Advent 2022: 15. Rip the Fabric of Universe with Complice and Beeminder: The Ultimate Guide (Christmas Edition)

I am honored to be the author of today’s Advent Calendar entry; many thanks to @alys.

It comes a bit late because I accidentally deleted my post right before publishing it… And had no copy of it anywhere else. CTRL-Z was no help either. My deepest apologies :smiling_face_with_tear:

Table of Content

  1. Introduction to Complice’s Philosophy
  2. Santa Claus’ Secret Technique
  3. Tips for Disorganized Remote Workers and People Who Watch Cat Videos At 2am
  4. Be Nice To Your Family (Work Towards a Nebulous Goal)
  5. Fill Those Taxes (One-Off Tasks)

Introduction to Complice’s Philosophy

I’ll go ahead and summarize the Complice Philosophy write-up.

Complice helps people realize what their goals are, and make their goals a reality

Virtually all to-do list software on the internet, whether it knows it or not, is based on the GTD philosophy (David Allen’s “Getting Things Done”) or some similar underlying assumptions.

The main paradigmatic differences of Complice, compared to GTD-based systems are as follows:

  • choosing & doing, over organizing
  • aliveness, instead of exhaustiveness
  • goals as fundamental, rather than tasks
  • proactive, rather than reactive

In short, you:

  1. Define your goals in life (healthier body, great friendships, being smart)
  2. Add tasks towards your goals every day
  3. Complete them

The problem I had with Complice was that I would not really do my tasks. Motivation is a huge issue for me and I end up watching anime all day in my default state, which, you might agree, doesn’t exactly move me towards my goals.

However, by combining Beeminder and Complice, one can create the ultimate explosive recipe to efficiently achieving one’s goals.

Beware: if you continue reading, there is no going back.

Santa Claus’ Secret Technique

We will all agree that Santa Claus is quite a nice guy. He thinks of every person in the world and finds them a personalized gift. We might also agree that he’s quite resourceful. I, personally, have trouble finding and buying/crafting gifts every year

So one day, I sent him a letter. His response will make you feel like you just gained 10 IQ points.

Dear Camille,

In this secret letter, I will reveal to you the technique that I use to find relevant gifts for all the people in the world. Well, mostly everyone. It also works with birthday gifts or any gift that can be scheduled.

The first step is to identify who you want to give gifts to.

Make a list and put it into Workflowy. I, personally, have billions of people to gift, and had to pay for the premium Workflowy plan, but you should be fine with the free one.

The second step is to schedule a reminder to purchase or craft a gift each day. The epic Complice+Workflowy integration allows me to know who I should find a gift for today! It picks a random person in the list and adds it to my Complice tasks for the day.

And finally, since you have motivational issues like me, you should create a Beeminder goal that keeps track of the number of gifts that you have prepared! You can use the Complice X Beeminder integration to automatically let Beeminder get a +1

I am thrilled by your interest in my productivity system. Let me know if you have any other questions.

-Santa Claus

I have followed his advice, and I feel way more relaxed knowing that I will make my close friends and family happy! Here is a link to my goal: christmasgifts – clouedoc – beeminder

Edit: I accidentally submitted my post… I don’t even know how it’s possible for me to make so many mistakes in a so short span of time. I’ll just write the rest as separate posts, haha.


Tips for Disorganized Remote Workers and People Who Watch Cat Videos At 2am

You are the hero of your life. But sometimes, you get really off-track and waste your time. Don’t worry, even superheroes are humans.

But behavioral economics nerds are not. We are better than everyone, including lazy super-heroes.
If we have a problem, we find a solution to it; it’s only a matter of time.

So, here are some problems and solutions regarding time distorsion issues.

Click the one that corresponds the most to you to get enlightened. Beware: you will have no excuses anymore.

It's 2pm And I'm Still In My Bed

Don’t worry, this happens to everyone!

The problem is that if it happens every day, it can seriously start to affect your mood and your progress towards your goals;

One solution is to have a consistent morning routine that you tweak over time.

To achieve this, you can have a daily “morning routine” task in Complice.

To enforce you completing it, you have two options:

  1. Create a Beeminder goal with a deadline at e.g. 10am and link it to the task
  2. When waking up, bet $5 that you’ll complete the task in one hour

The former is nice if you want to have a consistent schedule (which is better for sleep).
The second is nice if you need more flexibility.

(if you can’t seem to stake your morning routine endings, you can create a Beeminder goal that forces you to stake money. There is already a dedicated integration thanks to @lancemcdoogal asking @malcolm to implement it!)

You can also split your morning routines in a few tasks; if you end up starting your morning routine too late, you can always stake your first stake (dress up in 10 minutes or pay 5$); this gets the momentum going.

One thing I don’t like about this workflow is that it involves using my phone when waking up, which can be a source of distractions. BUT! I’m working on writing a WearOS app to interact with Complice :slightly_smiling_face:

It's 11pm, I Didn't Eat And I'm Filling Excel Sheets

Whoops. You just prioritized your job over your well-being. While this sounded good, you regret your choice as you wake up the day after, souless since you didn’t get the time to watch your favorite TV series before getting bed (or did, and ended up starting your sleep at 3am)

To fix this, I recommend a simple solution.

  1. Add a daily task named “end workday - stake this”
  2. Create a Beeminder goal that pushes you to stake money on this specific task every day
  3. Before starting your workday, stake a few dollars on stopping work stuff by, e.g., 8pm.

Something that I read that stuck with is that, if there is no human life on the line, work can wait. (Obviously, that doesn’t really apply if you are on-call, and it gets blurry if it’s there are real consequences to you for waiting)

It's 3am And I'm Watching Cat Videos

Since you worked late, you decided to relax late. But you will wake up late and end up working late, and end up relaxing late again…

So cut the cycle!

The solution for me was to create an evening routine.

It’s similar to the morning routine one, so take a look at it (It’s 2pm And I’m Still In My Bed).

(copy-pasting feels wrong, and I’m too lazy to rewrite it in a slightly different tone)

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Be Nice To Your Family (Work Towards a Nebulous Goal)

One problem I had was that I was not consistently helping around the house.
I was having energy sprints and the house was ultra-clean, and I was buying sweet found for my family, and others where I am doing nothing.

My solution is the following:

  1. Create a Complice goal (be nice to my family)
  2. Create a list of possible tasks for this goal in Workflowy; add the relevant tags to automatically fetch one random task from the list and it to your Complice to-do list everyday
  3. Create a Beeminder goal that matches tasks in the “be nice to my family” goal

And that’s all! Beeminder will remind you to be nice.
And Complice will give you an idea of what to do.

Of course, this works with all kind of goals

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Fill Those Taxes (One-Off Tasks)

Another useful use of task staking on Complice is for tasks that are often put off because they are not so vital. But if I don’t fill my taxes, I will have issues; same thing if I don’t return those shoes that aren’t really my size.

Here is a solution:

  1. Create a task that says, “stake a few boring tasks” and shows up every day on Complice
  2. Stake a few tasks everyday
  3. Do the tasks

That’s pretty straightforward.

In my experience, it works pretty well; the downside is that it’s easy to underestimate a task and become overloaded.

You can also combine it to Beeminder (e.g., create a Beeminder goal to make sure that you check the “stake a few boring tasks” checkbox every day")

PS: Taskratchet might be a better fit for this specific use case

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Conclusion: just do it!

Thanks for reading my post.

I’m interested in everyone’s ideas, suggestions, corrections and comments, so don’t be shy about commenting!

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Excellent post, thank you! I think it works well with the sections broken out into comments - easier to link to a specific one if desired.