maybe that will make me accountable.
- Smart Girls with ADHD Guest Post (184 days ago)
- Another item for SGwADHD (66 days ago)
- Buy new bed skirt (Why are these things so hard to find? 56 days ago)
- Read and review book (I am the worst person to give an ARC to, clearly – 45 days ago)
- Final eCare Smart blog post (21 days ago – waiting on an e-mail)
- Buy spray paint for pegboard (12 days ago)
- Buy hooks for pegboard (12 days ago)
- E-mail organ donor/transplant interview (10 days ago)