5 tips on using wearables to skyrocket your leadership performance

image credit: Stephen VanHorn / shutterstock.com

I’m convinced that wearables can skyrocket your personal performance. We’re only at the beginning of figuring out what these devices are going to mean for us, so I’ve put together five tips to help you get the most out of them.

Why am I so confident that these tips work? Three reasons: I’ve tried them, my clients have tried them, and the leadership thinking underpinning these tips is robust and relevant to the kind of technological progress we see around us today.

1. Pick something that inspires you

There are so many wearables out there and the reviews are often looooong. Go with something that balances wow factor, simplicity and function. I was eager to try out the much anticipated Apple Watch so bought one earlier last year. And if you MUST have something that matches your new silver sunglasses, then do it!

2. Start with the end in mind

Sure, you may be thinking of buying the latest Fitbit or Jawbone but think first about what you will use it for. What associated software does the gadget have? How exportable is the data (Apple – not very; Fitbit – very.) But what phone do you have? Don’t just think hardware (or even software), think ecosystem – there’s no point getting an Apple Watch if you have an Android phone.

3. Be realistic

Read the following two questions and decide whether your answers tend towards ‘a little’ or ‘a lot’.

  • How much data load do you want to be involved in?
  • How much time do you want to invest in recording and analyzing data?

If you have answered ‘a little’, then pick something streamlined such as Jawbone UP, and use their in-built app which allows for ‘food, mood and move [exercise]’. Even if you are in this category, take the time to maximize the gadgets you now have. Invest 15 minutes on the online portal and think about how you will best use it.

If you have answered ‘a lot’, then pick some more enhanced options. E.g. to optimise your performance based on your diet, follow these steps:

  1. Sign up for MyFitnessPal
  2. Log your food intake for a minimum of one month
  3. Use MyFitnessPal’s data export function
  4. Decrease your sugar intake and increase your fibre intake over time

And scroll down to receive my Free guide, “Stop wasting time on repetitive tasks – let us show you an easier way using ‘IF This Then That’ (IFTTT).

4. Widen your perspective beyond just the health and fitness

Most of the marketing for wearables focuses on health and fitness. But you will only sustain high performance when you combine physical data with information on emotions, purpose and mental focus. Here are some ideas you might want to try:

  • Log your daily sugar, caffeine and alcohol intake and track the numbers (up bad, down good). These numbers will directly affect your levels of mental focus at work and home. Set up notifications on your wearables to remind you.
  • Track your mood using Mood Panda or Jawbone UP.
  • Reflect on what success would look like for you at work during the next 9 months. And at home? Write this down, and set up reminders on your wearables, linked to your diary, to review this every two months.
  • Correlate the above with a diary analysis of the amount of travel you are doing.

5. Reduce tiredness by improving the quality and quantity of your sleep

When tiredness makes you feel numb or like you’re lacking energy, this reduces your leadership performance levels. If this is you, consider measuring the quality and quantity of your sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep per day for adults between the ages of 18-64. To track this automatically, either get the Fitbit Charge HR or Garmin Forerunner 225, or invest in a dedicated sleep monitor such as the Withings Aura.

What next?

Sign-up below and I will send you my FREE guide, “Stop wasting time on repetitive tasks – let us show you an easier way using ‘IF This Then That’ (IFTTT).

Why not check out my wearable reviews? Several great sites already review wearables from a technical point of view and focus almost exclusively on fitness. However, my posts are unique in that they give you the inside scoop on how much various devices will help you transform your personal performance and impact on the world around you.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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