emergency TV day

I might be the single most bizarre akratic on earth but I’ve noticed
that I waste tons of time on stupid little distractions, yet rarely
watch movies or TV. Sitting down to do so seems like such an
extravagant use of time! I’ve already wasted so much of it! I can’t
possibly take 2 hours to watch a movie until I get a little more
caught up on work, I think. I never get it through my head that I
waste much more time, in aggregate, on stupid things. And there are a
lot of movies that really seem worth the time. Plus it’s good to just,
y’know, relax now and then.

In other words, I’ve decided I’m akratic about how little [sic] TV I watch.

Over the past 5+ years, I’ve averaged 1.8 hours/week being passively
entertained (not counting youtube and such at my computer).
I’ve decided to try forcing myself to spend at least that much:
beeminder.com/d/ent

And as you can see I know have an emergency passive entertainment day.
Of course it’s also an emergency blog post day, and also hack night
(pomodoro poker!), so it looks like I’ll be derailing on the
entertainment goal.
We’ll see what kind of a pledge it takes to make me take it seriously…


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com

Have you considered watching TV/movies as background noise?
I find that I cant sufficiently slow my brain down enough to focus on a tv show/movie unless it is late at night and mybrain is depleted.

-----Original Message-----
From: akratics@googlegroups.com [mailto:akratics@googlegroups.com] On
Behalf Of Daniel Reeves
Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 8:26 PM
To: akratics
Subject: emergency TV day

I might be the single most bizarre akratic on earth but I’ve noticed that I
waste tons of time on stupid little distractions, yet rarely watch movies or TV.
Sitting down to do so seems like such an extravagant use of time! I’ve already
wasted so much of it! I can’t possibly take 2 hours to watch a movie until I get
a little more caught up on work, I think. I never get it through my head that I
waste much more time, in aggregate, on stupid things. And there are a lot of
movies that really seem worth the time. Plus it’s good to just, y’know, relax
now and then.

In other words, I’ve decided I’m akratic about how little [sic] TV I watch.

Over the past 5+ years, I’ve averaged 1.8 hours/week being passively
entertained (not counting youtube and such at my computer).
I’ve decided to try forcing myself to spend at least that much:
beeminder.com/d/ent

And as you can see I know have an emergency passive entertainment day.
Of course it’s also an emergency blog post day, and also hack night
(pomodoro poker!), so it looks like I’ll be derailing on the entertainment goal.
We’ll see what kind of a pledge it takes to make me take it seriously…


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com

I get totally engrossed in tv, such that I can’t pay attention to
anything else. I would recommend better off Ted.

Sent from my iPhone

On Oct 23, 2012, at 19:41, Apneet Jolly jolly@ajollylife.com wrote:

Have you considered watching TV/movies as background noise?
I find that I cant sufficiently slow my brain down enough to focus on a tv show/movie unless it is late at night and mybrain is depleted.

-----Original Message-----
From: akratics@googlegroups.com [mailto:akratics@googlegroups.com] On
Behalf Of Daniel Reeves
Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 8:26 PM
To: akratics
Subject: emergency TV day

I might be the single most bizarre akratic on earth but I’ve noticed that I
waste tons of time on stupid little distractions, yet rarely watch movies or TV.
Sitting down to do so seems like such an extravagant use of time! I’ve already
wasted so much of it! I can’t possibly take 2 hours to watch a movie until I get
a little more caught up on work, I think. I never get it through my head that I
waste much more time, in aggregate, on stupid things. And there are a lot of
movies that really seem worth the time. Plus it’s good to just, y’know, relax
now and then.

In other words, I’ve decided I’m akratic about how little [sic] TV I watch.

Over the past 5+ years, I’ve averaged 1.8 hours/week being passively
entertained (not counting youtube and such at my computer).
I’ve decided to try forcing myself to spend at least that much:
beeminder.com/d/ent

And as you can see I know have an emergency passive entertainment day.
Of course it’s also an emergency blog post day, and also hack night
(pomodoro poker!), so it looks like I’ll be derailing on the entertainment goal.
We’ll see what kind of a pledge it takes to make me take it seriously…


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com

Maybe you need to create a beeminder goal to derail at least one of your
other goals per week to make time for TV. :smiley:

On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 5:25 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.comwrote:

I might be the single most bizarre akratic on earth but I’ve noticed
that I waste tons of time on stupid little distractions, yet rarely
watch movies or TV. Sitting down to do so seems like such an
extravagant use of time! I’ve already wasted so much of it! I can’t
possibly take 2 hours to watch a movie until I get a little more
caught up on work, I think. I never get it through my head that I
waste much more time, in aggregate, on stupid things. And there are a
lot of movies that really seem worth the time. Plus it’s good to just,
y’know, relax now and then.

In other words, I’ve decided I’m akratic about how little [sic] TV I watch.

Over the past 5+ years, I’ve averaged 1.8 hours/week being passively
entertained (not counting youtube and such at my computer).
I’ve decided to try forcing myself to spend at least that much:
beeminder.com/d/ent

And as you can see I know have an emergency passive entertainment day.
Of course it’s also an emergency blog post day, and also hack night
(pomodoro poker!), so it looks like I’ll be derailing on the
entertainment goal.
We’ll see what kind of a pledge it takes to make me take it seriously…


http://dreev.es – search://“Daniel Reeves”
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


Isaac Schankler, composer | www.isaacschankler.com

isaac: always a wise guy!

rob: i hadn’t heard of “better off ted”. see my problem? i have heard
of “mad men” and “the wire” and everyone tells me i’m seriously
missing out for not having watched those.

jolly: tv as background noise? that’s the opposite of my goal! i want
to remove distractions from my work day and clump them together when
i’m purposefully doing nothing but being distracted, ie, being
entertained.

On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 7:16 PM, Isaac Schankler eyesack@gmail.com wrote:

Maybe you need to create a beeminder goal to derail at least one of your
other goals per week to make time for TV. :smiley:

On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 5:25 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.com
wrote:

I might be the single most bizarre akratic on earth but I’ve noticed
that I waste tons of time on stupid little distractions, yet rarely
watch movies or TV. Sitting down to do so seems like such an
extravagant use of time! I’ve already wasted so much of it! I can’t
possibly take 2 hours to watch a movie until I get a little more
caught up on work, I think. I never get it through my head that I
waste much more time, in aggregate, on stupid things. And there are a
lot of movies that really seem worth the time. Plus it’s good to just,
y’know, relax now and then.

In other words, I’ve decided I’m akratic about how little [sic] TV I
watch.

