Best Metric For Cert

I am wanting to get a networking certification for work. I have three courses with 21 sections each with 7 exams for each course usual over three sections each and a final for each course. I have been trying to find a flexible way to make sure I get it done by December. However I am having trouble coming up with a metric. Below are some metrics I have thought of:

  1. Time of 2 hours a day on week days. Issue is I don’t focus well so any time I do a time goal most the time I lose attention and maybe only spend about 30% of said time focused. So this won’t work.

  2. Exams taken, issue with this one is some material might be harder than other portions meaning I might not be able to complete it in time not due to not caring but due to not being able to. Plus issue of Beeminding outputs instead of inputs.

Any other ideas?


You’ll lose attention whether you record your time involvement, so I’d say that this is still an okay metric.

70% of loss is huge, is there an underlying reason? Did it improve or worsen since you started treatment for GAD? Depending on the medication, it can cause cognitive impairments.(mainly because it messes the dopamine vs other neurotransmitters balance)

If you fix this loss, you’d need to work 3 times less, so you might not even need to beemind it that much :eyes:

Here are some generic suggestions to improve your focus:

  • take breaks at regular intervals
  • drink water
  • tweak meds
  • try different times of the day
  • try dedicating multiple days in a row to studying to build inertia

I think I would approach it more with a “study 5 minutes or more” goal since I’m super bad at planning and would end up doing it just before bed a lot of days :smiley:

Also, starting to work on a task is much much more difficult for me than maintaining focus on it. So it would be the goal with the best benefit/cost ratio for me.

This is what I have done for work on a personal project a few month ago, and it worked pretty well.


It has not really gotten any worse. I feel like this is usually the case because when I beemind something time based it’s usually because it’s something I need to do or read but it is extremely boring. Same with the cert material it is all info that will be extremely useful but it is very boring. Funny thing is sometimes my brain will become super hyper focused on something and I can get a lot of reading or material done. But other days my brain just calls it in and refuses the focus on anything useful. So I guess in summary I can’t seem to control when or what my brain decides to focus on which is highly annoying. I feel like this is why I have tons of unfinished projects.

I go back to check in with my GAD progress in October. I brought up my focus issues at the last appointment and he wanted to make sure it wasn’t related to my GAD first but said there was fair probability I was dealing with ADHD but wanted to give the GAD medicine time to kick in to make sure.


Yeah, this does sound like ADHD…

I’ve found that Beeminder isn’t really able to force me to do stuff in bad days, even with large stakes.

Focus is always the key

What sometimes worked though, is having to do a small amount of time on the task. So small that even a full-on ADHD brain says: “okay, 30$ for 4mn of my time is worth it”.

The idea is to switch the problem from “how can I force myself to do 2 hours of work per day” to “how can I force myself into trying to trigger hyperfocus on a useful task?”

How to trigger hyperfocus (just a small draft section for me to think about it :smiley:)

The first answer on Quora is interesting for me.

TL;DR: the key to hyperfocus is interest, or super-close consequences.
In order to trigger hyperfocus, you have to find a way to make the task either interesting, or having short term consequences.

Something that helped for me as to think my freelance job more as “be a good worker” rather than “survive to get paycheck”.
So now, I enjoy the challenge of “being a good worker” rather than thinking “I must work or customer will be unhappy”.

Maybe this helps triggering hyperfocus, because while I solve a problem, I think to myself: “how can I do it even better?”. The small amount of focus that I get from this allows me both to improve my tools and actually solve the problem. It’s kind of a virtuous circle: at some point, the tools will be so good that I will be able to troubleshoot problems so fast that ADHD brain cannot even argue against it (“it’s 5mn of looking around in Datadog and you’ll feel way better, just do it :man_shrugging:”)


All of the above. This isn’t about finding the best metric, it’s about identifying a family of plausible metrics and using all of them.

Set the slopes conservatively and keep the pledges low. Some days you’ll be prompted to put in the time, other days to finish a section, or write review notes, or read related material, etc.