Data: Make it All About DATA (Efficiency Hack #8)

Efficiency Hack 15: Use a System, make it about DATA

You can be good at anything, but if you want to be GREAT, you need to remain objective, to be Zen, to be prepared to learn.

This applies to ANYTHING.

Any endeavour.

Using a system and making it about data really helps you to be objective and therefore to be more efficient in any endeavour.

How It Works

Often when we’re doing any kind of activity, we get in our own way by letting our thoughts restrict our actions, either through fear of failure or limiting our expectations, but when we follow a trusted system we are able to focus on the process rather than our own ability at the same time freeing our mental resources to ask questions and look for positives.

It’s about removing bias, getting out of our own way & just sticking to the data (reality).

If you can detach yourself from whatever it is, create a system that means you only need to follow the steps of that system, like a trained monkey to gather data (because we have more tools than ever before for gathering and analyzing data – and we can learn a LOT from data) – then you’re on the road to massive improvement and success.

Quick Example: I recently decided I needed to improve my golf game. I spoke to a coach. Before we work together he asked me to complete as many rounds as possible and fill out some sheets recording various stats (fairways missed, scores (obviously), how many putts, greens in regulation, up & downs… lots of stats). If I have a bad round, I don’t see that as negative at all at the moment, because I am gathering data – i.e. this practice has helped me to be objective – because it’s all data, and the more data I have the more I will see trends and can do something about these trends.

OBVIOUSLY there is a lot more going on here psychologically which we could explore AND it’s easier said than done, but these efficiency hacks are supposed to be brief so for now, that’s it in a nutshell:

For any given endeavour you want to do well/improve: GET OBJECTIVE —> create a system and gather data.

THEN (the important part), USE THE SYSTEM, to ALLOW YOU to do the following two things:

  1. Do your best
  2. Enjoy the process

This is how you will learn and improve like never before.

I might elaborate further on this concept (psychology, more examples, how to do it, how it relates to limiting beliefs etc) in a future article and if so, I’ll link to that here.

In the meantime, if you have any thoughts or questions, lemme know below…

Previous Efficiency Hack: Use A System


Data: Make it All About DATA (Efficiency Hack #8) — 7 Comments

  1. In virtually all areas of intellectual inquiry, data science offers a powerful new approach to making discoveries. By combining aspects of statistics, computer science, applied mathematics, and visualization, data science can turn the vast amounts of data the digital age generates into new insights and new knowledge.

  2. I like this, I’ve been researching productivity hacks recently to try and implement some changes to my work habits that will help me stay consistently productive. And ‘consistently’ is the operative word. I do good with bursts, and with external deadlines, it’s the day to day where I tend to struggle. Bringing more routine into things is definitely something I’m benefitting from at the moment. Now to make it sustainable. Great post.

    • Thanks Micah,

      I know you’re into this kind of stuff. You’re right, consistently is definitely the operative word, but the thing is that when you have a systematic approach and make it data driven, consistency is not a problem at all. It becomes easy because you’re just following a formula.

  3. The data definitely doesn’t lie. I’m doing the same thing with marketing for my site right now – sharing on social media at certain times to see what’s popular when.

  4. I’m with you, I’m a big data person. I like to record all sorts of information to see how I’m doing. Of course, you don’t want to get sucked up in the fine details of it all, you just want to see the overall trend. That’s something I’ve learned over the years.

    I think your example of a golf game is great. There are so many things you can be tracking. And with it all, you can see where you need to improve or what exactly a problem area might be. Sometimes we get lost in everything and we don’t see how it all actually works. Data isn’t like that. All it does is reflect what’s going on.

    • It’s pretty amazing what you can discover when you start looking at data. We have to be a little careful though that we don’t ‘invent’ correlations – this often happens when companies (or people) look at data – it looks for all the world that there is a relationship between two sets of data and conclusion is drawn but you need to look for causality as well as correlation as even the most compelling cases can just be coincidental.

      You should read the book ‘Big Data’ if you haven’t already – you would really love it, it’s a great book which gets a little philosophical as well as looking at the science of it all.

      Thanks for a great comment Steve & best wishes – let me know if you read (or have read) that book…

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