Over the past 5+ years, I’ve averaged 1.8 hours/week being passively
entertained (not counting youtube and such at my computer).
I’ve decided to try forcing myself to spend at least that much:
beeminder.com/d/ent

And as you can see I know have an emergency passive entertainment day.
Of course it’s also an emergency blog post day, and also hack night
(pomodoro poker!), so it looks like I’ll be derailing on the
entertainment goal.
We’ll see what kind of a pledge it takes to make me take it seriously…


http://dreev.es – search://“Daniel Reeves”
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


Isaac Schankler, composer | www.isaacschankler.com


http://dreev.es – search://“Daniel Reeves”
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com

Cute. This reminds me of when I was conducting lots of training
courses, and I had to insist that I spend money on something at the
end of each one. Apparently a large chunk of money didn’t actually
trigger the reward centres in my brain, but a copy of Guitar Hero
would. Without doing this, I’d find myself wondering why I was
working so hard.

Why does this remind me of that? Because not spending money is like
not watching TV, I’ve got better things I can be doing. :slight_smile:

I find that I need someone to watch TV with. I’m currently behind
on Dr Who for that reason, especially since I’ve been tending to read
more than watch things during flights. It’s also confounded that the
people with whom I watch TV tend to be delighted when I suggest
watching lectures on neurobiology of primate behaviour rather than
Warehouse 13 or similar. :slight_smile:

I have friends who will have group nights for watching TV shows. If
you were to host one of these (every Thuesday is Buffy night), then
that would act as a great commitment device in itself.

Talking of which, if you’re allowing yourself to treat neuro lectures
as “TV”, then I have some really good ones for you. If I were still in
PDX, I’d even watch them with you. :slight_smile:

Paul

On Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 1:24 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.com wrote:

isaac: always a wise guy!

rob: i hadn’t heard of “better off ted”. see my problem? i have heard
of “mad men” and “the wire” and everyone tells me i’m seriously
missing out for not having watched those.

jolly: tv as background noise? that’s the opposite of my goal! i want
to remove distractions from my work day and clump them together when
i’m purposefully doing nothing but being distracted, ie, being
entertained.

On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 7:16 PM, Isaac Schankler eyesack@gmail.com wrote:

Maybe you need to create a beeminder goal to derail at least one of your
other goals per week to make time for TV. :smiley:

On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 5:25 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.com
wrote:

I might be the single most bizarre akratic on earth but I’ve noticed
that I waste tons of time on stupid little distractions, yet rarely
watch movies or TV. Sitting down to do so seems like such an
extravagant use of time! I’ve already wasted so much of it! I can’t
possibly take 2 hours to watch a movie until I get a little more
caught up on work, I think. I never get it through my head that I
waste much more time, in aggregate, on stupid things. And there are a
lot of movies that really seem worth the time. Plus it’s good to just,
y’know, relax now and then.

In other words, I’ve decided I’m akratic about how little [sic] TV I
watch.

Over the past 5+ years, I’ve averaged 1.8 hours/week being passively
entertained (not counting youtube and such at my computer).
I’ve decided to try forcing myself to spend at least that much:
beeminder.com/d/ent

And as you can see I know have an emergency passive entertainment day.
Of course it’s also an emergency blog post day, and also hack night
(pomodoro poker!), so it looks like I’ll be derailing on the
entertainment goal.
We’ll see what kind of a pledge it takes to make me take it seriously…


http://dreev.es – search://“Daniel Reeves”
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


Isaac Schankler, composer | www.isaacschankler.com


http://dreev.es – search://“Daniel Reeves”
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com

thanks so much for the comments everyone! (we miss you, paul!)

you’ll never guess what today’s emergency blog turned out to be…
blog.beeminder.com/tv
(would be awesome if you wanted to repeat your comments from here there)

thanks again!
(continuing to reply in this thread is fine too)

On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 8:01 PM, Paul Fenwick paul.j.fenwick@gmail.com wrote:

Cute. This reminds me of when I was conducting lots of training
courses, and I had to insist that I spend money on something at the
end of each one. Apparently a large chunk of money didn’t actually
trigger the reward centres in my brain, but a copy of Guitar Hero
would. Without doing this, I’d find myself wondering why I was
working so hard.

Why does this remind me of that? Because not spending money is like
not watching TV, I’ve got better things I can be doing. :slight_smile:

I find that I need someone to watch TV with. I’m currently behind
on Dr Who for that reason, especially since I’ve been tending to read
more than watch things during flights. It’s also confounded that the
people with whom I watch TV tend to be delighted when I suggest
watching lectures on neurobiology of primate behaviour rather than
Warehouse 13 or similar. :slight_smile:

I have friends who will have group nights for watching TV shows. If
you were to host one of these (every Thuesday is Buffy night), then
that would act as a great commitment device in itself.

Talking of which, if you’re allowing yourself to treat neuro lectures
as “TV”, then I have some really good ones for you. If I were still in
PDX, I’d even watch them with you. :slight_smile:

Paul

On Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 1:24 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.com wrote:

isaac: always a wise guy!

rob: i hadn’t heard of “better off ted”. see my problem? i have heard
of “mad men” and “the wire” and everyone tells me i’m seriously
missing out for not having watched those.

jolly: tv as background noise? that’s the opposite of my goal! i want
to remove distractions from my work day and clump them together when
i’m purposefully doing nothing but being distracted, ie, being
entertained.

On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 7:16 PM, Isaac Schankler eyesack@gmail.com wrote:

Maybe you need to create a beeminder goal to derail at least one of your
other goals per week to make time for TV. :smiley:

On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 5:25 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.com
wrote:

I might be the single most bizarre akratic on earth but I’ve noticed
that I waste tons of time on stupid little distractions, yet rarely
watch movies or TV. Sitting down to do so seems like such an
extravagant use of time! I’ve already wasted so much of it! I can’t
possibly take 2 hours to watch a movie until I get a little more
caught up on work, I think. I never get it through my head that I
waste much more time, in aggregate, on stupid things. And there are a
lot of movies that really seem worth the time. Plus it’s good to just,
y’know, relax now and then.

In other words, I’ve decided I’m akratic about how little [sic] TV I
watch.

Over the past 5+ years, I’ve averaged 1.8 hours/week being passively
entertained (not counting youtube and such at my computer).
I’ve decided to try forcing myself to spend at least that much:
beeminder.com/d/ent

And as you can see I know have an emergency passive entertainment day.
Of course it’s also an emergency blog post day, and also hack night
(pomodoro poker!), so it looks like I’ll be derailing on the
entertainment goal.
We’ll see what kind of a pledge it takes to make me take it seriously…


http://dreev.es – search://“Daniel Reeves”
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


Isaac Schankler, composer | www.isaacschankler.com


http://dreev.es – search://“Daniel Reeves”
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


http://dreev.es – search://“Daniel Reeves”
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com

You’re not the single most bizarre akratic - cause I’m totally the
same way. This is why I only watch TV on my treadmill (Well, I have
done a little TV watching on the iPad in bed. Somehow, after going to
bed, it seems less time wasting to just watch til I fall asleep (never
mind that I know full well it’s keeping me awake longer than I’d
otherwise be, but I’m clearly sneaking in the TV watching since I was
unable to get a “round tuit” before going to bed.) Either way, I’m
using other circumstances like workout time and bedtime to force some
TV watching. Otherwise, I’d almost never do it.

