Personal growth can be summed up in one sentence: do more of what's meaningful and do less of what works against you. It's a zero-sum game where our daily actions compound. Our decision-making process is what ultimately brings us success or failure.
Decisions result from data, meaning from the books we read, the culture we belong to, the way we were raised, or our friends' opinions. All the knowledge we have at our disposition, no matter its form, is useful.
The more data sources we have, the better the decisions we take - because knowing more brings us closer to the truth.
This is the main reason why I think generating, owning, and analyzing my personal data is important. Any insight I can gain is a potential way to get better.
When I started making products as an indie maker, I downloaded a productivity tool to record and analyze my work sessions. I stopped for a year and started again a few days ago to track the time I spend freelancing.
The results surprised me: I work a lot, like, at least 8 hours of deep work a day.
I often feel like I'm not making any progress, but I'm already putting in the hours. I'm just being impatient.
One thing I could improve is the time I spend on Youtube and Twitter: from one to two hours daily. I spent around 10 hours a day on my computer, but 20% of my time is being lost on stupid stuff.
I can't log the time I spend reading and writing offline, or exercising (I hate smart devices with a passion), but I can tell my days are full. The only way forward is to be more mindful of the time wasters.