Lifelogging – Monitoring personal performance
Lifelogging refers to tracking data about your personal life and trying to find valuable information in order to improve your habits and your way of living. Specialists, like Dr. Kevin Fong, have expressed their belief in the utility of personal monitoring. For example, in the BBC documentary “Monitor me”, Dr. Fong outlines that monitoring ourselves will lead to living healthier and longer lives.
One can monitor health, social activity, professional performance and find patterns that would enable the understanding of what influences our everyday state of mind and body. Tracking all this data provides an objective reflection of our activities and productivity. Improvements can be made only if we identify the root cause of the problem.
This new trend of self-monitoring is becoming increasingly popular, as new gadgets for such activities are available on the market. The most attractive device used for personal tracking is the smartphone, as we always carry it with us. There are various apps that record our daily activities, so at the end of the day we can know the value of the KPIs in the graphics included here.
- \How we slept: # Sleep hours per night, # Deep sleep hours per night;
- How active we were and our fitness performance: # Steps, # Steps intensity, # Kilometers run, # Speed, # Calories burned ;
- What was our eating habit: # Meals per day, # Time to take breakfast, # Calories consumed;
- How social we were: # People we meet, # Calls made, # Social reunions.
Furthermore, the status of many other metrics can be checked any time, like our blood pressure, heart rate, sugar or cholesterol levels. All of these provide us with the opportunity to take preventive action, even spot some health issues before the symptoms appear. If we carefully analyze the data, we can correct our habits and have more control over what is going on in our bodies. Lifelogging accurately and objectively reflects the consequences of our actions on our health and personal performance.
How will tracking all these metrics change our habits and make a difference?
- Metrics provide an image of our current performance that may be different from how we perceive ourselves and, therefore, they make us more self-conscious;
- Metrics also come with recommended result levels. It can be the optimum blood sugar level or the necessary physical activity required to stay healthy, for example 10.000 steps per day. In essence, these are personal targets, that make us more competitive and action oriented;
- The large amount of data gathered allows us to identify correlations between our actions, health and productivity, that we might not see otherwise. If we know what makes us feel less focused during the day, we can change our habits and increase our focus level.
- We might visit doctors less often by having more control over our health. We might be able to anticipate a flue coming by noticing unusually low physical activity and social interaction, before we actually get to feel the symptoms.
Lifelogging also includes recording how much time we spend with our families, friends, at work or preparing to become a better professional. Such an approach will enable us to better allocate our time and organize our lives, so that we can indeed become more productive and healthy.
- BBC (2013), Monitor me
- Memoto (2013), Lifeloggers
- The Guardian (2014), 10 things you need to know about lifelogging
- SmartKPIs.com (2014) KPIs for Personal Context