Maybe just tie TV watching to some exercise you want to be doing like
using a bike trainer or jumping up and down or jumping jacks or
something (I once hula hooped through an hour show thinking I’d make
my abs nice and sore but was disappointed, abs were fine). For me,
wanting to see what happens in the next episode of a show makes me get
on the treadmill. But it also works the other way a little bit since I
have no desire to do my treadmill at home without some entertainment
so deciding I need to get a workout in forces the TV watching too.

I’m also completely unable plus have no desire to have TV on in the
background. (It’s like we’re related or something, Danny :-)) If I
turn a TV on, it’s because I will be able to be engrossed in it.
Otherwise, I won’t turn it on. If someone else turns it on, I’m
either bothered by the noise or end up accidentally engrossed.

Melanie

On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 5:25 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.com wrote:

I might be the single most bizarre akratic on earth but I’ve noticed
that I waste tons of time on stupid little distractions, yet rarely
watch movies or TV. Sitting down to do so seems like such an
extravagant use of time! I’ve already wasted so much of it! I can’t
possibly take 2 hours to watch a movie until I get a little more
caught up on work, I think. I never get it through my head that I
waste much more time, in aggregate, on stupid things. And there are a
lot of movies that really seem worth the time. Plus it’s good to just,
y’know, relax now and then.

In other words, I’ve decided I’m akratic about how little [sic] TV I watch.

Over the past 5+ years, I’ve averaged 1.8 hours/week being passively
entertained (not counting youtube and such at my computer).
I’ve decided to try forcing myself to spend at least that much:
beeminder.com/d/ent

And as you can see I know have an emergency passive entertainment day.
Of course it’s also an emergency blog post day, and also hack night
(pomodoro poker!), so it looks like I’ll be derailing on the
entertainment goal.
We’ll see what kind of a pledge it takes to make me take it seriously…


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com

What are the things you guys are doing that, upon reflection, you think are
less important than watching good TV and movies? I often think “I would
like to watch more movies,” but I can’t say what things I would take off my
schedule in order to do it. I’m either unable to figure this out, or I’m
not really akratic.

There are at least 10x as many things I REALLY want to do (or feel I have
to do) as I actually have time for. So when I think to myself “I’m not
doing X enough,” that could just be a refection of scarcity. What I don’t
know is whether there’s some activity Y that I should substitute X for in
order to make myself better off.

David

On Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 12:11 AM, Melanie Reeves Wicklow <
melanie@beeminder.com> wrote:

You’re not the single most bizarre akratic - cause I’m totally the
same way. This is why I only watch TV on my treadmill (Well, I have
done a little TV watching on the iPad in bed. Somehow, after going to
bed, it seems less time wasting to just watch til I fall asleep (never
mind that I know full well it’s keeping me awake longer than I’d
otherwise be, but I’m clearly sneaking in the TV watching since I was
unable to get a “round tuit” before going to bed.) Either way, I’m
using other circumstances like workout time and bedtime to force some
TV watching. Otherwise, I’d almost never do it.

Maybe just tie TV watching to some exercise you want to be doing like
using a bike trainer or jumping up and down or jumping jacks or
something (I once hula hooped through an hour show thinking I’d make
my abs nice and sore but was disappointed, abs were fine). For me,
wanting to see what happens in the next episode of a show makes me get
on the treadmill. But it also works the other way a little bit since I
have no desire to do my treadmill at home without some entertainment
so deciding I need to get a workout in forces the TV watching too.

I’m also completely unable plus have no desire to have TV on in the
background. (It’s like we’re related or something, Danny :-)) If I
turn a TV on, it’s because I will be able to be engrossed in it.
Otherwise, I won’t turn it on. If someone else turns it on, I’m
either bothered by the noise or end up accidentally engrossed.

Melanie

On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 5:25 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.com
wrote:

I might be the single most bizarre akratic on earth but I’ve noticed
that I waste tons of time on stupid little distractions, yet rarely
watch movies or TV. Sitting down to do so seems like such an
extravagant use of time! I’ve already wasted so much of it! I can’t
possibly take 2 hours to watch a movie until I get a little more
caught up on work, I think. I never get it through my head that I
waste much more time, in aggregate, on stupid things. And there are a
lot of movies that really seem worth the time. Plus it’s good to just,
y’know, relax now and then.

In other words, I’ve decided I’m akratic about how little [sic] TV I
watch.

Over the past 5+ years, I’ve averaged 1.8 hours/week being passively
entertained (not counting youtube and such at my computer).
I’ve decided to try forcing myself to spend at least that much:
beeminder.com/d/ent

And as you can see I know have an emergency passive entertainment day.
Of course it’s also an emergency blog post day, and also hack night
(pomodoro poker!), so it looks like I’ll be derailing on the
entertainment goal.
We’ll see what kind of a pledge it takes to make me take it seriously…


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


David Reiley is a Research Scientist at Google
Learn more about me at http://www.davidreiley.com

So during the workday, watch something useful as background - I watch presentations from various conferences :slight_smile:

-----Original Message-----
From: akratics@googlegroups.com [mailto:akratics@googlegroups.com] On
Behalf Of Daniel Reeves
Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 2:16 AM
To: akratics@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: emergency TV day

thanks so much for the comments everyone! (we miss you, paul!)

you’ll never guess what today’s emergency blog turned out to be…
blog.beeminder.com/tv
(would be awesome if you wanted to repeat your comments from here
there)

thanks again!
(continuing to reply in this thread is fine too)

On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 8:01 PM, Paul Fenwick paul.j.fenwick@gmail.com
wrote:

Cute. This reminds me of when I was conducting lots of training
courses, and I had to insist that I spend money on something at the
end of each one. Apparently a large chunk of money didn’t actually
trigger the reward centres in my brain, but a copy of Guitar Hero
would. Without doing this, I’d find myself wondering why I was
working so hard.

Why does this remind me of that? Because not spending money is like
not watching TV, I’ve got better things I can be doing. :slight_smile:

I find that I need someone to watch TV with. I’m currently behind
on Dr Who for that reason, especially since I’ve been tending to read
more than watch things during flights. It’s also confounded that the
people with whom I watch TV tend to be delighted when I suggest
watching lectures on neurobiology of primate behaviour rather than
Warehouse 13 or similar. :slight_smile:

I have friends who will have group nights for watching TV shows. If
you were to host one of these (every Thuesday is Buffy night), then
that would act as a great commitment device in itself.

Talking of which, if you’re allowing yourself to treat neuro lectures
as “TV”, then I have some really good ones for you. If I were still in
PDX, I’d even watch them with you. :slight_smile:

Paul

On Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 1:24 PM, Daniel Reeves
dreeves@beeminder.com wrote:

isaac: always a wise guy!

rob: i hadn’t heard of “better off ted”. see my problem? i have heard
of “mad men” and “the wire” and everyone tells me i’m seriously
missing out for not having watched those.

jolly: tv as background noise? that’s the opposite of my goal! i want
to remove distractions from my work day and clump them together when
i’m purposefully doing nothing but being distracted, ie, being
entertained.

