Beeminder Forum

Life Visible Improvements (LVIs)

Keeping in mind the idea of Beeminder’s UVIs what are some activities that you would say that you could do in a regular basis that would improve your personal life projects (no matter the type or size)?

I am conscious that this can vary wildly from project to project, but broadly speaking, I would like to hear any type of idea.

Let’s call them LVIs.

Thoughts?

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  • Time spent planning. This planning can either be breaking the project into tasks, or just thinking through how I’m going to execute X or get past problem Y
  • Connected to the previous, time spent planning away from a computer. I’m not 100% sure why, but I find that the quality of my thinking is much higher when I get away from the computer and work through something on paper.
  • Time spent researching, though this can get out-of-hand for me.
  • Creation of supporting Beeminder goals, keeping me accountable for input and output.
  • Creation of a public journal, usually here on the forum, and a Beeminder goal to ensure I post updates.

I think those would be the big ones for me…

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Meditating is a big one for me - it just improves the quality of everything. I beemind meditating every day (I’m trying for 3 hours a day) and beeminder has massively increased the amount I meditate and boosted my consistency.

Another one is a memory game called dual n-back where you are presented with a sequence of sounds (letters read aloud) coupled with 8 positions on a 3x3 grid, and you have to press buttons if the thing displayed matches the thing N items back in the sequence in sound, position, or both. N increases as you get better at it. It’s amazingly good at noticeably increasing the amount of stuff you can hold in your head at a time - like a RAM upgrade for your brain. You can actually feel your brain expanding. Thanks to beeminder, I’ve been dual n-backing every day.

Another daily one is taking a 10-minute walk outside every day - a small thing that makes a huge difference in life quality.

Then there’s regular processing at the daily and weekly levels (GTD style), where you go through all the stuff you’ve accumulated (mail, email, notes to yourself, stuff in your head), get it all out of your head and in one place, and go through it to make sure you’re keeping track of all your projects and next actions. I’m still working on getting this down.

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Those ideas are quite useful!

In some sense, from what I understand is either time planning or strategizing about the goal. There might be one problem for me here, though, that sometimes I spend too much time wondering about things and projects without actually making progress on them, so maybe it should be done in a concrete time period.

Thanks and Happy Beeminder Aniversary :slight_smile:

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Anything like meditation or spending time walking in nature also works for me. I been wondering if this is related to the effects of spending time in silence and in solitude, as Cal Newport argues in his last book, which can have positive effects on us.

I haven’t experienced with memory games but I am sure that some people report benefits. Might consider.

And, of course, a reliable system to work seems quite crucial to no spend the most part of your time wondering what to do next. I have experienced more in this area this year, but sometimes can find myself in the place of doing too much support and organization tasks without making progress in the actual projects, so I have to do it in moderation :stuck_out_tongue:

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There’s no clear boundary between the support/organization/planning and the actual projects - doing the planning work is making progress in the actual projects. You’re breaking the projects into little parts, and when you do that enough, you get to a point where the parts are so easy and little and motivated that you just do them, seamlessly blending the planning with the doing.

Yes, you are completely right that planning is doing.

But have you never found yourself planning too much?

Like the people who try to find the perfect way of doing things, looking at thousands of programs of training or diet; trying to find the best tools to work with even before starting, so they found themselves being wondering for weeks and months but doing zero progress.

At least that’s my problem sometimes.

And that’s the reason I say to do it “in moderation”, because sometimes you just have to work. As a personal example, it is okay to spend time planning how much I will be studying today; but I can spend lots of time looking for the perfect way of studying (methods, techniques and strategies) instead of actually studying; using “productivity” as an excuse to procrastination.

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Yes, exactly, that’s procrastination. And I find that procrastination is caused by (among other factors) not breaking down projects into specific, concrete, physical actions.

In other words, the problem is not that you’re doing too much planning, the problem is that your planning is ineffective.

In your example, looking for the perfect way of studying should be seen as a different project like “improve my study skills.” Both this project and the “study” project are worthwhile and can be broken down into actionable steps. But what’s really going on is that you’re procrastinating on the “study” project by doing the “improve my study skills” project.

You actually need more planning, not less - but effective planning, planning that breaks down both the “study” and “improve study skills” projects and assigns time for them.

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I think that that is really smart. I had not thought about this perspective.

So, I need to plan actually more, and in some sense plan time to plan; and plan time to work. It is something that seems logical now that I type it; but for sure I need to put more personal emphasis in the future in this perspective.

Appreciate your comment, thanks @zedmango :slight_smile:

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