My quantified self structure (how and why)

My discovery of the quantified self movement with Kevin Kelly on the Tim Ferris Show

How did I start?

  • if I write something during the day,
  • my stress level,
  • my social decisions,
  • my financial decisions,
  • the time I spend on my phone,
  • if my environment is toxic,
  • my resting heart rate,
  • my subjective health,
  • the number of time I have sex (funny one),
  • my sleep quality,
  • the time I sleep during the night,
  • my nutrition quality
  • if I ate process food.

What do I track?

  • Description of the day. Long text. It is my mini personal diary. I write about what I did during my day but also how I felt and why I thought of it. For the moment, I don’t go back to it, but maybe one day.
  • Place. Single Select of the city or area where I am. My physical location is one of the three most important choices in my life. It is important for me to know that this year I’ve spent x days in this location.
  • Feeling. Number between -2 and 2. I prefer grading between -2 and 2 to have the 0 in the middle and make it positive, neutral or negative. It is a subjective number of how I liked the day. I sort of ask myself the question, would I like to have this day again? If the answer is “hell yeah!” the rate is 2. “Yes, probably!” it is 1, “So, so” is 0, “Not that much, but it was not horrible also.” is -1. “Definitely not!” is -2. This metric is also a lot used in correlation to others.
  • Productivity. Number of hours I am “productive” during the day. I’m not counting boring meetings of course. It could also be related to creativity in a way. This helps me to know the moments of my life I am doing something “intelligent” or “creative”.
  • Reading. Checkbox Yes/No. Did I read at least a page of a book during the day? Helping me to build this routine to read every day. Reading is the thing that helped me the most in my life. It is important for me to continue.
  • Read Articles. The number of articles I read this day. This one is automatic and comes from the Notion table I have that tracks all the articles I read online. Whenever I finish reading an article I add it to the Notion database with the Notion extension.
  • Writing. Checkbox Yes/No. Same as for reading, I feel that writing helps to clarify my thoughts.
  • Stress. Number between -2 and 2. Defines my level of stress during the day according to what I have to do. It can be work-related or not as I track this every day. This is a very subjective measure.
  • Social decisions/behaviors. Number between -2 and 2. This subjective number reflects how I behave socially. I still don’t know what I’ll do with it or if I’ll even keep it.
  • People. Multi-select of people. As we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, it can be nice to know more about who you are spending time with. Some people might not feel good about this tracking but maybe they are not the good people to have around. It just putting number on an unconscious behavior everybody has.
  • Phoned friends. Multi-select of people. I track the friends I phone. This helps me to be more in touch with the people I care of.
  • Financial decisions/behaviors. Number between -2 and 2. This subjective number helps me to reflect on my financial decisions whether it is spending or investing. The goal would be to use money in a better way but I have to admit I barely watch this metric for the moment.
  • Work satisfaction. Number between -2 and 2. I created this metric as work is what you do of most of your days. This helps me to reflect if I’m still happy about how I earn my money and what I do in my days.
  • Phone time. Number of minutes I spend on my phone (or that the screen of my phone is used). I don’t like spending too much time on my phone. To try to decrease the time I spent on my phone, I track every day for how long was my phone screen used. On Apple, it is in the parameters, and on Android I used an app called Quality Time.
  • Toxic environment. Checkbox Yes/No. This metric allows me to track if the environment around me is toxic. It can be the people, the place, what I do or anything else. It would be hard to define as it is very subjective. Since I have this metric, I rarely consult it.
  • Weight. Number. Just tracking my weight. It can be a slight indicator of health, but not that important in my case.
  • Resting heart rate. Number. This is clearly one of the best and easiest health indicators. This metric is given by my Fitbit charge 3. I can easily notice when my health is good and when it’s deteriorating. My resting heart rate is way higher when I drink more than one drink of alcohol.
