So, I have a bunch of aversive behaviours where I put off doing little things that will take me all of 20 minutes to do and are not actually that painful to do but cause me low grade anxiety when I think about them so are easy to put off.
I’d like to fix this, and this seems exactly the sort of behaviour problem that beeminder should be good for fixing, but I’m not really sure how to go about it. I’m trying an experiment using IFTTT + Todoist + beeminder, but I’m not very hopeful and would appreciate any suggestions people have - especially if they’ve previously worked for you for similar things.
For small list-type things, the GTBee app for iOS is useful, I’ve found.
Yeah, I’m aware of GTBee. I don’t have iOS (I’ve lost track of what was happening with android support), but the problem is that I find using todo lists is one of the things I have a low grade aversion to, so I need something that makes me more inclined to create todo items rather than less.
Also todoist is pretty great software, so GTBee would probably suffer in comparison.
Then maybe Mark Forster’s Final Version is more your speed? I know a lot of people on this forum have got a lot out of that (myself included).
How many of these tasks do you have per week? Are they on a known schedule? How much ahead of time do you know about them?
Exceedingly variable, generally not, and usually they’re of the form “I need to do this at some point” where at some point is “It would be better if I did it in the next few days but I could probably put it off for weeks”.
Thanks, I’ll have a read through this.
For these sorts of tasks I have found it helpful to have a “One Must-Do
Task” sort of goal (see http://blog.beeminder.com/mustdo/ ). Every time I
completed the must-do task for the day and entered a data point of 1, I
also had to add a comment to the data point committing to a must-do task
for the following day. For these sorts of tasks I found that choosing the
task the previous day was enough lead time to overcome the mild akrasia
induced by the low-grade anxiety, so I didn’t have the problem of putting
off even choosing one; YMMV.
Habitica might be interesting for you. It adds a layer of gamification, you can add your own rewards and integrates with beeminder
Seconding this! Habitica helped me break my aversion to to-dolist apps.
Complice also supports must-do goals, with @malcolm’s integration of Beemind Starred Actions. This saves the cognitive hassle of overloading the datapoint comment field, and the QS niggle that the comment doesn’t exactly correspond to the date of doing. Doubtless it introduces other cognitive hassle, like using two systems where previously you had one…
I have written my todo software myself, but maybe another program has implemented these features that are very helpful for me:
- A “do random” action. It randomly selects a todo I can do in my current context, then refuses to show anything but this one todo. This is great for forcing yourself to do tasks you have been avoiding. I Beemind finishing a certain number of "do randoms " in a given time frame.
- A “service level agreement” for todo items. I assign priorities to all my todo items, from 0 (holy cow, do it now!) to 3 (do it sometime). Now, for each priority there is a time limit within which a todo must be finished, or it becomes “out of service level agreement”, and I Beemind the number of current todo items that haven’t been finished in time. This one has been very powerful for getting old projects worked on.
If I had more time, I’d write a commercial todo app that did these and try to sell it, but I’ve got 4 kids and a full time job.