Re-Living My Life with Mood Tracking
mood & emotion
Kouris Kalligas used an email-based mood tracking service for several months and never utilized the data in any way until he noticed something that triggered him to look back in time for patterns. In this talk, Kouris shares interesting patterns that help inform his daily life and support his findings that he is overall a happy person.
Hi, my name is Kouris Kalligas and you can find me on Twitter also as Kouris Kalligas. I am going to spend the next minutes with you really with my life mood tracking, specifically with my struggles of my startup; I’m an entrepreneur and also my happy ones.
First question, what did I do?
I tracked my mood for the past eight months on a daily basis. And I also went back into my memory is also and into my calendar to try to find out what was happening, why I was saying what I was saying, and also tried to draw some conclusions.
Let’s question, how did I do it?
I used mood tracker, which is an email based called Mood Print and the way this works is the following. You get an email every day, which says, how are you feeling and you can actually reply with Pre Text, One Word and Notes. For example, I’m feeling great. I’m having a great time with Gary and the QS. And this automatically gets recorded and categorized and so on.
I also use my Google calendar to go back to my events, because the calendar is basically my life; if you’re not there, you don’t exist. There is one exception, that’s my girlfriend, not by choice. She doesn’t want to be an agenda point.
I also went back to my memories just using my brain, because I didn’t have any other tool.
Next question, which is very important to answer, is why do I tracked my mood? I’ve been tracking my mood for the past two years, and I’ve use different tools and I’ve ended up using Mood Print and I started doing it because I wanted to analyze my mood and draw up some conclusions.
Eventually I did it because it was a kind of self-report mechanism of what was happening at this specific point in time, and specific day. But there was any event at some point, which actually made me analyze all this data. So what happened, I bought a Fitbit HR back in February, which has real time heart information. And my idea was to correlate all my data against heart rate. And then I remembered I had mood data, so I did and export in CSV, and you can do this in Mood Print and this is what I found by digging in.
Not sure about what I’m doing. That was on October 16, 2014, and then I asked myself what the hell I was shocked. First of all, I don’t recall actually writing it. And second, I always know what I’m doing.
So then I went back to my calendar, very quickly and I realized what was happening. So if I rewind back to July 2014, with my start-up we had some struggles. We had made a product, and what we decide to do with it if it didn’t work basically, if we couldn’t validate a product, then we were basically dead.
So what happened is on October 15, we submitted our product to the Apple store, so that I am October 16, one day after we submitted the product on the Apple Store and I don’t know what I’m doing.
This is kind of like the text I replied on the days later, so I’m feeling sad, content, rested, great, tired, busy. At some point I don’t know I can’t stop working, talk about workaholic and important remark on October 16, I slept eight hours, which is twice the amount I actually slept two days before. I’m doing very good work the next day, and sleep is very important as I mentioned already.
This graph is very important. So on October 28, our product went live on the Apple Store, and it went out with a lot of bugs; bugs, bugs all the time, so this catalyzed my frustration. You see all these negative feelings on with the red bars.
Around the first week of November, I had a good meeting with my team back in Europe, so some feelings went okay. Then I had an investors meeting somewhere mid-November. So it went very well because they gave us the blonde line to actually live in 2015, but it was quite frustrating.
Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and also I went back to Greece, and so family time, great time and I should be going there more often. And then again in the first month of January, I had again another team meeting with my team. We are on board with some very good people and my start-up, and we also had some very good users after all the bugs were out, and we had some very good feedback so everything was going well.
So the rest of the months went more or less okay as well. I haven’t put something there, but it was leading to another launch that we had in May.
In the next graph you will see the analysis of my category of the mood during this time. So specifically I was 97 days – this is the number of days, 97 days, I was feeling joyful. And then I was feeling 81 days negative, then I’m just flat 60 days. And then I’m positive. I’m not very angry, so not extreme or fearful, and optimistic and so on.
In this graph you can see the words I use. So I use a lot of the word great, a lot of the word okay, and I also use the word a lot, stressed. Contrary to many Americans, I’m not very liberal with the word, awesome. And here you can see the daily, weekly patterns, so you can easily see that I’m actually most sad on Thursdays, most optimistic on Fridays – good job. And most joyful on Tuesdays, and it says I’m angry on Mondays.
So what did I learn, the most important question. I’m a happy person. When I think of myself and self-reflect, I see myself as more grumpy than I am. I push myself and I push others. And so it was nice to see that I actually feel joyful most of the time.
I should not call anyone on Thursdays it’s a bad time. I should not do real work on Mondays, so any concentrated work, I should leave it for Tuesday and not on Monday. I use the word stressed too much, I don’t like. I kind of knew that, so I made a pact with myself to actually stop using it.
The most important conclusion of all, really think my life with mood tracking was actually very powerful. It made me realize how I was feeling in the past with my struggles, how I dealt with them, and actually feel more confident with what is coming. In a start-up, there’s always something coming, so I feel a lot more confident in doing this.
Thank you very much for spending some time with me.