Two-Cent #005

Optimizing Sleep, LinkedIn Hypergrowth, & Next-Level Advertising
September 22, 2020

Hello Studs & Studettes,

Welcome back to Two-Cent— The most actionable personal growth newsletter on the internet— Where it's my job to trench through the forests of personal development and uncover the tools that help you grow as a human.


Let's get into it

Optimizing Sleep (A Prescription I'm Writing Myself)

We spend 1/3rd of our lives asleep, might as well get it right.

The tips here are a mix between 2 books I read, Why we sleep by Matt Walker and The 4 Hour Body by Tim Ferriss, blended with my own experimentation.

The problem I have is falling asleep right away. AKA turning off the proverbial monkey mind and not laying in bed fidgeting for 4 hours straight.

Here's the prescription I'm writing myself.  

Prescription I'm re-dosing myself with:

  • Daily exercise at night (usually between 6-8pm)— recalibrates energy and exhausts body quicker, especially resistance training.
  • Hot showers before bed— Studies by The National Library Of Medicine show that melatonin gets naturally released in the mind with hot baths/showers before bed.
  • Wind-downs— 10-20 minutes of guided sleep meditation through Headspace. Great for turning off monkey mind.

Tools I'm using:

  • Sleepwatch— tracks your sleep data using a smartwatch (REM, light sleep, deep sleep, time to fall asleep. total sleep, plus others)
  • Innovative alarm (also by Sleepwatch)— detects (within a 30 minute window that I set) when I'm in the lightest sleep and gently vibrates my wrist to wake me up.
  • Soundscapes—3D recordings of the world's loveliest places to help you sleep (also through Headspace). My favorite is the frog chorus.
  • Sleep mask— limits light exposure while sleeping which improves sleep quality
  • Blue light glasses— blue light from tech screens spike dopamine in your brain keeping you awake. Blue light glasses shield them.

Other tips I'm reminding myself of:

  • Slightly cooler temperatures (66-70 F) are shown to increase REM sleep
  • Stop working an hour before bed. The brain needs time to shut down.
"Insomnia is a gross feeder. It will nourish itself on any kind of thinking, including thinking about not thinking" — Clifton Fadiman, former chief editor, Simon & Schuster

LinkedIn Hyper-growth

Premise:

Growing a personal brand is among the strongest assets you can build— right now LinkedIn is one of the best platforms to build one.


Proof:

On day 2 of Linkedin Content making I got 20,000 views and counting on one of my posts.


To put it in perspective I have a modest ~1000 connections and only posted 5 times in the 4 years I've had a LinkedIn profile. I'm a pretty average LinkedIn Joe.


LinkedIn Advertising charges $7/1000 impressions (views). So that post got me $150 in free advertising value. Here's a clip of the post for reference.


After taking multiple Linkedin courses and polling people who are really good at it I came up with this strategy below (clipped from my Notion Dashboard):


Strategy you should steal:


Next-Level Advertising (Something to be aware of)

Digital Billboards are tracking you. I read the article by Thomas Germain in Consumer Reports and was blown away.


Here's the premise

Billboards are geo-tracking cell phones in the area, scraping their behavioral data into a database, then using that database to target the ads that are shown based on who's in relative proximity to the billboard.


Quotes from the article:

“As we stand here, there are devices behind that screen that are picking ID numbers from our cell phones... We know who is in Times Square at a given moment.”—Frank O'Brien, CEO of Five Tier Advertising

"When we go out into public, we are often surrounded by screens showing ads. They can be on the side of the road, at the gym, in store windows, in doctors’ offices, and in elevators. You might assume that the marketing messages are playing on a loop, but sometimes these ads are changing because people like you are nearby."—Thomas Germain, Journalist at Consumer Reports

Here's How it works:

A location data broker gathers data from mobile apps on your phone (remember that privacy policy box you checked?)  ✅. Data examples: Goes to gym twice a week, frequently uses credit card at natural-foods stores, subscribes to a running magazine, etc.

All of this information is tagged to your unique identifiers on your phone (bluetooth addresses and Wifi MAC addresses).

Later, if a company wants to promote its new organic protein bar, it can target a 15 second advertisement to play on that billboard you always see on the way to the gym—along with other people who have also been tagged as health fanatics.

You really don't own your data.

How to block this from happening

  • Adjust location permissions on your phone to limit which apps have access to GPS data
  • Delete as many apps as possible (most are pulling data from your phone activity and selling it to advertisers)
  • Put device on airplane mode (temporary solution)

Ultimately if you like using technology it will be difficult to opt out entirely.

At what point does data collecting and ad targeting become unethical? I'd love to hear your guys' thoughts.

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