Metabolmedia - The world's most connected man

He is the world's most connected man and lectures the world about digitization. But under the rhetorical surface is a dystopian soul that sees itself as Guy Montag in Fahrenheit 451. Meet the IT Specialist Chris Dancy, whose father was a killer. 

Warrior Radio Episode 29

WR 029 : How Chris Dancy Used Over 700 Devices To Hack His Mind

In this episode of Warrior Radio, I sit down with Chris Dancy, who is known as the world’s most connected man.

When Chris was 40, he was over 300 pounds, smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day, drinking up to 36 cans of Diet Coke, and on a host of drugs for his physical and mental health. After a few major wake-up calls and some serious self-reflection, he decided he would use self-tracking technology to hack every aspect of his life.

He eventually utilized up to 700 different devices, applications, and services to achieve this goal. Over the next few years, he quit smoking, lost over 100 pounds, and learned to cage his monkey mind. In this episode, we hear the good, the bad, and the ugly of his self-tracking journey.

If you liked this episode, be sure to check out his podcast called Mindful Cyborgs which in his words, is a “movement to help people place themselves in ‘airplane mode’ and not their devices.”

What You’ll Learn:

  • A transformative event that occurred in 2003 that lead him into the world of self-tracking and biohacking.
  • What lead his decision to never go offline, and track every possible aspect of his life.
  • How he categorizes and organizes various data points of his life – from his social life to his physical health, and even his spiritual well-being.
  • How Chris utilized up to 700 sensors, devices, applications, and services to track and optimize his life (and which ended up being the most important to his life).
  • How he was able to find exact correlations between his physical and mental health, with activities such as binge TV watching, time spent online, certain lighting, and certain sounds.
  • How his self-tracking journey eventually lead him towards a spiritually awakening
  • Devices and apps Chris uses to aid in meditation
  • How Chris has created his living space around biofeedback, allowing things like light and sound to change based on his mood.

More Here:

HubEngage Workplace productivity

For five years, Chris Dancy has been collecting oodles of data about himself. 

He wears gadgets including a Fitbit, BodyMedia Fit, Lumoback, Pebble Smartwatch, Apple Watch, Blue HR and more and uses 700 sensors, applications and services to track, analyze and optimize his life. 

All this earned him the title of “The Most Connected Man on Earth.”

Dancy has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Wired magazine and Businessweek and regularly delivers keynote addresses and leads workshops on digital health, privacy and technology.

The man knows a thing or two about using technology to improve your health, productivity and quality of life. He has plenty of ideas for how companies can take advantage of data generated by their employees, in-office sensors and more flexible workplace policies to improve efficiency and morale.

Data on Employee Habits Reveals Efficiency Killers

There is plenty of information readily available to employers today that can help them not only better understand their employees, but also help them become more effective employees.

Dancy recommends looking in on employees calendars– not to read specifics­­– but to see how many meetings they have in a given day. 

People with back-to-back meetings all day tend to go home and do work there, which could lead to burnout and low job satisfaction down the road. To help mitigate overloaded schedules, Dancy is a big proponent of walking meetings.

“You can’t talk long when you’re winded,” he says. “People don’t go to as many meetings when they have to walk.”

Another piece of data to look at is the amount of time employees spend in their email inbox, another common efficiency killer. 

To get a clearer picture of how employees are using their time, Dancy recommends measuring both the time spent in productivity killers like email, meetings and commuting and also the time not spent doing those things. 

Look at the time spent in tools that are associated with productivity. People who are getting the most work done tend to spend time in creation tools– Word, PowerPoint, Excel or the Adobe Creative Suite or in research tools like Wikipedia, YouTube, PDF or file sharing systems.

Employers can also look at things like commute times. Longer commutes contribute not only to inefficiency, but are also a big mood killer, Dancy says. While it is not necessarily a great idea to have everyone work from home (we tried that in the 90s and that did not work well for corporations, Dancy says) he thinks giving employees a more flexible work schedule and providing them with temporary environments where they can get things done, like using a co-working space, helps improve morale.

“Think about when you were in school, your favorite day as a child was going on a field trip,” he says.

There is no shortage of the types of useful information an organization can collect about its employees. One thing he has tried during workshops, but does not necessarily recommend for companies is having employees wear pulse oximeters, which measure people’s heart rates and blood oxygen levels, during meetings. You can see when people are stressed out, and get clues about who in the meeting might need attention for which they are not asking.

Finally, companies should be more thoughtful about how they approach rewarding employees for healthy behaviors. Rather than focusing on how many steps an employee has taken in a day, they should look at more meaningful data.

“If you want to award your employees, measure sleep and award the ones who sleep the best,” Dancy says.



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Optimal Performance Podcast

Optimal Performance Podcast #114

Chris Dancy is the World's Most Connected Man, lecturing all over the world on how we can better utilize technology to monitor our health, hack time, and be more mindful cyborgs.   I met Chris at the Biohacker Summit Sweden last month where he presented a keynote on time-traveling using our phones, calendars, and wearable devices.   In this episode of the OPP, Chris explains how we "lack the ability to track what we value, so we end up valuing what we track."   We explore time travel, time-hacking, and optimizing our tracking devices to enhance our lives.   Chris has a new TV show coming soon where he "reads" phones like a psychic reads palms - called "phone palmistry". We have Chris analyze the phones of some of our listeners (with startling accuracy) and we have their reactions to prove it!   Discover what your phone says about you and learn how to customize your phone to slow down time, optimize your health and relationships, and enhance your overall wellbeing.

Optimal Performance Podcast #107

Live from Stockholm at the BioHacker Conference.