Monday, March 14, 2016

Measuring a life makes it less enjoyable

I've just woken up my son for school. He looks at me with blurry eyes and his hair is sticking out in every direction. He even still smells like sleep; to me, he is perfection. He yawns and asks me if I ran that morning. I confirm that I did and he immediately taps my fitbit to congratulate me on all my dots.

I wear the fitbit every day, but I am pretty lax around the information it provides me. Generally speaking, I do want to move more and sleep better, but I don't beat myself up about it if those things do not happen.

My son wants a fitbit. He thinks it would be fun for us to compare dots at the end of the day, and he thinks he can get more steps in than me. (I don't actually doubt that he can.) Part of me wants to get him one (the sleep data alone would fascinate me for hours) but the rest of me thinks it is too soon.

And now that I read that the measurement of an activity makes it less enjoyable makes me want to hold off even more. Recent studies suggest that the more you spend looking at your data around a specific activity equates to less enjoyment of that activity overall. I can partially understand the unappeal: If I know how badly I am doing at something, why would I want to continue?

But the rest of me wants to argue: What about the days that I am doing really well at something? Those few days where I am killing it, I really enjoy the extra piece of motivation in my life. Whether it comes to finishing one of my challenges, or looking over how going to bed earlier affected my sleep data, I really like having access to that extra piece of information.

It makes my day.

Is there something in your life that you track regularly but don't enjoy? Share it with me in the comments.

No comments:

Post a Comment