Changing my system

Hey yall. So originally I had a ton of goals that were all semi-waterfalling throughout the day. This got overwhelming and was hard to be flexible with and I ended up filling in dummy data on days where my plans changed etc.

So to solve this I now only have 2 goals:

  1. Everyday wakeup at 7am - plan the entire day out by hour - due at 8am

  2. Did I do the plan? Im going to be pretty strict about this. If I missed one thing during the day due to laziness/resistance I will not count it as done. If an unexpected thing comes up that I have no control over I will still count it.

We’ll see how this goes! Curious if anyone is doing something similar?


it depends how strict you want to plan out your day.

There is a trade-off between scheduling your time and benefiting from emergent opportunities/emergencies.

I personally care more about inputs than the exact timing of a schedule ie these are the most important things to have accomplished. Who cares if they are done at 9am or 3pm, just whatever time works best, and earlier is better.


For me, planning too strictly leads to overwhelm and then ditching my goals, as you experienced with your waterfalling schedule. The sweet spot for me between too rigid and too lax is as @napkin suggested: list out what’s important to me to do today, and pick the order I do them in on the fly.

If you aren’t already aware of the Intend app (formerly Complice), you might want to check it out. (Note: it is a paid app, I am not affiliated, I just love it.) For me, it provides an all-important “why is this important to me” layer, above the daily to-do list, and keeps that in my awareness as I check things off. Screenshot (The 0 through 6 refer to my higher-level goals (the “meaningful” layer)):

The second thing Intend does for me is automate my Beeminder data entry. You can see part of that integration at the bottom of the screenshot. Automated entry is another thing I would suggest to you, to cut down overwhelm and also the recurring in-your-face do-I-or-don’t-I decision whether to fudge your data. I find things work so much better for me if I don’t have to manually add data to Beeminder. If that sounds useful to you, you might explore ways to set up your BM goals so the data are generated by some other tool.


@grayson Do you mind me asking, what are those numbers next to your to-dos in Intend? (E.g., .75, .25, 1.00, etc.)

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The numbers are my datapoints for Beeminder. They represent hours, and I’m using the “sum” function in Intend’s BM integration to add together any numbers found in the to-do (called an “intention” in Intend’s framework). That way I can use Intend’s “append text” option to update the intention based on how the day actually went. For example,



because I’d intended to do four hours, but only managed three that day. This is what Intend automatically added to my relevant Beeminder goals when I checked the intention as done: