The Quantified Self: How I Treat Myself like a Business
As a CPA, I am able to help my clients see the big picture to make better decisions in their businesses. Using modern accounting tools, I am able to take away the pain of day to day tasks while allowing for real time data entry, making it possible to see the 10,000 foot view at any given time.
In the exact same fashion, I’ve been able to help myself grow as well. In this way, I treat myself like a business. Using a variety of tools, which I will touch upon below, I’ve been able to schedule a monthly meetings with myself to reflect on the previous months’ progress, analyze what hasn’t progressed and why, and then make meaningful changes for the next month. To some, this may sound daunting and time consuming. But the reality is, once the routine has been established, this takes about 5 minutes per day, and less than one hour once per month to reflect.
“Using modern accounting tools, I am able to take away the pain of day to day tasks…making it possible to see the 10,000 foot view at any given time.”
This has helped me get into better shape, improve my sleep, productivity, income, and overall health. Industry leaders have known the power of this for years, but with modern technology, it’s never been easier to set a reflection practice.
Here are some of the apps I use in The Quantified Self stack:
I heard about this from an article Tim Ferris wrote. It has been an absolute game changer in staying accountable with my goals. It works like this: First, you set a goal. For me, I’m currently trying to improve the amount of REM sleep I’m getting. Then you figure out the exact daily or weekly tasks you need to get done in order to get to that goal. For me, these are: go to sleep by 10 pm, don’t eat after 8 pm, etc. Every time I perform the activity, I check it off in the app.
This allows me to get a high level view at the end of the month of how many times I stayed consistent with my habits, and how has it improved my goal.
2. Strong – Tracking Workout
There are many apps that help track your workouts, and so far this has been the best app I’ve come across. Again, it allows me to export all my data and get a very good look at what exercises have improved, and what’s stalling. Then I make whatever changes I need to.
3. MyFitnessPal – tracking my calories
There’s a lot of controversy over tracking calories and if it actually matters. In my experience, if you have absolutely no clue how much you’re eating, and if you’re not getting closer to your fitness goals, it’s a good idea to track until you have a better sense of things. Tracking calories allows me to stay lean while enjoying the foods I love.
4. Oura – tracking my sleep
There hasn’t been anything as accurate and informative in terms of sleep tracking as this. The only downside is that it’s a relatively expensive piece of wearable tech: a ring. But I’ve been able to narrow down exactly why I’ve not been feeling rested, and now I can fix the problem.
5. Calm – for my meditation
This is my go to meditation app. If you haven’t tried meditation yet, give it a go and try out some of the guided sessions.
There’s no one size-fits-all solution
The truth is, there is no one app that does everything well. Every month, I export the data from all of them and produce a meaningful report that allows me to assess how I’m doing and what I should focus on to improve even further. This is the same approach I have with my accounting clients.
What apps do you use to measure your growth?
I’d love to hear from you.
Written By: Daniel Breez
Canada Accounting Partner