Beeminder Forum

Mornings off

I find some days I fail to get into the “big blocks” things I want to do in the mornings. One cause is that they fill up with beeminded goals that I don’t want to be doing in the mornings because many of them are easy things to do in the half past three in the afternoon coma or in the evening. I feel compelled to do them in the mornings though, just so I can get them off my list.

I think I want to never see them on my list in the morning because it’s the wrong time of day. It’s like weekends off.

Do other people feel the same way? Is there a feature for this? How do other people handle this?

So ironic I am here posting this at 2AM. Very bad, it’s been a busy two weeks, some stuff really needed doing and then I had two derails pending. Some things are more important even than sleep :wink:

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I used to have a bunch of goals with a noon deadline.

Effectively that meant that they’d turn red in the afternoon, but not be officially due until the following calendar day.

I mostly did that for the opposite reason, goals that I wanted to be sure to do in the morning, and noon was a deadline that I could remember.

They’re still on the list by default, though there is a semi-secret tags feature that you could use to have more than one dashboard on the website.

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You could use a do-less goal to limit the amount of easy things done in the morning.

Commit to not doing easy things in the morning more than X times per week—it’s perhaps unintuitive to create a goal to not do the very same thing you have another goal making you do, but think of it as another iteration on pinning down what exactly you want Beeminder to make you do. You want Beeminder to, on the one hand, make you do these various things, but you also want Beeminder to make you not do them in the morning.

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I’m not at all averse to adding more goals to refine other goals, and I think your suggestion sounds like a good workaround if there’s not a way to hide them right now. But in this case it does seem there’s something perverse about having beeminder put a distraction and a source of stress actively in your way that you know is unnecessary, and then trying to fix up the resulting problems.

Put the other way, I really like features that show you what you can or should be doing right now, without distracting you with things that past-rational-you would tell you you shouldn’t be doing.

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Since the “weekends off” concept doesn’t really carry over directly to sub-day things in beeminder (because there’s no concept of a sub-day increment in the goal), what is it I really want?

I think it’s both of these, together:

  • “mornings off” goals wouldn’t count even if I did them (of course I can do this manually by just not recording them if it’s the morning)
  • not showing “mornings off” goals when it’s morning

So if there is a way to use tags to create goals that are hidden in the morning, I think that’s probably 90% of what I’d want here. It would be even better if it knew to ignore datapoints I record as done in the morning, though (maybe a custom aggday function could do that, if there were such a thing, and if the input of aggday functions includes datapoint timestamps?).

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You could try a hidden not-really-a-feature feature and tag your morning goals with one tag and your afternoon goals with another so that you don’t see your afternoon goals when you need to be working on the morning goals:

One other thing I used to do that might help is that I’d fiddle with the deadline just enough so that I’d get a sort order I liked. I didn’t want the deadlines to actually be much earlier than the standard midnight deadline, so I’d make the first thing I wanted to do due at 11:51PM, the second at 11:52, the third at 11:53, and so on. That way, they showed up on my dashboard in the order in which I should be paying attention to them.

(I also tried making myself a custom dashboard, and I use that much of the time, but that’s probably overkill!!!)

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Just to note – that’s not how weekends-off or breaks work on goals either; the flat-spot doesn’t stop you from doing and tracking the thing, just stops the slope from demanding that you do it

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Ah from your link and now that I’m not sleep-deprived, I see that to use tags for this you tag your mornings-off goals as morning (or whatever you want to call it), and then when it’s morning, just “manually” filter to that tag so you don’t see the rest. In other words, no need for automatically doing some fancy scripting thing with the tags, just remember to look at the right filtered list in the morning.

Again this seems like it might be 90% of my 90% here, so I guess this is an 81% solution (the other 19% being made up of automatically filtering in the mornings and not counting any repeats I do then – I suspect much the bigger part of that is the “automatically filtering” in fact).

Interesting, thank you. I don’t currently think of my goals as ordered all that much – I think of them in groups, something like:

  • habit-based (‘floss goals’): bit of a non-group, in this sense: if things are going OK they happen at the right time automatically, then when I look at the goal list later I’ll tick off the ones I did
  • these morning ‘big blocks’ goals
  • other ‘big blocks’ goals that I’m less keen to do in the mornings (e.g. some parts of money admin)
  • evening goals that I usually do past my 10 PM no-screen cutoff (e.g. reading, piano)
  • exercise (I don’t have a routine / good habits for this at the moment so have to be reminded)
  • everything else (many of the easy-but-have-to-actually-do-it kind)

Tags seem ideal for that of course. I’m sure there is scope for ways to use tags to automate keeping things out of my view that I don’t want to think about – I’m pretty sure I’m going to like that a lot when I get around to it, because I already don’t see max-once-per-day goals for example, and that was much more useful than I expected. In particular:

  • In the morning, only show morning big-blocks goals (different goals depending on whether weekend or not)
  • Before 10 PM, don’t show the evening goals
  • Hide the other big-blocks goals (money, etc.) before some time cut-off (time depends on whether it’s weekday or weekend) because almost always I plan not to do them before then
  • Put exercise goals in my face somehow around 12 so I plan to go for a walk at lunchtime

No doubt time isn’t the only possible trigger, but for me it’s the most relevant at the moment.

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