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Measuring things for fun?

Colin Campbell
by Colin Campbell on 13/11/21 18:00


Very few people measure things for fun, as a hobby. 

Rarely do I walk out of the house and say “I wonder how big that fence is?” And then just measure it because I’d like to know. 

But many people seem to measure things for no reason at all. 

Recently somebody introduced me to whoop, it’s a really cool bit of kit that allows you to train smart, sleep better and recover faster (apparently) but of course it only works if you action the metrics. 

If your whoop tells you that you’re not sleeping long enough, will you sleep for longer? 

If your whoop tells you that you’re more stressed than you should be as judged by your HRV (heart-rate variability), will you take measures to reduce your stress? 

If your respiratory rate is wrong or if it tells you to have a rest from training, will you act on either of those? 

You can measure almost anything now so, that is not the issue, the issue is what will you do with the numbers? 

When we came out of lockdown 1 and went back into work to try to save a business that I felt was being lost, nothing mattered expect grinding as hard as I possibly could to keep it and us alive for the longest possible time. 

That is an unsustainable situation and therefore we created some time and some capacity in the business to measure the numbers better. 

What we did though (I didn’t do this but amazing members of my team did) is we developed a dashboard for numbers which helped us stay sane. 

Everybody’s business dashboard would be different in the same way that everybody’s health dashboard would be different but all I get from the dashboard is numbers that I can action. Things that I have the ability to change and modify. 

There is no point celebrating or commiserating on numbers that you will never, ever change and that’s where whoop comes back in. 

Lance Armstrong did many things wrong but one of the things he did right was explain to people that “it’s not about the bike”. 

If you spend 15 hours a week on an old fashioned analog turbo trainer in your shed, trying your best to do measured sessions, you’ll be a lot fitter than someone who has a peloton that never gets used apart from hanging clothes on it. 

If you measure two or three key metrics and work on those within your business, your business will be a lot better than someone else who is paralysed by analysis. 

Measure what matters and you get to decide what matters. 


Blog Post Number - 2916 

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Colin Campbell
Written by Colin Campbell
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