Experimenting with subjectivity
After going to the Quantified Self conference last month and thinking about it for a few weeks, I’ve decided to start a new self-tracking experiment… or rather to adapt my existing one to new thoughts on what’s worth tracking.
So, tonight I made a list of my four top interests, and I made a list of the four people that matter most to me in the world. “Quality time” with these interests and people is what I plan to track.
I started a new spreadsheet with a column for each interest and each person.
I put “6/4/2013” in the first available row, and for the cells that corresponded to interest columns I asked myself, “Did I spent any quality time focused on this interest today?”
I gave myself a zero if I didn’t. I gave myself a one if I spent time but didn’t feel like it was very high quality. And I gave myself a two if I spent at least some high quality time.
I did the same thing for people. “Did I spent any quality time with this person today?” I gave myself a zero if I didn’t. I gave myself a one if I spent time but didn’t feel like it was very high quality. And I gave myself a two if I spent at least some high quality time.
Then I created a column that had me subjectively rate the day between -2 (toss it in the bin), and 2 (let’s have more of these). I am going to try to use it as a gut check that can verify that there is correlation between my overall day and the quality time I spend with my closest people and top interests.
And finally, a column that totals up the sum of the scores in a crude way, and color codes it.
Oh, and a daily alarm on my phone for 10:59am to “be subjective”. Realistically, this is the only way it ever gets done.
I’ve talked in the past about a different spreadsheet that attempted to correlated objective data (sleep, alcohol, diet, weight, various habits, etc) to the subjective measure of the day. The end result of that experiment was that quality time with Kellianne and Niko, along with “meaningful work” were the only numbers that had any statistical correlation with the quality of my day.
This new spreadsheet is an evolution of the idea that it’s quality time with people and interests that ultimately has the highest correlation with a fulfilled day.
It currently looks something like this.
It’s just another experimental step on the long road to trying to figure out what #quantifiedself means to me, what self-tracking means to me, and what it is gonna take to get to the bottom of my own sense of fulfillment in life.