On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 7:16 PM, Isaac Schankler eyesack@gmail.com
wrote:

Maybe you need to create a beeminder goal to derail at least one of
your other goals per week to make time for TV. :smiley:

On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 5:25 PM, Daniel Reeves
dreeves@beeminder.com
wrote:

I might be the single most bizarre akratic on earth but I’ve
noticed that I waste tons of time on stupid little distractions,
yet rarely watch movies or TV. Sitting down to do so seems like
such an extravagant use of time! I’ve already wasted so much of it!
I can’t possibly take 2 hours to watch a movie until I get a little
more caught up on work, I think. I never get it through my head
that I waste much more time, in aggregate, on stupid things. And
there are a lot of movies that really seem worth the time. Plus
it’s good to just, y’know, relax now and then.

In other words, I’ve decided I’m akratic about how little [sic] TV
I watch.

Over the past 5+ years, I’ve averaged 1.8 hours/week being
passively entertained (not counting youtube and such at my
computer).

I’ve decided to try forcing myself to spend at least that much:
beeminder.com/d/ent

And as you can see I know have an emergency passive entertainment
day.

Of course it’s also an emergency blog post day, and also hack night
(pomodoro poker!), so it looks like I’ll be derailing on the
entertainment goal.
We’ll see what kind of a pledge it takes to make me take it seriously…


http://dreev.es – search://“Daniel Reeves”
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


Isaac Schankler, composer | www.isaacschankler.com


http://dreev.es – search://“Daniel Reeves”
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


http://dreev.es – search://“Daniel Reeves”
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com

I’m not sure the “things I’d take off my schedule to do” metric is useful.
For me, there is a certain fraction of the day in which I do not do work. I
can attempt to adjust it, and it does adjust, slowly, but I can’t eliminate
it altogether.

So, in a fairer reference class, the answer is clear: given that I’m not
going to spend 90 minutes productively anyway, I’d rather watch a good
movie than, say, browse Reddit[1]. And yet I very often find myself doing
the latter and not the former.

That, I think, is the form of akrasia Daniel is talking about. And, David,
if there are unscheduled periods of your day which you would rather spend
differently, then I think that would apply to you as well.

That said, yes, I’ve often made the choice of what to do instead by
scarcity heuristics… Thank you for alerting me to that!

-Sohum

[1] Even the reference class of easy, mind-unnecessary leisure time
probably has better things than Reddit…
On Oct 24, 2012 4:05 PM, “David Reiley” david@davidreiley.com wrote:

What are the things you guys are doing that, upon reflection, you think
are less important than watching good TV and movies? I often think “I
would like to watch more movies,” but I can’t say what things I would take
off my schedule in order to do it. I’m either unable to figure this out,
or I’m not really akratic.

There are at least 10x as many things I REALLY want to do (or feel I have
to do) as I actually have time for. So when I think to myself “I’m not
doing X enough,” that could just be a refection of scarcity. What I don’t
know is whether there’s some activity Y that I should substitute X for in
order to make myself better off.

David

On Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 12:11 AM, Melanie Reeves Wicklow <
melanie@beeminder.com> wrote:

You’re not the single most bizarre akratic - cause I’m totally the
same way. This is why I only watch TV on my treadmill (Well, I have
done a little TV watching on the iPad in bed. Somehow, after going to
bed, it seems less time wasting to just watch til I fall asleep (never
mind that I know full well it’s keeping me awake longer than I’d
otherwise be, but I’m clearly sneaking in the TV watching since I was
unable to get a “round tuit” before going to bed.) Either way, I’m
using other circumstances like workout time and bedtime to force some
TV watching. Otherwise, I’d almost never do it.

Maybe just tie TV watching to some exercise you want to be doing like
using a bike trainer or jumping up and down or jumping jacks or
something (I once hula hooped through an hour show thinking I’d make
my abs nice and sore but was disappointed, abs were fine). For me,
wanting to see what happens in the next episode of a show makes me get
on the treadmill. But it also works the other way a little bit since I
have no desire to do my treadmill at home without some entertainment
so deciding I need to get a workout in forces the TV watching too.

I’m also completely unable plus have no desire to have TV on in the
background. (It’s like we’re related or something, Danny :-)) If I
turn a TV on, it’s because I will be able to be engrossed in it.
Otherwise, I won’t turn it on. If someone else turns it on, I’m
either bothered by the noise or end up accidentally engrossed.

Melanie

On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 5:25 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.com
wrote:

I might be the single most bizarre akratic on earth but I’ve noticed
that I waste tons of time on stupid little distractions, yet rarely
watch movies or TV. Sitting down to do so seems like such an
extravagant use of time! I’ve already wasted so much of it! I can’t
possibly take 2 hours to watch a movie until I get a little more
caught up on work, I think. I never get it through my head that I
waste much more time, in aggregate, on stupid things. And there are a
lot of movies that really seem worth the time. Plus it’s good to just,
y’know, relax now and then.

In other words, I’ve decided I’m akratic about how little [sic] TV I
watch.

Over the past 5+ years, I’ve averaged 1.8 hours/week being passively
entertained (not counting youtube and such at my computer).
I’ve decided to try forcing myself to spend at least that much:
beeminder.com/d/ent

And as you can see I know have an emergency passive entertainment day.
Of course it’s also an emergency blog post day, and also hack night
(pomodoro poker!), so it looks like I’ll be derailing on the
entertainment goal.
We’ll see what kind of a pledge it takes to make me take it seriously…


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


David Reiley is a Research Scientist at Google
Learn more about me at http://www.davidreiley.com

I agree with Sohum. Reddit actually got sufficiently egregious that
I’m no more likely to hit reddit in the middle of the day than to open
up hulu and start watching TV (not that that’s never happened – but
now I work in an office, which is a nice commitment device for not
wasting time too flamboyantly). Hacker News is another story – I need
to set up filters and alerts for Beeminder-related stuff on Hacker
News so I have less incentive to just browse it.

As to David Reiley’s question, I want to reduce this: beeminder.com/d/smk

Andy gave a nice example of that: You’re researching something on
stackoverflow and the next thing you know you’re looking at graphs of
your karma, or answering some unrelated question. Or you’re just
compulsively looking at your email and not letting yourself
concentrate on a piece of code or prose.

This reminds me of Sohum’s “shiny” goal (“spend less time on shiny things”).

Btw, I think it would be impossible to measure these things without
tagtime. Almost by definition it’s impossible to measure time spent
distracted – if you had the wherewithal to note the time then you
could’ve just stayed on task in the first place – except by
tagtime-style sampling.

