I have many thoughts on this.
I prefer to use Beeminder to track almost everything, rather than as the
nuclear option. Partly because otherwise I found myself neglecting existing
but ignorable (good) habits when I got overwhelmed with new things I was
trying to ingrain. When I want to go “nuclear”, I just up the road or the
Beeminder burnout, for me, can happen because of three things. The first is
not having adjusted to accommodate a temporary phase where I’ll be extra
busy/sidetracked. (As I have been for the last several months.) When things
happen in day-to-day life that make Beeminder feel like too much, it’s
often because something is going on that has temporarily sidetracked my
daily routines (a big move, a trip, getting sick, etc.). At those times, I
tend to flatten all of my goals (except for my ‘Do Less’ goals, which I
might adjust but not flatten). I keep tracking, but require nothing of
myself and just recover or focus on whatever is causing the schedule
anomaly. If I flatten all of my Do More goals, though, I like to have one
of them set to require something of me at a specific time in the future, so
that I don’t drift indefinitely (I’m actually stuck in a post-frantic-phase
drift as we speak). This all allows me to keep tracking and keep that
habit, but also to power down while I focus on whatever it is that needs my
focus. (The Take a Break function works well for this too, but sometimes I
don’t know how long some sidetracking item or another is going to last.)
The other reason is that something is wrong with my plan. Sometimes it’s
because I’m trying to change too much, too fast. Sometimes it’s because
I’ve created a bunch of goals but haven’t made the space in my schedule to
actually get them done or taken care of the logistical things needed to
make the changes. If I’m starting to burn out and, when I ask myself why,
if the reason isn’t the first one above, then it’s probable that there’s
something that needs to change in my routine to allow the stuff to happen
without it being a regular, frenzied, end-of-day push to complete the
things I don’t want to derail.
The third is actually boredom. Sometimes my goals ask too little of me and
I get into a kind of funk where I’m just tracking but not really pushing
and so nothing is really improving or changing or happening and I don’t get
any kind of positive reinforcement from the feeling of stretching further
than I had previously. It’s just the day to day grind, plus some tracking.
When that’s the reason I lose my motivation, I find that picking one or two
of my goals and really cranking it up for a short burst really helps. And
it often changes that goal’s setpoint, too, as a nice side effect.
Finally, though, I think reducing friction for tracking is key. As someone
with 60 graphs (many of which are flat much of the time), it’s important
for me to have a really easy way to interact with Beeminder. I use text
messaging for most of my datapoint entries and have a personalized
dashboard through the api to keep things in front of me in the way that I
want them to be. Also, since I track so much with Beeminder, my personal
dashboard is in an open browser window all day (on both my computer and my
smartphone) so that I have my eye on what I need to do next. Beeminder is
about as important as my to-do list when it comes to my time management
system, so I really end up living with it all day long. Paradoxically, that
reduces a lot of the friction.
I hope some of that resonates with someone else in a useful way,
On Sunday, June 1, 2014 2:27:28 PM UTC-4, Presley Pizzo wrote:
This happened to me. I was all about Beeminder for a little over a year,
and slowly went up from 1 goal to 10 or more at a time. Recently I
flattened out all my roads because I just didn’t want to deal with it
I think it was a combination of two things. One, I got busier - instead of
having a ton of things to do but always having the chance to sit and think
and prioritize, I went through a period of not having time to figure out
what I was forgetting. Dealing with Beeminder became really annoying. Goals
that automatically update are way better in that situation than goals you
have to enter data for yourself, but it also meant that my lower-priority
goals became less of a good idea.
Two, Beeminder worked. I didn’t need to be reminded to try to eat in
because I’d been trying for so long that I already knew to try. I learned
how it feels when I floss regularly and now I just want to. I’m not as good
at these things without Beeminder as I was with them, but I’m better now
than I was before I started it. I’ll have to think about what kind of
balance I want to strike that way.
I can’t really say what works to cure burnout because I haven’t cured it
yet, but I think one of the best things about Beeminder is that it forces
you to be rational, not just about how your cheating matters, but also
about how the goals you think you want aren’t always the best ones for you.
So my advice would be to make things easier to assuage the burnout, which
is a demotivating force, and then think about what you really want - what
you’d be happy to work towards, even when you factor in all the other
pressures in your life.
On Saturday, May 31, 2014 2:47:43 PM UTC-4, Clarissa Littler wrote:
So I’ve been using beeminder for a few months now, and after a few
exhausting busy weeks I’m finding that I’m just barely plugging along on my
goals and it’s getting harder and harder to care. Basically, I’m burning
I doubt I’m the only one who experiences this, so how do you mind your
beeminder burnout? How do you get the motivation when you just want to shut
down all your goals and give up?
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