What gets measured, gets managed, I’m sure you’ve heard this over and over but it reigns to be so true. If you’re not consciously aware of something, how can you possibly improve it. You must first be consciously aware in the path to being unconsciously competent. Here are 4 ways to do this…
1. Track your time
If you audit your time, you’ll find that there are time slots being wasted that add up as the week goes on. For example, let’s say you spend an average of about an hour on your Facebook feed every day. That’s 7 whole hours wasted! Just imagine how much you could have gotten done in that time!
By eliminating these wasted time slots and you’ll have so much more time to get things done. No more will the words “I don’t have time” be muttered from you. I use RescueTime which basically tracks how you spend your time online. This is especially helpful for seeing how many hours you’re actually on social media.
You can also use TrackTime which is a great tool for keeping yourself accountable because you will see just how you spent your day and how productive you actually were.
WARNING: you might just be shocked after seeing the results.
“Not having time” is a myth. Let me just show you. Let’s imagine the person of your dreams passed by and started talking to you and you two hit it off and as a result they want to meet up with you soon. You would more than likely make time wouldn’t you? Exactly.
That’s the trick.
You have to make time.
2. Track your calories
Most people want to lose weight. Just ask anybody and it’s almost guaranteed that the majority will say yes. Surprisingly even those who are relatively lean want to be even more lean. You might have heard the expression, “Abs are made in the kitchen, muscles are made in the gym”
This is a lesson that I’m truly learning especially now that I started tracking macros. Did you know one banana is approximately 100 calories? This is about the same amount of calories that you burn when you’re on a treadmill for an hour (depending on how hard you’re going). It’s crazy to think that a hard day’s work at the gym can be of no use because of one little banana. Well this was basically my struggle for about two years. I wasn’t aware how many calories I was consuming and that was stopping from reaching my goal of losing weight.
This isn’t to say that you have to start counting calories like a maniac but if you’re lacking the results and want to level up your results then tracking at least for a couple weeks would be a very good idea. Eventually you’ll end up being able to approximate how much your calorie intake is per meal.
You can start now by downloading MyFitnessPal and seeing exactly how many calories you’ll be consuming this week. Don’t make the same mistake I did and just start now.
Track your workout
The fact of the matter is that if you’re not in a progressive overload week after week, you’re going to look the same. There’s no way around it. I’ve made the mistake of not tracking my workouts and as a result there was so much guesswork during the workout which was unnecessary and could have been avoided had I just tracked the weight I put on the bar.
A good app for this is called Strong. It’s very simple and easy to use. Here’s how to use it:
Find a workout program that fits you. Record it as routines and choose which one you’ll be using for the day. In it you can record exactly how much you did. It takes two seconds to do and you can fit it in between sets.
With these two tools, your results will increase very significantly and people will ask you how you’re doing it!
3. Track your sleep
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t really need 8 hours of sleep. If you’ve heard of sleep cycles then you know that optimal sleep would be 7 and a half hours. The reason being is that our sleep consists of sleep cycles in which REM sleep is your deep sleep where you get the most rest.
Actually, if you were to wake during this period of your sleep cycle, you would feel groggy and tired. Ever wondered why you feel tired even though you got 10 hours of sleep? This might just be the reason why.
I use an app called SleepBot to track my sleep. There are many other good ones you can use as well. You might find that you might not need as many hours to sleep as you think or you’ll discover that you actually need a little more so you can feel energized throughout your busy day.
4. Track your mood
A while back someone brought to my attention the idea of starting an emotional landscape diary. The point of it being that if you know what ticks you off, you can better understand yourself and be in control of your emotions rather than the other way around.
You can do this by using a very helpful note taking app called Evernote.
Go to Evernote>>Notebooks>> “+ New Notebook” >> Type “Emotional Landscape”
Whenever you feel any strong emotion, quickly write what it was and why you felt that way. What you’ll find is that you weren’t really mad at the thing you thought you were mad at but rather something much deeper. The other day I completely erased a blog post (don’t ask me how) and for the next couple minutes, I became frustrated. I stopped and realized that the reason I was mad was really because I didn’t like wasting time. In fact, I hate wasting time and it explains why I try to continually search for hacks to save time on tasks. Whoa.
You can also download TracknShare if you don’t want to do all that writing, which basically has a function that allows you to track how you feel on a quick and easy to understand scale.
I also use the other functions as well which I think you will find very useful for gathering data about yourself.
When you become aware of your emotions, you are now in a position to change them when they happen. Don’t be in a position when you get easily swayed emotionally and ending up having a horrible day because of a single occurrence that happened to you.
Decide to be in control.
You become more disciplined
Doing all of this takes discipline as with all things that require consistency. What’s more is that it will translate into all other areas of your life. To the degree you do things when you don’t want to is the degree of discipline you’ll acquire. Push through that mental resistance with the big picture in mind.
You become more self-aware
You’ll start to understand yourself better and get a better feel for how to improve yourself. If you understand what sleeping patterns work best for you, you will sleep better, and during the day feel more vitalized and ready to conquer the day. It’s a powerful tool to have especially if what you do requires lots of energy.
You’ll be ahead of everyone else
Almost no one does this and it’s because it requires so much with so little to show for up front but in a couple months time, the results will astound you and leave you miles ahead of everyone else if you take the time to do it. People will be asking how you got results so fast and how you did it. Put simply, if you knew that taking a couple minutes of your day to track will give you exponential returns on those small investments of your time, would you do it?
It’s amazing what small but consistent action every day can do for you.