PS: This also reminds me that Sohum gave permission to show you all
this delightful post-mortem he sent recently when he derailed on a
weight goal:

legit! post-mortem: this is exactly the contrapositive of the case
beeminder is meant to catch :P. Where I’ve had warning for, like,
yongs that I’m doing something wrong, but haven’t either a) done
something about it or b) adjusted my yellow brick road to match
(enough) (because adjusting the ybr feels like admitting failure, and
if I can just hang on one more week then maybe I’ll get back on
track, or something!)

On Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 9:33 AM, Sohum Banerjea sohumb@gmail.com wrote:

I’m not sure the “things I’d take off my schedule to do” metric is useful.
For me, there is a certain fraction of the day in which I do not do work. I
can attempt to adjust it, and it does adjust, slowly, but I can’t eliminate
it altogether.

So, in a fairer reference class, the answer is clear: given that I’m not
going to spend 90 minutes productively anyway, I’d rather watch a good
movie than, say, browse Reddit[1]. And yet I very often find myself doing
the latter and not the former.

That, I think, is the form of akrasia Daniel is talking about. And, David,
if there are unscheduled periods of your day which you would rather spend
differently, then I think that would apply to you as well.

That said, yes, I’ve often made the choice of what to do instead by
scarcity heuristics… Thank you for alerting me to that!

-Sohum

[1] Even the reference class of easy, mind-unnecessary leisure time probably
has better things than Reddit…

On Oct 24, 2012 4:05 PM, “David Reiley” david@davidreiley.com wrote:

What are the things you guys are doing that, upon reflection, you think
are less important than watching good TV and movies? I often think “I
would like to watch more movies,” but I can’t say what things I would take
off my schedule in order to do it. I’m either unable to figure this out, or
I’m not really akratic.

There are at least 10x as many things I REALLY want to do (or feel I have
to do) as I actually have time for. So when I think to myself “I’m not
doing X enough,” that could just be a refection of scarcity. What I don’t
know is whether there’s some activity Y that I should substitute X for in
order to make myself better off.

David

On Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 12:11 AM, Melanie Reeves Wicklow
melanie@beeminder.com wrote:

You’re not the single most bizarre akratic - cause I’m totally the
same way. This is why I only watch TV on my treadmill (Well, I have
done a little TV watching on the iPad in bed. Somehow, after going to
bed, it seems less time wasting to just watch til I fall asleep (never
mind that I know full well it’s keeping me awake longer than I’d
otherwise be, but I’m clearly sneaking in the TV watching since I was
unable to get a “round tuit” before going to bed.) Either way, I’m
using other circumstances like workout time and bedtime to force some
TV watching. Otherwise, I’d almost never do it.

Maybe just tie TV watching to some exercise you want to be doing like
using a bike trainer or jumping up and down or jumping jacks or
something (I once hula hooped through an hour show thinking I’d make
my abs nice and sore but was disappointed, abs were fine). For me,
wanting to see what happens in the next episode of a show makes me get
on the treadmill. But it also works the other way a little bit since I
have no desire to do my treadmill at home without some entertainment
so deciding I need to get a workout in forces the TV watching too.

I’m also completely unable plus have no desire to have TV on in the
background. (It’s like we’re related or something, Danny :-)) If I
turn a TV on, it’s because I will be able to be engrossed in it.
Otherwise, I won’t turn it on. If someone else turns it on, I’m
either bothered by the noise or end up accidentally engrossed.

Melanie

On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 5:25 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.com
wrote:

I might be the single most bizarre akratic on earth but I’ve noticed
that I waste tons of time on stupid little distractions, yet rarely
watch movies or TV. Sitting down to do so seems like such an
extravagant use of time! I’ve already wasted so much of it! I can’t
possibly take 2 hours to watch a movie until I get a little more
caught up on work, I think. I never get it through my head that I
waste much more time, in aggregate, on stupid things. And there are a
lot of movies that really seem worth the time. Plus it’s good to just,
y’know, relax now and then.

In other words, I’ve decided I’m akratic about how little [sic] TV I
watch.

Over the past 5+ years, I’ve averaged 1.8 hours/week being passively
entertained (not counting youtube and such at my computer).
I’ve decided to try forcing myself to spend at least that much:
beeminder.com/d/ent

And as you can see I know have an emergency passive entertainment day.
Of course it’s also an emergency blog post day, and also hack night
(pomodoro poker!), so it looks like I’ll be derailing on the
entertainment goal.
We’ll see what kind of a pledge it takes to make me take it
seriously…


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


David Reiley is a Research Scientist at Google
Learn more about me at http://www.davidreiley.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com

As part of my attempts to get my ADHD under control, I’ve been writing down what task I’m supposed to be working on -and then click a tally counter incase I noticed that I have task switched and am no longer working on my written task.

In doing so, I realize just how easy it is for me to task switch inadvertently…like the hacker news example. And yes, I’d rather collate all that time and use it to just go play dance central or arkham asylum instead.

-----Original Message-----
From: akratics@googlegroups.com [mailto:akratics@googlegroups.com] On
Behalf Of Daniel Reeves
Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 1:20 PM
To: akratics@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: emergency TV day

I agree with Sohum. Reddit actually got sufficiently egregious that I’m no
more likely to hit reddit in the middle of the day than to open up hulu and
start watching TV (not that that’s never happened – but now I work in an
office, which is a nice commitment device for not wasting time too
flamboyantly). Hacker News is another story – I need to set up filters and
alerts for Beeminder-related stuff on Hacker News so I have less incentive to
just browse it.

As to David Reiley’s question, I want to reduce this: beeminder.com/d/smk

Andy gave a nice example of that: You’re researching something on
stackoverflow and the next thing you know you’re looking at graphs of your
karma, or answering some unrelated question. Or you’re just compulsively
looking at your email and not letting yourself concentrate on a piece of code
or prose.

This reminds me of Sohum’s “shiny” goal (“spend less time on shiny things”).

Btw, I think it would be impossible to measure these things without tagtime.
Almost by definition it’s impossible to measure time spent distracted – if you
had the wherewithal to note the time then you could’ve just stayed on task
in the first place – except by tagtime-style sampling.

PS: This also reminds me that Sohum gave permission to show you all this
delightful post-mortem he sent recently when he derailed on a weight goal:

legit! post-mortem: this is exactly the contrapositive of the case beeminder is
meant to catch :P. Where I’ve had warning for, like, yongs that I’m doing
something wrong, but haven’t either a) done something about it or b)
adjusted my yellow brick road to match
(enough) (because adjusting the ybr feels like admitting failure, and if I can
just hang on one more week then maybe I’ll get back on track, or
something!)

On Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 9:33 AM, Sohum Banerjea sohumb@gmail.com
wrote:

I’m not sure the “things I’d take off my schedule to do” metric is useful.
For me, there is a certain fraction of the day in which I do not do
work. I can attempt to adjust it, and it does adjust, slowly, but I
can’t eliminate it altogether.

So, in a fairer reference class, the answer is clear: given that I’m
not going to spend 90 minutes productively anyway, I’d rather watch a
good movie than, say, browse Reddit[1]. And yet I very often find
myself doing the latter and not the former.

