Split testing your habits

How to A/B test your way to a better life.

Anyone with a marketing background understands the concept of split testing — you take something you’re already doing in your business (the control) and test it against one or more alternatives (the variation) to see which performs better.

Split testing is a great way to test web site copy, different pricing options, calls to action, etc. But have you ever thought about using split testing outside the office, in your personal life?

Being obsessed with productivity myself (download my 100-page productivity hacking the book free), I’m always looking for ways to get more leverage and produce more high quality output with less input (time).

A few months ago I started to think about how I could apply split testing to life outside of my company, PeopleSpark (check it out if you’re a CEO who cares about your culture and employees). I played around with split testing all sorts of things — working hours, pre-sleep activities, eating habits, when and where I exercised, how (if at all) I answered calls, how (if at all) I responded to certain emails, etc.

The results were incredible. By testing a few things I dramatically improved productivity across my personal life with a minimal amount of work.

Sound interesting? Here are a few things you can split test to find the optimum approach in your life:

  • If you can choose your own work hours, split test when you start work to see if you’re more productive starting earlier or later
  • If you’re trying to get in shape, split test 4–6 meals a day against intermittent fasting and other food timing options
  • If you drive to work, split test a few different routes to see which one gets you there the quickest
  • If you have trouble sleeping, split test different bed times or the activities you do before you bed (reading, hot milk, shower, temperature of your room, etc)

At its core split testing is a simple concept and it’s a great way to improve your life with minimal effort.

The next time you come across something you want to improve, don’t reach for a “how to” book straight away. Play around with a split test first. The results might surprise you.

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