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Alexey Migutsky for Metadevelopment

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at

One Simple Model To Help You Measure Your Growth

Originally published at our Patreon blog.
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There is one thing people are always missing when they start engineering their life. This thing is a good metric system. How do you measure and estimate your progress? What values do you need to optimize when you are making decisions?

For this exact case we suggest using TEMS model.

TEMS is an abbreviation for a group of resources:

  • Time ⏱
  • Energy ⚡️
  • Money 💰
  • Social Connectedness 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦


Time is the most precious resource in your life, just because you cannot get more personal time. You can, though, exchange other resources for other people's time.

Your personal time has very peculiar properties:

  • It feels like there is never enough time
  • Time resource is depleting naturally
  • Sense of time is very unique between different people and cultures
  • Time and attention are two things your closest people will always value more than anything else.


Energy characterises your will-power, internal motivation, attention, ability to focus and general well-being. Also, you can think of Energy as a measure for health and stress recovery capacity.  

Energy and Time comprises your basic resources for personal efficiency. Throughout your life you will convert your Energy and Time into other things and experiences. Energy and Time defines how many interests you can pursue and how many joys you can get from life.


Money is the easiest to measure and easiest to convert resource. Money has a direct physical representation - you can see it and touch it.

This is why money is often used as a substitute measure to all other things: happiness (rich == happy), influence (rich == influential), well-being (rich == has more free time).

This is a very misleading frame of reference, though. Money can not buy all of those things.

Social Connectedness

Social Connectedness is the most underestimated and valuable resource. As human beings, we are born social. Our happiness depends on socialising and feeling love and acceptance.

Your Social Connectedness comprises of two main categories: friends & relatives and people you can benefit from (colleagues, employees, professional contacts). Both categories require your attention and time so that you can benefit from them.

A Secret of Success

All four resources are convertible: you can convert, for example, Time and Energy into Money and Social Connectedness.

If you are using TEMS model, then success will look like balancing and  increasing all resources at once, as opposed to exchanging one resource for another.

Here is an example.

Imagine, you've got a great opportunity to work in an industry-leading startup. You know that they are eager to give a good value of options and their exit is kinda obvious for you.
The problem is that they will demand overtimes and a lot of mental activity from you - pushing the boundaries and learning cutting-edge stuff.

You tried to estimate the TEMS balance:

You can totally see that this opportunity will give you a lot of Money in 5 years, but will deplete your Time and Energy. Hopefully, you will be able to retain your Social Connectedness (meeting friends and relatives, keeping in touch with colleagues and industry pros).

Would you take this opportunity?

Would you take an opportunity to join a company where you will get less Money, but more free Time and freedom to meet people and network?

How does your latest job-related or home-related decisions map to this model?

Do you want to grow differently? Join Metadevelopment and get new superpowers!

Top comments (1)

siriniok profile image
Vladyslav Siriniok • Edited

I'm doing an assessment using this model every half a year, helps me to realize how better or worse off I'm relatively to the past.