This will sound boring and weird, but I love spreadsheets.
At work, I track how my day goes – focus levels, time spent, and tasks accomplished. It feels great to see all the boxes ticked and improves my performance for two reasons.
- Accountability. I know that if I mess up, it will show up – so I’m less likely to slack.
- Awareness. If the same issues pop up again and again, I can recognize and improve them.
Karl Pearson, a mathematician much smarter than me, has put this phenomenon into words before:
“When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates.”
We all set goals for ourselves – but quite often, we fall short. This isn’t just about work, finances, and other “numbery” stuff. It’s also about a great relationship, good health, and being a good man.
Here’s how you can apply Pearson’s Law to accelerate your progress.
Make Sure You Reach Your Personal Goals Instead Of Getting Off Track
You’re reading this article, which means you want to improve yourself.
But progress is often hard to measure because there are no objective criteria like how much money you earn or how satisfied your customers are.
Yet, you can still apply Pearson’s Law.
Ask yourself the right questions
Every Saturday, I sit and reflect on the past week. It only takes ten minutes but shows me what I’ve achieved – and also keeps me accountable. You can do the same by asking yourself some simple questions:
- Did I reach my goals? If not, why not?
- Have I been the father/husband/friend I want to be?
- What’s something I can be proud of?
- What should I spend more/less time on?
- What mistakes did I make and how can I learn from them?
Knowing that you will have to answer to yourself will change how you behave.
Get accountability partners
There’s only one thing worse than pooping your pants – someone else watching it.
It’s why accountability partners are so important. When you feel like skipping a workout, your gym buddy can give you the necessary push. Even if they aren’t physically there, giving them your word will help you power through.
- Get a gym buddy
- Join a book club or reading group
- Ask a friend to check in on your progress regularly
- Create a mastermind around a specific area of your life or career
Find someone to report to and you’ll improve your performance.
Improve Both Your Performance And Satisfaction At Work
When people think about progress at work, they often think higher, better, faster.
But that’s not the only thing that matters. Sure, being employee of the month is nice, but what if you sacrifice your mental and physical health or time with your family? Pearson’s Law can help you boost the numbers – but also the experience.
Here’s how you can apply it in your favor:
- Report what matters to your boss. Not just numbers and financial results, but also other metrics that matter to you – stress levels, work satisfaction, and overtime. Include ideas to improve them, as well.
- Schedule a regular meeting with your team. No, this isn’t another hour-long, boring blah blah blah. It can be a quick 15-minute get-together to report what you want to improve.
- Set “quiet goals” and report to yourself weekly. Not everything has to be public. To spend less time on annoying customers, set that goal for yourself and track it. Once you do, you’ll find ways to get there.
This isn’t about creating unnecessary admin, but about measuring – and improving – what matters.
Take Your Relationship To The Next Level
Great relationships require effort.
Unfortunately, they often become routine. The kids, parents-in-law, and demanding careers take a toll on your couple time.
However, it’s not enough to commit to more date nights, talking more openly, or improving your sex life. You have to actually do it – and do it regularly. This is where Pearson’s Law comes in.
Answer these questions together:
- How much quality time do we have with each other?
- How happy are we with our communication, sex life, and emotional connection?
- How often do we argue, how often do we bond?
- How much progress have we made from last month? What got better, what got worse?
If you want to go the extra mile and take your connection to the next level, write a relationship journal. Define what matters most and check how well you live up to it. This will help you create the relationship you want.
Summary To Help You Apply Pearson’s Law To Your Life
Measuring efforts and performance improves results because it creates awareness and accountability.
Here’s how to apply it:
- Personal goals: Reflect on your progress regularly and get an accountability partner.
- Work goals: Report to your boss, connect with your team, and measure the “soft factors” like work satisfaction, stress levels, and fulfillment.
- Relationship goals: Let you and your partner hold each other accountable for doing what matters – and write a relationship journal to go the extra mile.
Sometimes, all you need to do is to keep yourself in check.