Peteris Erins

Growth data scientist at Twitter. Next at McKinsey.

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One month on the UP: Learnings from the Jawbone fitness band

As I write this in San Francisco International Airport, I realize it would be a good time to charge my Jawbone UP. No steps will be missed as I will be typing idly for an hour more at the airport and then some after boarding the plane to Latvia. Daily considerations about how this fitness band fits in my life and when exactly I should be interacting with it have permeated my thoughts to the extent that my brain now has a dedicated Jawbone push notification system.

the UP from above held in hand
The Jawbone UP

For those of you not familiar with the device, it is a wristband that logs steps, exercise and sleep solely through an accelerometer. It has only one button that is used to distinguish between three states: walking, sleeping (or napping) and exercising. The device plugs into your smartphone and is augmented with an app that provides visualizations of activity as well as support for additional manual data entry...

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How to spend your time

While only a minority of us are investing money regularly, we all manage a fund of twenty-four hours per day. These hours are distributed along pursuits, such as eating, sleeping, working, traveling, socializing among other things. Our actions follow from a constant stream of constraints imposed by others, our willful decisions and short-term indulgences.

Strategies for making more use of one’s time are at the core of various approaches to productivity. From experimental sleeping patterns that reduce total sleep time to simpler productivity hacks like the Pomodoro method that incorporates timed breaks between uninterrupted productive work periods.

The problem with time management, however, is not coming up with new ways to spend it. The challenge is truly pursuing whatever strategy you have outlaid, then evaluating the evidence about its usability and adapting the method based on the...

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