Beeminder Forum

My productivity setup

Hi all,

I wrote about my setup to Daniel, and he seemed to like it and (more or less) asked me to repeat it here. So, here you are – maybe someone will find it useful.

mbork’s setup v1.0 (started almost a year ago)

Every day I prepared (at most) 12 bullet points for the next day with “things I needed to do”. Every point was worth, well, 1 point, and Beeminder made me do at least 8 points every day. I called this a “productivity score”. Most “tasks” were of the form “spend at least X minutes on Y before time Z”, but there were exceptions (like “do something this day, don’t care when exactly”, or “do not touch facebook until 15:00”, or possibly others).

The plus of that system was its simplicity. The problem was its simplicity. :wink: I mean, 90 minutes of coding was worth 1 point, and 3 minutes of answering an important email were worth 1 point. Not ideal.

mbork’s setup v2.0 (started almost a month ago)

My current system has variable point values:

  • for a task taking up to 10 minutes, 1 point
  • for a task taking more than 10 minutes, but not more than 30, 3 points
  • 30-60 minutes: 5 points
  • 60-90 minutes: 10 points

Apart from that, there are a few more:

  • not using my laptop (nor watching youtube on my phone) after 21:45 the previous day - 10 points
  • being in bed on 22:15 the previous day - 10 points
  • no red Beeminder goals in the evening - 10 points (and 5, 2, and 1 for 1, 2 and 3 red goals)

Also, completing anything at least 15 minutes before the designated time (including turning the laptop off and bedtime!) is worth a 50% bonus (rounded up).

Also, if some task is marked as “urgent”, -10 points (yes, negative 10!) for not completing it that day (even after the set deadline).

Also, no more than 4 10-point tasks per day, excluding turning off the laptop and going to bed (and max 8 3-5-point tasks, and max 16 1-point tasks), so that I won’t cheat with a swarm of trivial 1-minute tasks.

I also have a Beeminder goal of minimum 50 points per day (this seems pretty conservative, but maybe is not - too early to say). No weekends off, and usually at most 2 10-point tasks on weekends, so I need to build a bit of a buffer until Friday (not ideal, I know).

I still consider some refinements, but so far it works great.

Notice two things:

  1. It’s still pretty simple (after all, I don’t have any automation for it yet, so it is all manual).
  2. It might be “game-able”, and that could be a weak point for some people, but it’s good enough for me. (If I’d “game” it, I would compromise goals that are important to me personally, so why would I?)



I like it. I use something similar with respect to flexibility. I look at my calender and count the half hours not covered by meetings. Say it is 5. So the datapoint would be 1/5 to add for each pomodoro I do. If I have less meetings then I need to do more pomodoros and with more meetings I need less.
This does not help me with my to do list. Maybe I include your idea.



That’s brilliant. Reminds me of a Beeminder-fuelled version of Dave Seah’s Concrete Goals Tracker from their Printable CEO Series.