I was thinking that I’m not at all mindful enough about being mindful in my day to day. I have a meditation practice, which I beemind as well, but that’s something different than staying mindful troughout the day. Do you have any good ideas on how such a goal should be structured and what to avoid? Has anybody here tried (successfully or unsuccessfully) to implement a goal which helps with that?
A goal like this seems to me to be a big challenge for several reasons, one of them is, of course, that I’m looking for a somewhat automated technical solution to a problem which has to do with being absent minded (or at least not present minded enough). If there would be somebody (a human, I guess…) that would keep an eye on me and would tell me to stay in the present that’d be great. But this is a lot to ask from computers/a web service. But, as is often the case, a pragmatic approximation to a solution with the tools on hand to an otherwise not solvable problem is good enough.
If you define your goal as something like: “I want to stop and be mindful of the moment x numbers of times per day.”
You could use some kind of clicker/counter-widget/app on the phone or smartwatch and record those moments.
Or maybe at the end of the day you could score yourself with some criteria on how mindful your were through the day and beemind that.
It’s kinda clunky, though.
You can “fight” around the problem by beeminding things (relating to your goal) that can actually be tracked.
For example, to improve my productivity and focus, I have
a) two RescueTime goals tracking productive and distracting time (automated directly from Beeminder’s RT integration)
b) a few goals tracking actual tasks (of various projects) completed (automated via Jira+Zapier)
c) a goal for number of minutes I don’t use my iPhone (manual entry once per day, I use the Forest app https://plus.google.com/+MarkosGiannopoulos/posts/MmnXSgtXqxn)
d) a goal for a 0-3 rating of my day based on the 3 things I intended in the morning vs what I actually did (manual entry once per day)
These probably sound a lot, but i’m an extreme procrastinator and I don’t really have the same definition of what it means to be productive at all times. It’s good to know that I had 10 productive hours today, but if I haven’t actually completed anything, what’s the point?
So I don’t think it’s easy to find a single metric for abstract concepts like productivity or mindfulness. It’s definitely something that one needs to try and test different approaches and see what sticks.
Hope I’ve helped
@sopruvia I might actually try to have a section in my daily journal in which I note how mindful I have been. Another thing: Since I am keeping time using the pomodoro technique and having a daily note in the form of:
## Pomodoro 1 @Homework
I might be able to beemind using those (external/internal) spaces for making notes of distractions.
@apolyton I will definitely take a look at rescue time again. I haven’t actively used it in a year or so, but that was before beeminder came into my life. The funny thing is: It’s still a startup item on my computer. So I guess I’ll just have to create some beeminder goals. Also, you post made me realize that I actually have a bunch of goals that are similar to yours. And still I feel myself doing stuff in a not very mindful manner. Hm.
Well if RT has been running all this time you have the benefit of a record of your app use without your mind actively thinking about what kind of apps you use
How about using one of these gadgets mentioned in this excellent blog post to remind you :
and with every notification you can ask yourself whether you were mindful? If yes then tick 1 on the beeminder goal. For a starter it’s enough (even too good) if your goal is 1 times/day you were mindful.
The other pro of this method is that it will correct your state and bring you back to mindfulness (the blog post was originally intended to that purpose only) which is an important training to your goal and serves to help you to track it too, like you wished.
This idea was lurking in my mind for years and never tried to buy such thing. Now you kindled my interest again and most likely I will do what I suggested for you. For the past, I was trying to depend on the hourly beep of my digital watch but mostly got unnoticed. So it seems, buying a fitbit or a bracelet is the way to go for me.
I use TagTime + Beeminder for something that is maybe related to what you have in mind with beeminding mindfulness. Namely, when TagTime pings me and I’m doing something I deem a waste of time and not what I had intended to be doing (like being distracted by Twitter or Facebook), I tag it “smk”, as in “smack, get back to work”.
Here’s my graph:
I think it’s hard to use RescueTime for this since some of my use of Twitter and Facebook is, for example, Beeminder marketing or looking at friends’ babies, both of which feel like entirely legit uses of my time. And, as you point out, @matti, you almost by definition can’t track this sort of thing manually since the very absentmindedness you want to track will prevent you from doing the tracking.
Interesting idea. I guess I’ll have to check out tagtime once more. (It would be great if it were integrated in homebrew nudgenudge)