Avoid Pointless Measurements And Focus On Real Life Experiences

We all measure things. In an era where it seems every aspect of your life can be measured and quantified, it's almost impossible to turn off the numbers. Productivity blogger Seth Godin suggests that may be an idea worth pursuing, though.

Photo by Pastorious

Whether it's examining the specs list on new PC hardware, comparing how many followers you have on your preferred social network, or how fast you can get your work done, there's no limit to the number of ways we measure our experiences. As Seth explains, often these numbers bear no relation to how we actually experience the world:

You can't tell if a book is any good by the number of words it contains, even though it's quite easy and direct to measure this.

We keep coming up with new things to measure (like processor speed, heat output, column inches) but it's pretty rare that those measurements are actually a proxy for the impact or quality we care about. It takes a lot of guts to stop measuring things that are measurable, and even more guts to create things that don't measure well by conventional means.

While it's good to measure some things — progress tracking helps us reach our goals and some objects are provably better with higher specs — but underneath all of the numbers are real life experiences. Some of which, as much as we may instinctually feel otherwise, can't be measured.

Measuring nothing (with great accuracy) [Seth's blog]


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