That, I think, is the form of akrasia Daniel is talking about. And,
David, if there are unscheduled periods of your day which you would
rather spend differently, then I think that would apply to you as well.

That said, yes, I’ve often made the choice of what to do instead by
scarcity heuristics… Thank you for alerting me to that!

-Sohum

[1] Even the reference class of easy, mind-unnecessary leisure time
probably has better things than Reddit…

On Oct 24, 2012 4:05 PM, “David Reiley” david@davidreiley.com wrote:

What are the things you guys are doing that, upon reflection, you think
are less important than watching good TV and movies? I often think “I
would like to watch more movies,” but I can’t say what things I would
take off my schedule in order to do it. I’m either unable to figure
this out, or I’m not really akratic.

There are at least 10x as many things I REALLY want to do (or feel I
have to do) as I actually have time for. So when I think to myself
"I’m not doing X enough," that could just be a refection of scarcity.
What I don’t know is whether there’s some activity Y that I should
substitute X for in order to make myself better off.

David

On Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 12:11 AM, Melanie Reeves Wicklow
melanie@beeminder.com wrote:

You’re not the single most bizarre akratic - cause I’m totally the
same way. This is why I only watch TV on my treadmill (Well, I
have done a little TV watching on the iPad in bed. Somehow, after
going to bed, it seems less time wasting to just watch til I fall
asleep (never mind that I know full well it’s keeping me awake
longer than I’d otherwise be, but I’m clearly sneaking in the TV
watching since I was unable to get a “round tuit” before going to
bed.) Either way, I’m using other circumstances like workout time
and bedtime to force some TV watching. Otherwise, I’d almost never do
it.

Maybe just tie TV watching to some exercise you want to be doing
like using a bike trainer or jumping up and down or jumping jacks or
something (I once hula hooped through an hour show thinking I’d make
my abs nice and sore but was disappointed, abs were fine). For me,
wanting to see what happens in the next episode of a show makes me
get on the treadmill. But it also works the other way a little bit
since I have no desire to do my treadmill at home without some
entertainment so deciding I need to get a workout in forces the TV
watching too.

I’m also completely unable plus have no desire to have TV on in the
background. (It’s like we’re related or something, Danny :-)) If I
turn a TV on, it’s because I will be able to be engrossed in it.
Otherwise, I won’t turn it on. If someone else turns it on, I’m
either bothered by the noise or end up accidentally engrossed.

Melanie

On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 5:25 PM, Daniel Reeves
dreeves@beeminder.com
wrote:

I might be the single most bizarre akratic on earth but I’ve
noticed that I waste tons of time on stupid little distractions,
yet rarely watch movies or TV. Sitting down to do so seems like
such an extravagant use of time! I’ve already wasted so much of
it! I can’t possibly take 2 hours to watch a movie until I get a
little more caught up on work, I think. I never get it through my
head that I waste much more time, in aggregate, on stupid things.
And there are a lot of movies that really seem worth the time.
Plus it’s good to just, y’know, relax now and then.

In other words, I’ve decided I’m akratic about how little [sic] TV
I watch.

Over the past 5+ years, I’ve averaged 1.8 hours/week being
passively entertained (not counting youtube and such at my
computer).

I’ve decided to try forcing myself to spend at least that much:
beeminder.com/d/ent

And as you can see I know have an emergency passive entertainment
day.

Of course it’s also an emergency blog post day, and also hack
night (pomodoro poker!), so it looks like I’ll be derailing on the
entertainment goal.
We’ll see what kind of a pledge it takes to make me take it
seriously…


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


David Reiley is a Research Scientist at Google Learn more about me at
http://www.davidreiley.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com

Sohum, what do you object about in my metric? In my mind, you’ve answered
my question perfectly by saying “I want to do less Reddit in favor of more
TV.”

I’m not sure I can identify something in my life equivalent to Reddit or
Hacker News. It’s possible that “answering email” might still go in this
category, though I’ve gradually been filtering mail from what I consider
interesting sources out of my inbox and into mailboxes where I essentially
never look at them. This aktratics mailing list is probably next on the
list to get filtered, so if you don’t hear from me anymore, you’ll know
why…

I will be interested in other people’s additional examples, in case it
helps me jog loose what I’m missing in my own life. So far, I’m hearing
Reddit, Hacker News, email inbox, and “graphs about karma” (not sure how to
generalize this last example).

I agree that I’d like to use TagTime to track this stuff, once there’s a
version available that I can easily use.

Dan, what other kinds of specific things are you doing when you code them
as “wasted time” in TagTime?

David

On Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 9:33 AM, Sohum Banerjea sohumb@gmail.com wrote:

I’m not sure the “things I’d take off my schedule to do” metric is useful.
For me, there is a certain fraction of the day in which I do not do work. I
can attempt to adjust it, and it does adjust, slowly, but I can’t eliminate
it altogether.

So, in a fairer reference class, the answer is clear: given that I’m not
going to spend 90 minutes productively anyway, I’d rather watch a good
movie than, say, browse Reddit[1]. And yet I very often find myself doing
the latter and not the former.

That, I think, is the form of akrasia Daniel is talking about. And, David,
if there are unscheduled periods of your day which you would rather spend
differently, then I think that would apply to you as well.

That said, yes, I’ve often made the choice of what to do instead by
scarcity heuristics… Thank you for alerting me to that!

-Sohum

[1] Even the reference class of easy, mind-unnecessary leisure time
probably has better things than Reddit…
On Oct 24, 2012 4:05 PM, “David Reiley” david@davidreiley.com wrote:

What are the things you guys are doing that, upon reflection, you think
are less important than watching good TV and movies? I often think “I
would like to watch more movies,” but I can’t say what things I would take
off my schedule in order to do it. I’m either unable to figure this out,
or I’m not really akratic.

There are at least 10x as many things I REALLY want to do (or feel I have
to do) as I actually have time for. So when I think to myself “I’m not
doing X enough,” that could just be a refection of scarcity. What I don’t
know is whether there’s some activity Y that I should substitute X for in
order to make myself better off.

David

On Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 12:11 AM, Melanie Reeves Wicklow <
melanie@beeminder.com> wrote:

You’re not the single most bizarre akratic - cause I’m totally the
same way. This is why I only watch TV on my treadmill (Well, I have
done a little TV watching on the iPad in bed. Somehow, after going to
bed, it seems less time wasting to just watch til I fall asleep (never
mind that I know full well it’s keeping me awake longer than I’d
otherwise be, but I’m clearly sneaking in the TV watching since I was
unable to get a “round tuit” before going to bed.) Either way, I’m
using other circumstances like workout time and bedtime to force some
TV watching. Otherwise, I’d almost never do it.

Maybe just tie TV watching to some exercise you want to be doing like
using a bike trainer or jumping up and down or jumping jacks or
something (I once hula hooped through an hour show thinking I’d make
my abs nice and sore but was disappointed, abs were fine). For me,
wanting to see what happens in the next episode of a show makes me get
on the treadmill. But it also works the other way a little bit since I
have no desire to do my treadmill at home without some entertainment
so deciding I need to get a workout in forces the TV watching too.

I’m also completely unable plus have no desire to have TV on in the
background. (It’s like we’re related or something, Danny :-)) If I
turn a TV on, it’s because I will be able to be engrossed in it.
Otherwise, I won’t turn it on. If someone else turns it on, I’m
either bothered by the noise or end up accidentally engrossed.

Melanie

On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 5:25 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.com
wrote:

I might be the single most bizarre akratic on earth but I’ve noticed
that I waste tons of time on stupid little distractions, yet rarely
watch movies or TV. Sitting down to do so seems like such an
extravagant use of time! I’ve already wasted so much of it! I can’t
possibly take 2 hours to watch a movie until I get a little more
caught up on work, I think. I never get it through my head that I
waste much more time, in aggregate, on stupid things. And there are a
lot of movies that really seem worth the time. Plus it’s good to just,
y’know, relax now and then.

In other words, I’ve decided I’m akratic about how little [sic] TV I
watch.

Over the past 5+ years, I’ve averaged 1.8 hours/week being passively
entertained (not counting youtube and such at my computer).
I’ve decided to try forcing myself to spend at least that much:
beeminder.com/d/ent

And as you can see I know have an emergency passive entertainment day.
Of course it’s also an emergency blog post day, and also hack night
(pomodoro poker!), so it looks like I’ll be derailing on the
entertainment goal.
We’ll see what kind of a pledge it takes to make me take it
seriously…


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


David Reiley is a Research Scientist at Google
Learn more about me at http://www.davidreiley.com


David Reiley is a Research Scientist at Google
Learn more about me at http://www.davidreiley.com

“Graphs about karma” generalises to Beeminder itself, by the by… :stuck_out_tongue:

David: I was making a distinction between “what I would do rather than
what’s on my schedule” and “what I would do rather than what I’m actually
doing”. If the two are identical, then great! :stuck_out_tongue:

An example of things that code as shiny for me: any sort of “research”
that’s easy to convince myself is useful right up until the point the
glaring red TagTime window pops up, like getting distracted by funky but
not useful research papers, or interesting little techniques for hacking my
brain, or…
On 24 Oct 2012 19:29, “David Reiley” david@davidreiley.com wrote:

Sohum, what do you object about in my metric? In my mind, you’ve answered
my question perfectly by saying “I want to do less Reddit in favor of more
TV.”

I’m not sure I can identify something in my life equivalent to Reddit or
Hacker News. It’s possible that “answering email” might still go in this
category, though I’ve gradually been filtering mail from what I consider
interesting sources out of my inbox and into mailboxes where I essentially
never look at them. This aktratics mailing list is probably next on the
list to get filtered, so if you don’t hear from me anymore, you’ll know
why…

I will be interested in other people’s additional examples, in case it
helps me jog loose what I’m missing in my own life. So far, I’m hearing
Reddit, Hacker News, email inbox, and “graphs about karma” (not sure how to
generalize this last example).

I agree that I’d like to use TagTime to track this stuff, once there’s a
version available that I can easily use.

Dan, what other kinds of specific things are you doing when you code them
as “wasted time” in TagTime?

David

On Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 9:33 AM, Sohum Banerjea sohumb@gmail.com wrote:

I’m not sure the “things I’d take off my schedule to do” metric is
useful. For me, there is a certain fraction of the day in which I do not do
work. I can attempt to adjust it, and it does adjust, slowly, but I can’t
eliminate it altogether.

So, in a fairer reference class, the answer is clear: given that I’m not
going to spend 90 minutes productively anyway, I’d rather watch a good
movie than, say, browse Reddit[1]. And yet I very often find myself doing
the latter and not the former.

That, I think, is the form of akrasia Daniel is talking about. And,
David, if there are unscheduled periods of your day which you would
rather spend differently, then I think that would apply to you as well.

That said, yes, I’ve often made the choice of what to do instead by
scarcity heuristics… Thank you for alerting me to that!

-Sohum

[1] Even the reference class of easy, mind-unnecessary leisure time
probably has better things than Reddit…
On Oct 24, 2012 4:05 PM, “David Reiley” david@davidreiley.com wrote:

What are the things you guys are doing that, upon reflection, you think
are less important than watching good TV and movies? I often think “I
would like to watch more movies,” but I can’t say what things I would take
off my schedule in order to do it. I’m either unable to figure this out,
or I’m not really akratic.

There are at least 10x as many things I REALLY want to do (or feel I
have to do) as I actually have time for. So when I think to myself “I’m
not doing X enough,” that could just be a refection of scarcity. What I
don’t know is whether there’s some activity Y that I should substitute X
for in order to make myself better off.

David

On Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 12:11 AM, Melanie Reeves Wicklow <
melanie@beeminder.com> wrote:

You’re not the single most bizarre akratic - cause I’m totally the
same way. This is why I only watch TV on my treadmill (Well, I have
done a little TV watching on the iPad in bed. Somehow, after going to
bed, it seems less time wasting to just watch til I fall asleep (never
mind that I know full well it’s keeping me awake longer than I’d
otherwise be, but I’m clearly sneaking in the TV watching since I was
unable to get a “round tuit” before going to bed.) Either way, I’m
using other circumstances like workout time and bedtime to force some
TV watching. Otherwise, I’d almost never do it.

Maybe just tie TV watching to some exercise you want to be doing like
using a bike trainer or jumping up and down or jumping jacks or
something (I once hula hooped through an hour show thinking I’d make
my abs nice and sore but was disappointed, abs were fine). For me,
wanting to see what happens in the next episode of a show makes me get
on the treadmill. But it also works the other way a little bit since I
have no desire to do my treadmill at home without some entertainment
so deciding I need to get a workout in forces the TV watching too.

I’m also completely unable plus have no desire to have TV on in the
background. (It’s like we’re related or something, Danny :-)) If I
turn a TV on, it’s because I will be able to be engrossed in it.
Otherwise, I won’t turn it on. If someone else turns it on, I’m
either bothered by the noise or end up accidentally engrossed.

Melanie

On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 5:25 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.com
wrote:

I might be the single most bizarre akratic on earth but I’ve noticed
that I waste tons of time on stupid little distractions, yet rarely
watch movies or TV. Sitting down to do so seems like such an
extravagant use of time! I’ve already wasted so much of it! I can’t
possibly take 2 hours to watch a movie until I get a little more
caught up on work, I think. I never get it through my head that I
waste much more time, in aggregate, on stupid things. And there are a
lot of movies that really seem worth the time. Plus it’s good to just,
y’know, relax now and then.

In other words, I’ve decided I’m akratic about how little [sic] TV I
watch.

Over the past 5+ years, I’ve averaged 1.8 hours/week being passively
entertained (not counting youtube and such at my computer).
I’ve decided to try forcing myself to spend at least that much:
beeminder.com/d/ent

And as you can see I know have an emergency passive entertainment day.
Of course it’s also an emergency blog post day, and also hack night
(pomodoro poker!), so it looks like I’ll be derailing on the
entertainment goal.
We’ll see what kind of a pledge it takes to make me take it
seriously…


http://dreev.es – search://“Daniel Reeves”
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


David Reiley is a Research Scientist at Google
Learn more about me at http://www.davidreiley.com


David Reiley is a Research Scientist at Google
Learn more about me at http://www.davidreiley.com

I definitely meant to ask about “what I would do rather than what I’m
actually doing.”

I don’t use a schedule for my task list. Hence, many of my tasks never get
done, because I find I add tasks to my list at a much faster rate than I
can do them. I just triage once in a while. I’m not positive that I do
the things that are most important, because I often do things like “submit
a bug report on this thing that’s annoying me” instead of “write this
research paper.” Not sure how to evaluate the relative importance of
things to me sometimes.

David

On Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 12:46 PM, Sohum Banerjea sohumb@gmail.com wrote:

“Graphs about karma” generalises to Beeminder itself, by the by… :stuck_out_tongue:

David: I was making a distinction between “what I would do rather than
what’s on my schedule” and “what I would do rather than what I’m actually
doing”. If the two are identical, then great! :stuck_out_tongue:

An example of things that code as shiny for me: any sort of “research”
that’s easy to convince myself is useful right up until the point the
glaring red TagTime window pops up, like getting distracted by funky but
not useful research papers, or interesting little techniques for hacking my
brain, or…
On 24 Oct 2012 19:29, “David Reiley” david@davidreiley.com wrote:

Sohum, what do you object about in my metric? In my mind, you’ve
answered my question perfectly by saying “I want to do less Reddit in favor
of more TV.”

I’m not sure I can identify something in my life equivalent to Reddit or
Hacker News. It’s possible that “answering email” might still go in this
category, though I’ve gradually been filtering mail from what I consider
interesting sources out of my inbox and into mailboxes where I essentially
never look at them. This aktratics mailing list is probably next on the
list to get filtered, so if you don’t hear from me anymore, you’ll know
why…

I will be interested in other people’s additional examples, in case it
helps me jog loose what I’m missing in my own life. So far, I’m hearing
Reddit, Hacker News, email inbox, and “graphs about karma” (not sure how to
generalize this last example).

I agree that I’d like to use TagTime to track this stuff, once there’s a
version available that I can easily use.

Dan, what other kinds of specific things are you doing when you code them
as “wasted time” in TagTime?

David

On Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 9:33 AM, Sohum Banerjea sohumb@gmail.com wrote:

I’m not sure the “things I’d take off my schedule to do” metric is
useful. For me, there is a certain fraction of the day in which I do not do
work. I can attempt to adjust it, and it does adjust, slowly, but I can’t
eliminate it altogether.

So, in a fairer reference class, the answer is clear: given that I’m not
going to spend 90 minutes productively anyway, I’d rather watch a good
movie than, say, browse Reddit[1]. And yet I very often find myself doing
the latter and not the former.

That, I think, is the form of akrasia Daniel is talking about. And,
David, if there are unscheduled periods of your day which you would
rather spend differently, then I think that would apply to you as well.

That said, yes, I’ve often made the choice of what to do instead by
scarcity heuristics… Thank you for alerting me to that!

-Sohum

[1] Even the reference class of easy, mind-unnecessary leisure time
probably has better things than Reddit…
On Oct 24, 2012 4:05 PM, “David Reiley” david@davidreiley.com wrote:

What are the things you guys are doing that, upon reflection, you think
are less important than watching good TV and movies? I often think “I
would like to watch more movies,” but I can’t say what things I would take
off my schedule in order to do it. I’m either unable to figure this out,
or I’m not really akratic.

There are at least 10x as many things I REALLY want to do (or feel I
have to do) as I actually have time for. So when I think to myself “I’m
not doing X enough,” that could just be a refection of scarcity. What I
don’t know is whether there’s some activity Y that I should substitute X
for in order to make myself better off.

David

On Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 12:11 AM, Melanie Reeves Wicklow <
melanie@beeminder.com> wrote:

You’re not the single most bizarre akratic - cause I’m totally the
same way. This is why I only watch TV on my treadmill (Well, I have
done a little TV watching on the iPad in bed. Somehow, after going to
bed, it seems less time wasting to just watch til I fall asleep (never
mind that I know full well it’s keeping me awake longer than I’d
otherwise be, but I’m clearly sneaking in the TV watching since I was
unable to get a “round tuit” before going to bed.) Either way, I’m
using other circumstances like workout time and bedtime to force some
TV watching. Otherwise, I’d almost never do it.

Maybe just tie TV watching to some exercise you want to be doing like
using a bike trainer or jumping up and down or jumping jacks or
something (I once hula hooped through an hour show thinking I’d make
my abs nice and sore but was disappointed, abs were fine). For me,
wanting to see what happens in the next episode of a show makes me get
on the treadmill. But it also works the other way a little bit since I
have no desire to do my treadmill at home without some entertainment
so deciding I need to get a workout in forces the TV watching too.

I’m also completely unable plus have no desire to have TV on in the
background. (It’s like we’re related or something, Danny :-)) If I
turn a TV on, it’s because I will be able to be engrossed in it.
Otherwise, I won’t turn it on. If someone else turns it on, I’m
either bothered by the noise or end up accidentally engrossed.

Melanie

On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 5:25 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.com
wrote:

I might be the single most bizarre akratic on earth but I’ve noticed
that I waste tons of time on stupid little distractions, yet rarely
watch movies or TV. Sitting down to do so seems like such an
extravagant use of time! I’ve already wasted so much of it! I can’t
possibly take 2 hours to watch a movie until I get a little more
caught up on work, I think. I never get it through my head that I
waste much more time, in aggregate, on stupid things. And there are a
lot of movies that really seem worth the time. Plus it’s good to
just,
y’know, relax now and then.

In other words, I’ve decided I’m akratic about how little [sic] TV I
watch.

Over the past 5+ years, I’ve averaged 1.8 hours/week being passively
entertained (not counting youtube and such at my computer).
I’ve decided to try forcing myself to spend at least that much:
beeminder.com/d/ent

And as you can see I know have an emergency passive entertainment
day.
Of course it’s also an emergency blog post day, and also hack night
(pomodoro poker!), so it looks like I’ll be derailing on the
entertainment goal.
We’ll see what kind of a pledge it takes to make me take it
seriously…


http://dreev.es – search://“Daniel Reeves”
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


David Reiley is a Research Scientist at Google
Learn more about me at http://www.davidreiley.com


David Reiley is a Research Scientist at Google
Learn more about me at http://www.davidreiley.com


David Reiley is a Research Scientist at Google
Learn more about me at http://www.davidreiley.com