Problems with over-tracking stuff

I’ve turned off the battery percentage on iOS about 4 months ago. This one in Settings/Battery:

It removed a lot of anxiety that I had about battery life. I’m starting to think that there is stuff which is nice to track when we have problems, but not every time. Let’s see a couple of those.

Battery

Future iPhones will get longer battery life I’m sure, but as it seems the current longevity of batteries is being more dependent of the physical size of the device and software optimizations, than a great advancement in battery technology. I have an iPad Pro which already has great battery life, stressing about it is unnecessary. Case closed there, but what about my iPhone?

My iPhone 6s had terrible battery life, that’s why I’ve bought an iPhone 8 Plus last November. Plus-sized iPhones usually have way better battery life than their smaller counterparts. I’m easily getting through the day with my iPhone 8 Plus. Seeing how much energy left on my phone is just an information which I don’t really need to know at each moment. My phone sends me notifications when it’s has 20% battery left, but it’s still 1 or 2 hours of usage. I can safely reach my charger until then, I’m sure.

The only thing I’m still waiting for Apple to do regarding batteries is to ship the AirPower matt for wireless charging.

Sleep

I have a bigger level of health anxiety than normal people, so I have to be mindful of what I’m tracking and what’s that information means. Health data can be helpful, but I had problems misreading it before—the same usually happens with symptoms of some sickness.

It actually happened a couple of weeks ago tracking my sleep. I haven’t slept that well and I was seeing a declining trend in the length of my deep sleep hours. As always, it raised the anxiety level in me, and I started thinking about it which continued for a couple of days. Then in my morning meditation, it occurred to me, maybe seeing how many hours I’ve spent in deep sleep—which presented in the sleep tracking app as some kind of competitive metric—causing the anxiety. I uninstalled the app then forgot about it. My sleep routine starts to get better. I’m not sure why, but at least the anxiety has disappeared.

Money

If you have money issues, tracking something for a month or two can give you an incredible insight into your spending habits. You can use this data to optimize and plan your budget accordingly.

On the other hand, if you start stressing about every penny you’ve spent then you just micromanaging your money which gains you nothing. Some people easily get over the fence and can be extremely frugal, especially when they have data that they can rely on. They are ones who always stressed about a couple of bucks spent on something. Collecting coupons is the next level of advancements in frugality.

I learned in the last couple of years trying out multiple budgeting apps, that money management is like managing your attention: finding something which leaks in a big way, fixing it then moving on. Trying to fix every small hole doesn’t do any good.


As you can see, there is clearly a pattern emerging here which is not a problem with tracking itself, but understanding its data and internalizing it. I tend to be overanalyzing stuff and today’s technology makes it more and more easy to collect data. I have to be mindful and find the sweet spot: collect when needed, don’t read subjective things into emerging patterns, finally, make a conclusion then take the next step.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *