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Sawubona fam!!! 🙌 Monitoring states- for the better part of the last decade, I've been curious about
 

Drew's Letter

August 25 · Issue #61 · View online
The latest things I've dug into including books, quotes, songs, gadgets and other things I've found interesting.

Sawubona fam!!! 🙌
Monitoring states- for the better part of the last decade, I’ve been curious about measuring emotional and physiological states. A number of different technologies attempt to measure affect but they are snapshots. As holistic healer Paul Chek says- we will continue to create technologies to tell us what the body needs until we learn to listen to what the body is telling us (my paraphrasing). 😨🙂😍😱😡
Here’s the tools and exercises I’ve used in this quest. I would love to hear what you all use. All of these are permutations of the same thing- finding metrics and tracking them at a cadence over time. The difference lies in which metrics, how they are measured, and how often.
  • Use a sleep tracker. 😴 I’ve used Zeo (now extinct) and Oura. If you’re doing 8 hours a night, this is 1/3 of your whole life. The practice of sleep deserves more attention than most people give it.
  • Qwantify app- is a research project that investigates the relationship between desire and happiness. By using this free app, you can learn how your desires affect your mood, stress, and well-being. And you’ll also be contributing to science! 📱
  • Throwing info into a spreadsheet- I tracked time, place, who I was with, and how I was feeling. The biggest behavior change here was making changes to my friend group, as I noticed that sometimes I’d feel up or down based on who I was with. 📉
  • Tracking every 30 minutes with an alarm- good for productivity and completing tasks. Set up the alarms, and track what you did during each 30 minute chunk. I recommend trying for a week and going from there, as this can be a pain in the butt, deliberately adding many interruptions into your day.
  • Daily journaling practice- journals can be reviewed over time, and there’s something special about writing with a pen instead of on a keyboard. Because journaling can be freeform, it’s a nice way to track random things and paints a different picture than tracking daily step count, for example 📓
  • Sending letters to your future self- this helps to guide long term aspirational behaviors and see if you’re implementing them. It also helps to see how your ideas of what you want shift over time. 📨
The Quantified Self movement will proliferate when data collection and analysis becomes passive. We are getting closer to that milestone. While some fear that the surveillance state is coming, (or already here) on the bright side of things, it’ll spark myriad breakthroughs in preventive medicine. We already have sleep trackers, heart rate monitors, thermometers, continuous glucose monitors, pulse oximeters and more. Most or all of these will be consolidated into one or a few small devices.
All of these relate to one basic premise…
And Related Quote- get busy building your dream or get busy building someone else’s.
These are simply tools to help you stay on track. They also increase self awareness and allow you to make conscious choices about your own behavior. Without reflection, we are unlikely to change tracks. While 2 trains begin at the same station, they may end at radically different destinations. 🚂

Be well,
Drew

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