Beeminding Work: Hours vs Schedule

I’m considering taking another shot at using Beeminder to directly track my work time. I work from home and have a lot of flexibility with my job, so it falls to me to make sure I put in the time.

In the past I created a goal that directly tracked hours / week, but this ended up being a super stressful goal which I ended up derailng on. I have a few theories as to why:

  • I had other issues that were making it difficult for me to get in the hours that I wasn’t adequately addressing.
  • My slope was initially too high.
  • My stakes were too low.

I’m not 100% sure any of these are right.

Since then I’ve tried a goal based entirely on daily commitments, which you all helped me to develop here:

It’s been quite helpful, but it really only helps on the day-to-day basis. By design it doesn’t really care about the big picture, only that I stick to whatever I’ve committed to for that day.

I’m considering adding an additional goal(s?) to help keep me on track with the larger picture.

This weekend my wife and I moved to a new apartment where I now have my own office (yay!).

A few days before the move, I stumbled upon some advice in a Lifehacker article that it’s very important for remote workers to keep a schedule, even if their job doesn’t require it. Having a room of my own makes keeping a work schedule a lot more doable.

So I’m struggling to think through what goals I should be creating and how I should be structuring my remote work time. So far things I’ve thought of:

  • Beemind clock-in
  • Beemind clock-out
  • Beemind time spent on lunch break
  • Beemind hours directly
  • Do some combination of the above

How should I be thinking about this? What have you guys found works for you?


it can be a real struggle to continue working when there’s some tempting option that I’d rather do oh-so-badly

principal-agent problem at home I observe here.

I beemind tasks completed on various fronts but also hours works via RescueTime on various goals

  • overall productive hours
  • hours spent on Big Project A
  • hours spent on Big Project B
  • hours spent on Big Project C (yeah, I have a lot of different fronts to keep in sight)
  • hours spent on mobile (keeping it low aids all the other goals)

The rate of each goal will vary from time to time so a monthly review is usually done for the rates.

Now, if you think that schedule is important (and it can be depending on your lifestyle choices/goals), you should definitely beemind that. RescueTime does have a feature where you put your “office hours” and it shows you if you are working outside of them or not. But I’m not sure Beeminder reads any of that.

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OK, so you can create alerts for 1,2,3 hours spent (one separate alert for each hour) on productive stuff on your off work hours

Work hours are custom

IFTTT can trigger on a specific alert and send a data point to Beeminder (so you’ll need one IFTTT applet for each RescueTime alert)

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