Hi, everyone. I've been a member for just over a month now, but this is my first posted topic.
Subjective metrics (e.g. happiness) alone aren’t very consistent or reliable data points. Objective metrics (e.g. distance run) are great for statistical analysis but don’t yet exist for many of the things we care about. To get around that, we use markers or proxies of the things we care about. I argue that a combination of subjective and objective metrics is a powerful tool in gaining insights.
The latest version of my personal tracking framework has around 40 data points for both Subjective Productivity Rating (SPR) and for Deep Work hours.
SPR is a measure of how productive my day was with reference to the things most important to my life and career, on an integer scale of 1–5.
Deep Work hours are a related objective metric, simply measured by how many hours I logged in my retrospective calendar as being spent in a state of Deep Work. This is really only a proxy for how productive I’ve been, as my hours in this focused state are not always equally intense, so an hour of Deep Work is of varying impact.
On their own, neither is a very good indicator of how productive I’ve really been. SPR is subject to bias, flawed perceptions and the inherent noisiness of quantifying a psychological experience, whilst Deep Work hours are only a reference point for how productive I was. Both are great things to track individually, but together they allow me to get a sense of:
- How productive I perceive my time spent working to be.
- If/when more time in deep work starts having diminishing returns.
- How closely each may be tethered to my actual productivity.
I've shared a plot of this data and some basic analysis in a blog post, so please check that out if you're interested.
As a new member, but longtime self-tracker (3 years now), I always welcome feedback from the community — especially from anyone who tracks similar metrics or has suggested improvements to my setup.