Beeminder Forum

Deadline waterfall for a single goal

For many goals, the once-a-day deadline is a good level of granularity.
For some goals, multiple increments would seem more appropriate.

Let’s say I have the goal of completing 8 Pomodoro sessions per day, with a deadline at 4pm. This will take 4h. I have to start at noon to have a chance of making the deadline, but if I start this late, I have to complete all eight sessions back-to-back, can’t eat anything, can’t take any other breaks, etc. You might say “just start earlier then”. That is indeed what I would like to do, but my Akrasia will push the start-time closer and closer to 12pm (if I wasn’t so akratic I wouldn’t be using beeminder in the first place).

Multiple deadlines per day (a waterfall for a single goal) would mean being able to space the work more evenly between, say, 8am and 4pm, allowing for lunch breaks and other gap-filling activities in the meantime.

Has anyone encountered the same issue with some of their goals and found a good workaround?

Using the API, one could probably make a script which does two things:
(a) Given a do-more goal, it automatically adds multiple checkpoint-goals which all have the same original rate, but both the roads and deadlines are shifted w.r.t. each other.
(b) Each data point added to the original goal should be automatically “forwarded” to all checkpoint-goals.

One could of course do (a) manually, but there are tricky aspects to it, such as ensuring the checkpoint goals stay in-sync after a derailment.

Any thoughts on how to go about this?

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Not directly related to Beeminder, but some people use TaskRatchet (full disclosure: I’m the founder) to create a series of tasks with staggered deadlines for pomodoros, study sessions, etc. It’s not automatic, but TaskRatchet integrates with Beeminder so you could create a Beeminder goal to requires yourself to create n pomodoro tasks in TaskRatchet per day.

If you decide to give it a go, would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on the service! My email is nathan@taskratchet.com

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I used to have multiple goals for tocks (which are like 45-minute pomodoros) and each of them required 45 minutes of time and had a deadline an hour before the next so that I had a 15-minute break built in. They were also set to be due a little later than I intended so that I wasn’t enforcing the ideal, but the Plan B safety net. It wasn’t bad, actually. (In fact, now that I think about it, I might want to consider resurrecting this.)

I can’t, for the life of me, remember how I automated it, though… I suspect it was written into the Beeminder dashboard that I had back then. I think if I were going to do it now, though, I’d use a combination of Zapier, Google Sheets, and IFTTT, but that might be a pain and, certainly, not everyone has subscriptions to either… or both.

OH! If I didn’t want to use Zapier and IFTTT, I could have 8 pomodoro goals. Each would require 25 minutes more per day than the previous and would be due 30 minutes later. Then, I’d have them all connected to the same Toggl project. They’d all be getting the same data, but each would have a different requirement and so they’d go down like dominoes as I work through each pomodoro. Finish my first 25 minutes and one would be satisfied while 7 would still have requirements. Finish the next 25 minutes and it’s 2 satisfied and 6 remaining, and so on.

If I did that, I’d either set them up to auto-ratchet to 0 days (since the first ones to go over the waterfall will have much more data than they need to be satisfied and would get way too much of a buffer) OR I’d set them up as the “stay above” type of goal so that they weren’t cumulative (but that would make weekends much harder to add in and I’d have to do it manually every weekend or through a script and then I’d probably rather go the IFTTT/Sheets/Zapier way).

Anyway, I’d do something like that! (And might, actually…)

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Oops… this doesn’t actually work! I forgot that goals connected to Toggl can’t have custom deadlines. I’m brainstorming other ways but was met with this reminder as I tried to create my own cascade this morning.

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It’s sooo annoying that you can’t have custom deadlines with toggle. I love both using toggl to monitor my time and waterfalling my tasks, but I’d have to make a separate beeminder for each item. I wonder if you can set custom deadlines if you do it through an integration like zapier or IFTTT.

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The limitation with toggl and custom deadlines has to do with how toggl lets Beeminder get the data.

I don’t personally use Toggl, so there may be limitations I don’t realize, but I think the IFTTT/Zapier idea could work!

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Oh right! Of course! I forgot that Zapier could be used to connect Toggl with a custom deadline by adding each tracked slot individually instead of the total for the calendar day! That could work!

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