Hmm. That could work if that was my only focusmate goal, but I already have a goal to maintain a minimum number of focusmate sessions per day.
My ideal solution would be to have two focusmate beeminder goals. One goal would automatically increment every time I did a focusmate session. The other goal would increment every time I did a focusmate session between 6 am and 10 am. I’m not sure if beeminder or some kind of beeminder integration supports that.
EDIT: My grandmother used to say to me, “Don’t make problem if there is no problem. Why make problem if there is no problem?”. Sometimes I think of beeminder as a hammer and everything looks like a nail. I haven’t even tried just setting up morning meetings and seeing how I do, and making adjustments as needed. Beeminder should be a last resort.
I believe IFTTT can do some complicated stuff with narrowing the time range, but I’m not sure they link directly to Focusmate, and if you used it to send data from a Beeminder graph to another, you’d have the problem that we don’t always fetch autodata for graphs all day, so datapoints could be missed.
I hear you! I started with figuring out why I have trouble getting up. One answer is that the work I do first thing has a bit more of an “ugh” field than the others, so I don’t want to get up for it… so I’ve switched it round to do other things first. I’ll see how that goes, but I have a few other thoughts (I could switch to studying first, or get up very slightly earlier and start the day with reading or something…) that I might try later.
I am sooo grateful for my decision several years ago to get into a habit of going to bed early and getting up early… For me, “sleeping in” means getting up after 5:30 am… Also, I usually get up at the same time on weekdays and on weekends (ditto for going to bed).
Here’s how I did it: first just Beeminder (it worked kind of ok), with this goal – I enter the number of minutes after 5:00am I got up, and the daily rate is 30 (also this, for getting to bed, number of minutes after 10:00pm, also with a rate of 30) – and then, much later, some gamification on top of that (which worked much, much better).
That’s a very interesting post, thank you for the ideas! Is that a do less go for the minutes after? I have not set up a do less goal yet.
Also, I can see the value in gamification. I have to admit, I was laughing as I was reading your system, it seems so geeky and the numbers of points and stuff made my head spin, LOL! But I know things like this evolve, built on layer after layer of processes and habits and ideas, and it’s probably a really good idea to do something like this. I might attempt a simplified version gamification on pen and paper like you did.
For me that’s easy, well sort of. I have trouble getting up in the morning simply because I have trouble getting to bed at a decent hour. But why do I resist going to bed at a decent hour?
I know in the past, I’ve suffered from insomnia, to the point where I could lay in bed with my eyes closed for 5 hours or more, just laying there silently, and nothing happens. I might be just a little afraid that that’s going to happen again unless I’m exhausted. So I stay up until I’m so sleepy that I just want to fall asleep.
But then, that’s illogical because I’m still getting the same five or six hours of sleep every night, sometimes with a pretty big nap to make it 7 hours for 24 hours. So logically speaking, there’s no difference between going to bed at 4:00 a.m. and getting up at 10:00 a.m. versus going to bed at 1:00 a.m. and getting up at 7:00 a.m.
I’m semi-retired, and can do my own hours. But there are various reasons why I want to shift to the earlier bedtime.
Since you mention insomnia, you might be interested in sleep restriction therapy, which you could use in combination with shifting your sleep pattern earlier. There are meta analyses which show some support for the short-term benefit. You say,
So I stay up until I’m so sleepy that I just want to fall asleep.
so I thought it might appeal to you, since in the first few weeks that will probably be happening every night, and if later on you find that you cannot fall asleep quickly then you can go back a week on the programme.
For example, if you normally sleep 6 hours a night, you could start with a 5:45 slot at your desired schedule, and then work up in 15 minute intervals from there, say:
Week 1: Bedtime 00:00, getting up 05:45
Week 2: Bedtime 00:00, getting up 06:00
Week 3: Bedtime 00:00, getting up 06:15
The key step is you only increase the window if you achieve >= 90% sleep efficiency. At some point you will find that, say, 6:45 is what you need and then you stop. To do this you need a sleep tracker (e.g. cheap fitbit).
In terms of enforcing this with Beeminder, I’ve had success using BaaS to verify that I’m awake and out of bed.
I agree that you could shift your sleep time successfully, so maybe I’m just picking nits here but: If somebody asked you “is human sleep as simple as getting X hours sleep, regardless the time of day?”, I think you’d say it’s not, right? Because we have biological clocks running linked to exposure to daylight (and surely with anything biological it’s never so simple).
Precisely. I know my system might look funny (and it’s definitely very geeky), but – as I mentioned in the blog post – it is a result of a long evolution process. BTW, it looks even different now – I managed to counteract the “what-the-heck effect” to some extent by creating two more rules:
If I complete 60% of the task (for tasks of the “do X for at least Y minutes until time Z”) in time or complete my task up to 5 minutes later than planned (for tasks of the “do a one-time thing X until time Z”), I earn half the points (rounded down), and the task counts as “done”. Of course, many tasks of the second variety are worth 1 point, so this would still give me 0 points – but that’s where the 2nd rule kicks in.
“Points for achievements” – I have a constant list of 5 “achievements” I can “complete” per day. One of them is “all tasks done” (even partially or within 5 minutes of the deadline as per rule #1). Depending on the number of achievements completed, I increase my day score by 1, 2, 5, 10 or 20 points.
It’s still not optimal (when I fail at one task, there is no big incentive to try to complete all the others), but it’s better than before.
Eventually I’ll probably write some app for scoring, and then I’ll be able to make the rules arbitrarily complex (since computers can, well, compute pretty complicated things pretty quickly). I’m not 100% sure it’s a good idea to make it too complicated, though…
This suggestion is in an entirely different vein, but when I had a lot of trouble getting up, caffeine gum worked really well for me. Tabs also work if you chew them for a while, but gum is much better.
The effect was basically that I felt non-sleepy in about two minutes, and I mean non-sleepy in a good way — easy to get up, energetic, “ah being alive is nicer than being in bed”.
Oh yes, I buy caffeine pills from Walmart. I figured I was buying coffee at about $2 per day from Dunkin Donuts, that’s $60/month or $720/year. Or caffeine pills cost $3 for 80 pills, 200 mg caffeine each. That’s $0.04 per pill, or $14.60/year. So I figured I’d save big this way. I take 1/2 pill when I first wake up, and sometimes another 1/2 pill in the afternoon.
Focusmate + Cold Turkey or some other app blocker might be able to do the trick.
You can only schedule/cancel Focusmate sessions from the dashboard page, but you can still enter already booked sessions from the sessions page (Focusmate - Where life gets done, together), so if you schedule a recurring meeting at 9 and block your access to the dashboard during that time (ie: you can’t cancel it) you’ll either have to attend or you’ll be leaving someone hanging. I’ve changed my system up a little bit, so I’m not using it to wake up anymore, but it worked great while I was using it.
EDIT: It seems you can now cancel sessions from the session page