If someone came up to me in a crowded mall and told me I need to improve myself, my first reaction would probably be one of shock – because I never actually go to crowded malls! Seriously though, I would be shocked by the very idea that I need improvement, and I am guessing that this would be true for most of us. I mean, it’s not that we consider ourselves to be perfect or anything (at least I don’t), but just that it is seldom that we consciously and specifically think about self-improvement per se.
Sure, we’ve all made vague New Year resolutions – to lose some weight around the middle, to try and watch less TV, to get to office before rush hour etc. – but rarely do those resolutions last beyond the first week. And the reason, of course, is that normally we seem to be missing some key aspects of successful self-improvement – measurement and metrics – in our personal lives. The concept of measurement is pretty self-explanatory, I would assume, but just as important is deciding exactly what to measure – in other words, metrics. For example, we may be able to measure our weight loss exactly but is that really a good metric? Wouldn’t inch-loss be a better metric if improved fitness is our goal (after all, muscle tends to be heavier, but leaner, than fat).
Still, whether we choose to improve or not in our personal lives, we have no such choice in our professional lives – we must constantly try to improve, and not merely to succeed but sometimes even to survive. The real question is – just how to do that?
I suppose any self-improvement plan can be broken down into five steps:
- Identity the problem area
- Define appropriate metrics
- Deploy tools and processes to measure them
- Create an action plan to improve
- Execute that plan to the best of our ability
These steps remain roughly the same no matter whether we are trying to learn new skill-sets or improve existing ones, or whether we are simply trying to address sub-optimal behaviour patterns.
Out of these it is relatively easier to do steps 1, 4 and 5 – after all, problem areas can be obvious, appropriate plans can be developed, and execution is completely in our control. However, so far what have been relatively harder to tackle are steps 2 and 3.
Until the advent of Sapience, that is.
Sapience helps us easily measure and track appropriate metrics for self-improvement. For example, we know that focus is very important for delivering better output. But how can we understand whether we are sufficiently focused or not? What could be a good metric for that, and how to measure it? (Hint – if you’ve checked your email even once since the time you’ve started reading this, you may not be sufficiently focused). For this, Sapience defines a metric called uninterrupted activity time. Using this metric we can easily understand our focus patterns and put in place strategies to improve them.
And that is not all. There are so many other aspects where Sapience helps us improve, that one post is simply not enough to enumerate them. The truth is, self-improvement is a never ending journey and as the old Chinese proverb says, you need to take the first step – get Sapience.