Hi Patrick! Sounds like a bad case of burnout…
You’ve hit the nail on the head though: it’s all about achieving the work that you actually care about. Beeminder is just one tool and, like most tools, it’s one that works best if you can figure out how to use it in service of your real goals.
You’ve reflexively hit ‘archive’ on almost everything. Any time that you archive a Beeminder goal a good time to think about:
- how does this goal serve the work I care about?
- what else could I measure that might be more aligned with the underlying real-world goal?
- if this is a useful goal, is the slope appropriately aggressive / conservative?
Take advantage of this last week while you’re archiving to adhere closely to the spirit of each goal rather than the strict letter of your fine print. That might help you discover an adjacent restatement of the goal that serves you better.
I really like that you’ve kept your sleep goal, because I think it’s important to beemind the things that keep us on an even keel. For me, that includes going for walks and exercising regularly. I don’t need to beemind the intensity or to push myself, just to remind myself regularly of the practices that keep me (moderately) sane.
Consider creating a meta goal to keep yourself on top of whatever system you use to focus on what you want to achieve. I’ve got meta goals that encourage me to reflect, to do my weekly reviews, and to ensure regular-but-non-specific progress.
I also like that you’re re-starting small. It’s a common pattern to start beeminding all the things! and lose sight of what matters. The easiest way to break any system is to overload it, and with Beeminder that usually manifests as lots of ‘goals’ that aren’t directly related to a real-world lifetime-scale-important goal, all with slopes that constantly demand immediate attention every day and don’t leave time for the stuff that actually matters.
We are, all of us, getting better at making the best use of Beeminder to achieve our important goals. Sometimes that requires a period of contraction and reflection. Like David says, we’ve got plenty of archived goals to prove it; my current count is 57, and the experiments continue.
As much as it sucks that you’ve reached this point of overwhelm, your response to the situation is promising. I’m certain that you’ll discover a goal structure that supports (and accelerates) your achievement of the work that you actually care about. Keep us posted on how you go.