Beeminder Forum

Help me decide: legit or not!


#1

Most of my goals are straightforward: I derail if I don’t do the thing, or if I do the thing when I shouldn’t. However, I have one goal that’s for writing reviews for my book blog regularly and whittling down my backlog. I got down to three or so reviews left to write this week… and then promptly read six books in two days. So, is a derailment legit if it occurs because I read a lot, or only if it occurs because I didn’t keep up the regular review-writing habit?

Argument for it being legit: I set this goal up to mind the backlog of reviews, and once it got to a fairly small backlog, to make sure I write reviews within a few days of finishing the book. Technically, if I sat down and neglected other things I could turn out six decent reviews by midnight, probably, so getting it done isn’t a physical impossibility. I don’t like having a backlog of reviews to write and this goal is intended, by hook or by crook, to stop that happening.

Argument for it being not legit: I didn’t set it up to make me review books immediately I finish them. Writing six reviews right now is impractical (for reasons like my rabbits needing cleaning out, people depending on me, etc, as well as because I would prefer some time to mull it over). And it feels like penalising sitting down and reading, which is actually something I have other goals to encourage.

Argument that probably shouldn’t be considered because it’s just my brain: I feel bad calling not legit, even though my fellow workerbees hold me to the same standards as anyone else. (We really don’t want to charge anyone for something that isn’t a fair cop, and that goes for the workerbees as well the same as every other rule.)

In the past I was comfortable with it being legit, but this is the first time that a good day of reading will now get punished with a derailment on another goal so intimately linked to it, one which I couldn’t have prevented even if I was at zero reviews left to write as of this morning. I think I would be comfortable making it a rule that if I derail on this one because I read a lot (let’s say more than two books in a day for two or more days running), it’s always not legit.

But, I’m not feeling 100% sure, and also it’s a nice case study in “when to call not legit”, so hey. Let me have your thoughts!


#2

I might be misunderstanding how the goal works, but it sounds similar to the Gmail goal of getting to Inbox Zero, and my understanding is that in that situation incoming emails don’t count against you. So if you read more books, and that’s what increased the number of reviews you need to write, I don’t think that should count against you either.

Also, I’m generally against anything that penalizes anyone for reading books in any way, because books are wonderful and overall people don’t read enough as it is :slight_smile:


#3

You should examine what type of behaviour you want to promote with your goals and act accordingly. From what i understand, reading more books is not a bad thing for you. So reading 4 books in 2 days should not be penalised.
Maybe you need to adjust the rule so that a book counts as being in the backlog if it was read at least a month ago. Then that would mean that you really are late in reviewing it.


#5

Hear, hear!


#6

Something like that, yeah, I think. Less than a month, since I post reviews about four days a week, but something proportionate to that and how much I read. Probably need to change how I track this for the long term, too.

I’m glad it’s not just me being weaselly and the conflict with another goal (since reading more is specifically another goal of mine… or in fact, another four goals of mine) makes sense to other people, though!


#7

Is the thing you’re measuring “number of posts” or “number of reviews”? Could you do a single “coming soon” post that has a handful of mini-reviews (no longer than book blurbs) that would count as reviews, but not take the full time that writing a review would?


#8

Number of reviews, alas. It’s very much about getting the actual review done, and not about blog posts, or I have all kinds of things that would fill the gaps. :laughing: