Guest post: Monkeys Are Afraid of Bees

The long awaited guest post from @mary – Micro(chip)managed, get it? – is now live:

It has a nice recap of the hilarious What But Why articles on procrastination and of course describes how Beeminder fits in. Roughly: Beeminder is a way to create mini Panic Monsters, ones that scare your short-term self straight but don’t bother your rational self.


[It’s] surprisingly terrifying to the Instant Gratification Monkey. What’s even
better is that you can change your goal as you go (in case you discover
that your goal wasn’t realistic over the long haul) but changes only take
effect a week after they’re made. This gives the Instant Gratification
Monkey little incentive to convince the Rational Decision Maker to change
plans when that isn’t genuinely useful, because the monkey just doesn’t
care about next week.

At first, I had just one little beehive that I would drag out and set beside
the steering wheel to keep the monkey at bay for a goal type that is
particularly high-risk for procrastination: writing a Master’s thesis. Now, I
have beehives peppered throughout the Dark Playground, too. The
monkey isn’t actually all that unhappy, either, because spending more
time doing things I need to do and find important allows me to let it loose
in the Happy Playground, where genuine relaxation and rejuvenation can