Beeminding with small kids

I’ve got two small kids and work full-time, so I’m reluctant to commit to big blocks of time in case of another vomiting event. But I do want to keep moving forward on a job hunt and I’ve been setting a minimal daily target then when I sit down and do 30 minutes work once the kids are in bed I retroratchet. Are there other approaches for this situation?

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This sounds fine, what are you unsure about?

You could set up another goal which is ‘jobhunted for at least 1 second’ make sure you do that 5/6/7 times a week. So you have one goal for ‘do this frequently’ and one goal for ‘spent enough time on it’, This would allow you to save your time buffer while still making constant progress.

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That there might be some other option that would work more comfortably for me, such as your suggestion about making another goal of “jobhunted for at least 1 second”, versus time spent. :smile: The idea of increasing goals does bother me a bit, I have fears of it all running out of control, but I could give it a go as perhaps my fears about my subconscious are groundless.

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As long as you go slowly with adding new goals you’ll be fine.

You will probably find that one of them will be more useful than the other but you need to try them both to work out which.

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This question is eliciting huge smiles from @bee and me, the founders of Beeminder and the parents of these two kids:

(We sometimes refer to Beeminder as our middle child – the first incarnation of it was born in after our first child and before our second.)

Also tangentially relevant to this question is our post on Beating Beeminder Burnout.

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So cute! I bet she’s an excellent narrator for her school plays.

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Literally laughed out loud at the scare quotes at 0:59. :smiley:

Out of curiosity, do the kids actually use the product?

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@faire does! She’s super diligent about entering all the sugar she eats. She also beeminds reading and Duolingo (German) among other things. We should blog about this, come to think of it!

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Awesome! Yeah I would definitely enjoy a blog post about this topic.

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Oh, this is fantastic. I’ve been having a difficult time with a reading goal where I read a certain number of pages per week, but sometimes get really into a book and read too many and then have too long where I don’t read at all. Brilliant! – this was in response to the comment saying you should add a “one second” goal.

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By the way, I got a job offer on Friday!

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Holy cow! I was going to ask if that was from beeminding your job search and then I checked your username (anyone can do that, fyi, except for goals you mark secret, of course) and see that it is! Or at least you have a job search goal with a lot of apparent progress. Either way, congratulations! And if Beeminder had anything to do with it then you just made my day

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I think Beeminder did. I’m not stopping yet, it’s not my ideal offer, but it did get me sitting down. I actually finished my CV by doing an anti-charity commitment with a friend, but that was too scary for everyday life for me.

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Ooh, if you haven’t seen it, here’s why I don’t like the anti-charity idea: http://blog.beeminder.com/anticharity

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Today’s blog post was great! My random questions:

  1. The post mentions money, but not in detail. Is money a big motivator for Faire? If not, does that mean there is some secret source of motivation we could all tap into? Or are children’s parents a special motivational source that adults can’t use?

  2. Who controls the YBR for these goals? My naive assumption would be that the Sugar goal would get set to infinity unless the parents were somehow involved?

  3. I am curious about the decision to track reading by time vs page numbers. For myself, I track page numbers because it reduces the risk that I’ll end up distracted and web surf instead. So I know I have to actually read to make it count. Do you think tracking by time is better?

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Great questions!

  1. Like many of us, @faire seems a bit irrational about money but most of the time it doesn’t seem to matter because just knowing there are real consequences to derailing gives beemergencies plenty of urgency. There have been some of Faire’s Beeminder goals in the past where she was derailing frustratingly often so we sprung for a premium plan for her so she could cap pledges at $0. But then we haven’t taken advantage of that much. At some point it became a habit to make sure all goals were out of the red before going to bed and things have been mostly humming along ever since.

  2. Yes, it’s a parental directive that the sugar road stay dialed to 3 pieces of candy per day. Faire is extremely conscientious about this. She also counts juice and other sources of sugar (anything that is mostly sugar, with the exception of actual fruit).

  3. I’ve been telling @faire that pages would be better but she seems to be set in her ways. (: I think it would be especially handy for Battle of the Books because she could make sure she’s on track to finish all the books in time for the competition. See also @philip’s thoughts: Beeminding your reading, page count vs time

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