TED rule 3Posted: April 5, 2011
I was preparing the TED rule 3 during the past week, but my computer died. Hopefully I had a backup plan, thanks to Gary Wolf. Gary writes in Wired magazine, and co-founded the Quantified Self blog, “Self knowledge through numbers”. The blog and its community is interested in self tracking devices and projects, mostly in the health domain. If you want to know if standing on one leg improve your sleep or if butter improve cognition, just have a look.
As we can expect from a geeky wired writer, his talk focuses more on the technological improvements of the self-tracking devices. But the main idea is there: starting a self tracking system is a first step to self improvement, self discovery, self awareness and self knowledge. And as Gary also says:
If we want to act more effectively in the world, we got to know ourselves better.
On my side, I started the TED rule 2 last week: I am now living on a motorbike, traveling in Malaysia, and I have only the essential stuff in my bag. No high tech sleep tracking device or weighing machine. But following the advices of A.J. Jacobs, I consider this year as an opportunity to try all the little experiments I cannot do during a normal working year. So let’s do it!
After thinking about it, I want to track several things:
- About my trip, as a way to remember/summarize/communicate. And as a source of information about Asia and traveling in Asia . For example I’ve been asked many times about my budget plan for this year, or the number of kilometers I was going to ride. Or how much sun block I’m going to use…
- About my behavior when I have no specific constraints. In last week talk, Stefan Sagmeister was showing his weekly agenda, looking like a high school plan. I prefer to let me free of doing what I want – when I want, and tracking my time for interpretation and correction looks like my way to proceed.
I started a Quantified Mister Jo spreadsheet with simple markers: What I do, when, where, and how much it costs. This is the raw data, I will interpret them and make some nice graphs and charts later – maybe using another TED talk? I started the expense part first, and added the time/action later (which explain the gap for the 2 first days). Prices are in Malaysian Ringgit (1 Euro=4MYR). It may not be reader-friendly yet, but the raw data are there! Again, I will change the design, and I want to add at least one more marker: what I have/add/remove from my bag (RPG-like). Tell me if you have other (easy) ideas!
For now, keeping this info updated hasn’t been as painful as I though, sometimes it’s even fun! And I can feel it already impacted my behavior. But let’s wait some weeks before some real interpretations!
Have a nice week!