  • Health. Number between -2 and 2. This is my subjective metric of how I feel, in good shape or sick.
  • Alcohol. Number. This is another metric I regularly watch to make sure I don’t have a too unhealthy life. I count the number of alcohol doses I drink per day. A dose would be a half pint of beer or a shot of strong alcohol. Of course, during parties, I often lose track of the number of drinks I have so I just approximate it.
  • Sex. Number. I count the number of times I have sex during the day. I don’t use it but it might be a fun metric one day.
  • Meditation. Checkbox Yes/No. I try to meditate at least 5 minutes every day. This metric is here to incite me to do it on a regular basis.
  • Sport. Checkbox Yes/No. Did I do some sport during the day? It could be surfing, running or playing tennis. Doing some physical exercise every day is one of the easiest ways to stay in good shape.
  • Ski/Surf Sessions. Number. I’m counting the number of board sports sessions I’m doing as it is one of my biggest passion. This is a fun metric I can analyze at the end of the year. I’m also tracking all of my surfing sessions on another database.
  • Sleep Quality. Number between -2 and 2. This is a subjective metric that helps me understand better my sleep. Sleep is another important thing to stay in good shape.
  • Sleeping Time. The number of hours I slept during the night. In this one, I don’t count the naps I might do. I do not use an external device to fill this one. I calculate the time between the moment I fall asleep and the moment I wake up. It’s very approximate and I round it to the lower half hour.
  • Type Sleep. Single select between Monophasic/Biphasic/Triphasic… At one point I discovered polyphasic sleeping which sleeping less during the night and compensating by doing regular naps during the day. I tried to experiment with it and I now mostly do one nap a day. Sleeping only during the night is monophasic. Sleeping during the night and doing one nap is biphasic. And so on. This metric is here to count the number of naps I do and their duration which can be 20 or 90 minutes.
  • Waking Time. Hour. “The early bird catches the waves”. I’m curious about my sleep schedule and at what time I wake up. It is also a way to see if I have a routine or not at all.
  • Dream. Long text. I wrote my dreams for a long time. For the moment I don’t do anything with it but maybe at one point, I’ll dig into it. Working on this dream memory muscle is so fascinating. It is the door to a whole new world.
  • Nutrition Quality. Number between -2 and 2. I rate the healthiness of the food I ate and how I ate during the day. This is another very subjective metric as I don’t even know what the best food is. Nutrition is another key input for health.
  • Nutrition Time. Select of the number of hours. At one point I discovered intermittent fasting. It seems to be one of the easiest ways to restrict caloric input. Caloric restriction seems to be a good way to stay in shape. Since then, I try to eat on an 8-hour window and fast the rest of the time.
  • Breakfast. Checkbox Yes/No. Since I do intermittent fasting and I skip most of the time breakfast. I am interested in how many times I do have breakfast whether it is with friends, due to a hangover, or a morning surf.
  • Lunch. Multi-select of food. I write down everything I eat for lunch. Not the quantities, only the aliments. For the moment I do nothing with it.
  • Snack. Multi-select of food. I write down everything I eat for snack.
  • Dinner. Multi-select of food. I write down everything I eat for dinner.
  • Cooked for friends. Checkbox Yes/No. I feel that food is a great way to socialize. I love to cook some good things for my friends, so I decided to count the number of times I do it.
  • Last meal time. Checkbox Yes/No. I follow the time I have my last food for the day. I want to see if eating 3 hours before going to bed makes a difference or not.
  • Process food. Checkbox Yes/No. I try to have days without eating processed foods.
  • Vegetables. Checkbox Yes/No. As I don’t eat vegetables every day, I count the days during which I ate some vegetables. It is to incite me to eat healthier food.
  • Fruits. Checkbox Yes/No. As I don’t eat fruits every day, I count the days during which I ate some vegetables. It is to incite me to eat healthier food.
  • Carbs. Checkbox Yes/No. I feel that carbs are not that good in your diet, so I try to eat less of it.

How do I do that?

How do I visualize the data?

Why do I do that?

Conclusion

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Alexandre Inukai

Alexandre Inukai

Lifelong learner to improve the quality of our day to day experiences.