Anti-procrastination "Do More" Goal?

Anyone tried to use Beeminder to procrastinate less?

It’s a tricky thing to quantify and track, and so I don’t know if it’s even doable. Here’s one idea I had: a goal that’s intended to help me replace the procrastination habit with a habit of getting back on track i.e. reset focus. The goal will track the following sequence of events:

  1. Become aware that I’m procrastinating.
  2. Set 5-min timer.
  3. Switch to something productive an item on my to-do list.

This completes the sequence. Once the timer is up, log +1 in the goal. I now have the option to go back to procrastinating. But I’m hoping that I’ll be motivated to reset enough times that over time it’ll become more habitual than procrastinating.


Great idea!

As you get better, and procrastinate less (if that ever gets to happen!), I imagine you’d want to reduce the slope? Otherwise you’ll need to make up procrastination events that you can step out of, just to keep up on your graph?


I’m minding procrastination around going to bed at a reasonable time. To do this I’m taking advantage of clock time entries in 24-hour format being converted to amounts (e.g., 11:30pm = 23:30 = 23.5 after being entered) when the Data type is set to Numbers not Times.

My goal is to be in bed by 10:30pm so I have a do-less goal of 22.5 daily. And I enter the bedtime the next morning to avoid a beemergency if it was at night and I forgot to enter before going to sleep. And if I go to bed after midnight I keep adding, so 1:30am would enter as 25.5.


Well, to be honest, after I posted the above, I started thinking this was a really fuzzy goal, and difficult to remember to do regularly, let alone track each instance.

I’m still looking for good goals that help reduce procrastination, but I’m leaning towards ones that involve me doing concrete tasks.

For example, I really like the idea of breaking down a daily “must-do” goal into AM and PM must-dos. I already try to plan my workday like that anyway, so it’s just a matter of formalizing it into a Beeminder goal (or goals). The actual tasks I do in these goals will often be different, depending on whatever tasks are the most important on a given day.

To really get to the heart of the procrastination thing, I want to also have separate goals for thoughtfully selecting each AM and PM task, ideally completed ahead of time (the previous day?). I’d also like to incentivize starting and finishing early (or at least on time, without needing to stay late). These will all be “Do more” goals.

So, to sum up, the goals are:

  1. Select AM must-do: 1 or 0
  2. Select PM must-do: 1 or 0
  3. AM must-do: If completed by 1pm- 2. If completed after 1pm- 1. Not done- 0.
  4. PM must-do: If completed by 5pm- 2. If completed after 5pm- 1. Not done- 0.

The downside to (3) and (4) being set up this way is that I won’t be able to look at the data later and determine whether, (for instance) I mostly complete my AM tasks before 1pm or not. Or, for example, do I always complete them on Mondays, but never on Fridays.

And that kind of thing is useful information to have, because then I would restructure my planning and expectations accordingly. I could, of course, split each of them into 2 goals, but I don’t want to do that, as then I’d have too many goals. Another option is to use the hashtag to note the time I completed each AM and PM must-do.


This is a great idea! I also want to cut down on bedtime procrastination. I might set up a goal like this as well.

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Don’t forget that you can always export all your beeminder data for a goal. You can then just feed it into your favourite data processing tool (a spreadsheet would work fine!) and understand that kind of detail - for each day of the week, how often you scored a 0, a 1, or a 2, etc.


That’s a good point!

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