Final week, Wells Fargo fired a bunch of their distant workers.

It seems that these workers had been “simulating keyboard exercise” (with a program/machine that mechanically typed keys or jiggled their mouse once they weren’t at their pc).

Why?

As a result of that’s how these workers had been evaluated:

Not by what number of purchasers they introduced in, nor what number of relationships they fostered, however by what number of hours they had been energetic on their computer systems.

In order that’s precisely what these workers gave them.

Bear in mind, this is identical financial institution that advised workers again in 2017: “Join as many consumers to further banking companies as doable.”

The consequence?

Tens of millions of unknowing prospects had bank cards and financial savings accounts and brokerage accounts created illegally of their names, a whole bunch of thousands and thousands of {dollars} in fines, and destroyed goodwill for Wells Fargo.

Why did each of those comically unhealthy lapses in judgment occur?

Bloomberg’s Matt Levine stated it nicely:

Two primary ideas of administration, and regulation, and life, are:

  1. You get what you measure.
  2. The factor that you just measure will get gamed.

Actually that’s only one precept: You get what you measure, however solely precisely what you measure. There’s no assure that you just’ll get the extra common good factor that you just thought you had been roughly measuring.

If you would like laborious staff and measure hours labored, you’ll get plenty of staff browsing the web till midnight.

I stumbled throughout this story final week, and instantly thought how this actual incentive-and-unexpected-results performs out on a regular basis in our lives.

We obtain Duolingo to be taught to converse with a local speaker of their language. Months later, we’re checking in every day so we don’t get yelled at by the Owl, we’re determined to maintain our every day streak energetic…and we will solely say “I discovered a blue ostrich on the library.”

We lie in mattress, waiving our arm above our head like a madman, as a result of our FitBit says we want 500 extra steps to hit 10,000 for the day. (Right here’s the historical past of the 10k step rule by the best way…)

I as soon as “meditated” each single day for six months in order that I may construct my meditation streak in Headspace. Typically I might even open the app and simply let the meditation play so I acquired credit score for it, though I wasn’t meditating…THE WHOLE REASON I HAD DOWNLOADED THE APP.

We inform ourselves that we wish to “learn extra,” however then we observe what number of books we learn. This incentivizes us to learn books rapidly (with out retaining any of it), as a substitute of tackling greater challenges like Battle & Peace or rereading our favourite books to glean extra classes.

WHY will we wish to learn extra? To be taught stuff or to be entertained! The variety of books, or WHICH books, doesn’t matter:

Social media started as a strategy to join with mates. Nowadays, social media is large enterprise and the solely advertising and marketing device for a lot of creators. As a result of these firms observe “time on app” and “consideration”…social media is now a hellscape of concern.

Probably the most attention-grabbing content material filters to the highest: outrage inducing, factually incorrect, terrible content material designed to enrage and worry monger. Even most of my favourite wellness creators lately spend their time making response movies to essentially the most vile wellness misinformation, as a result of that’s the one sort of content material that beneficial properties any traction.

(No marvel so many individuals are avoiding the Darkish Forest of the Web!).

All of these items weave an enchanting tapestry of how the human mind works, and simply how good our brains are at taking a metric and studying the improper lesson from that metric!

What are you measuring?

The vast majority of individuals go to NerdFitness.com to “shed extra pounds.”

That is the one metric that everyone is used to monitoring. Each advert talks about how you can shed extra pounds quick. They see the quantity on the dimensions and let that quantity decide how they really feel about themselves that day.

That is the improper metric to solely give attention to:

We don’t actually wish to “shed extra pounds.” What we would like is to lose fats whereas protecting the muscle now we have (or constructing muscle).

If our ONLY objective is weight reduction, extreme calorie restriction and limitless cardio may end in a decrease quantity on the dimensions. BUT! If we don’t change our relationship with meals, and eat sufficient of the precise macronutrients and micronutrients, we’ll find yourself feeling torpid, starved, and depressing…after which gorge ourselves as quickly as life will get in the best way.

If we energy practice whereas consuming sufficient protein and in a caloric deficit, we’ll truly shed extra pounds slower than if we simply starved ourselves and did hours of cardio. BUT, we’ll be dropping fats whereas sustaining muscle.

The size ought to solely be ONE a part of how we consider our progress:

In any case, the quantity on the dimensions goes to fluctuate from daily:

  • If we went out to dinner final evening.
  • if we ate an excessive amount of salt yesterday.
  • If we’re carrying further water weight.
  • If we’re on our interval.
  • any variety of causes.

So, as soon as we all know that what we select to trace is necessary, how will we use this to our benefit?

What to Monitor, What NOT to Monitor

Bear in mind, that which will get measured will get improved, so let’s be sensible about what we’re monitoring.

We will ask, “What do I REALLY wish to occur? Is that this the precise metric for that objective?”

  • Making an attempt to “eat higher”: Monitor your protein consumption and variety of fruits/veggies eaten every day. If these are the primary two issues in your plate for every meal, your weight will begin to shift with out your give attention to it.
  • Making an attempt to construct a “seashore physique”? Nice, let’s construct some muscle. Monitor your exercises, and write down precisely what number of units and reps. Then, do ONE extra subsequent time. The objective? Progressive overload for the win! Get stronger,
  • Need to learn extra? Don’t observe “books learn,” which could end in you choosing shorter books or velocity studying, however as a substitute observe “time spent studying.” This could embrace audiobooks, rereading previous books, no matter. Deal with your studying checklist like a river, not a to-do checklist!

Lastly, there are numerous issues we in all probability DON’T want to trace, or we must be cautious about when monitoring.

There’s a complete neighborhood of biohackers who’re prioritizing monitoring the tiniest of particulars throughout a wide range of metrics, lots of which don’t matter, or may end in hostile outcomes.

Right here’s one thing we get requested about lots:

Until you’re a diabetic and have been suggested by a health care provider, you don’t want to put on a steady glucose monitor. Non permanent glucose spikes after consuming a meal are completely regular.

(This podcast from my buddy Dr. Spencer Nadolsky does a superb job explaining why you don’t want a glucose monitor until you’re diabetic).

Right here’s one thing I used to trace however deserted:

I used to trace my sleep religiously with an Oura ring and AppleWatch, however then I might get anxious in the course of the evening and fear that I used to be ruining my “sleep rating”…which negatively impacted the very exercise I used to be attempting to enhance by means of monitoring. Nowadays, I fear far much less about monitoring “good sleep” and simply do what I can to be in mattress for 8ish hours, asleep or not.

And on an even bigger, life philosophy query:

Be cautious of how social media is warping the scorecard you’re utilizing to trace your progress in life! It’s very easy to get sucked into: “Work laborious to earn money to spend it on issues we don’t must impress individuals we don’t even like” Life success isn’t measured within the measurement of our home, or worth of our automobile, or the quantity in our checking account.

Bringing all of it collectively:

In terms of private growth or well being enchancment, it helps to ask: “What am I optimizing for, and does that truly assist me get the consequence I actually need?”

We will then resolve if we’re even enjoying with the precise scorecard and protecting our give attention to the precise metric.

I’d love to listen to from you: what’s a metric you USED to prioritize, however not observe? And what’s the necessary metric that you just’re selecting to prioritize lately?

Hit reply on this and let me know!

-Steve





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