May 19, 2021

Useless Metrics For Life

Behaviorist James Clear says one should "measure to see if you're actually spending time on the things that are important to you." We agree– as long as we remember that 9,000 steps is great, inbox 1000 is totally fine, and "perfect" is always a lie.

These days we're surrounded by trackers– on our wrists, on our water bottles, on our phones. On the one hand, they help us pay attention to the things in our lives that are important to us, and to create new habits. On the other hand, they're crazymakers that give us new reasons to feel bad about ourselves.

In this episode we discuss some of metrics for life we do and/or don't live by, like

  • 10,000 steps a day
  • 8 glasses of water a day
  • inbox zero
  • perfect attendance
  • BMI
  • and giant baby head circumferences.

Behavioral scientist James Clear says one should "measure to see if you're actually spending time on the things that are important to you." We agree with him– as long as we make room for remembering that 9,000 steps is great, inbox one thousand is totally fine, and "perfect" is always a lie.

Here are links to some of the writing on the topic that we discuss in this episode:

Michelle Woo for Lifehacker: Your Baby's Head Is Probably Not Gigantic

The Conversation: Do We Really Need To Walk 10,000 Steps a Day?

John Murphy for MDLinx: 8 glasses of water a day: Myth or medicine?

Jackie Spinner for the Washington Post: Perfect attendance awards no longer belong in U.S. schools

Lauren Johnson for Slack: Inbox Zero and Other Productivity Myths

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