Note: I added this to my personal journal, but think it might be useful for some to read.
At the time I am writing this, I have been a Beeminder forum member for about 9 months and have been more of an active type of Beeminder user than previously. I guess that there might be as much ways of using Beeminder as there are users, and multiple reasons and ways to use it. For me, one of the main functions in which Beeminder helps me is prevent overworking and doing too much. And to prevent overworking the system itself and all that it tracks, I have found useful to use different types of rules.
Rules here should not be made as a supra-imposition to oneself, and be seen as a bad thing, but instead, something that, even though might not always be helpful in the short term, might be useful (and worth it) in the long term.
Useful tips are not as mandatory as rules, but they always help me using Beeminder.
This summary on Beeminder rules pretends to summarize and explain my rules as in 19th of February of 2020, to help me keep them in a concrete place and maybe to serve as inspiration to some.
Rule 1: Treat the 7-day buffer as an Emergency Fund. Try to keep at, least a 7-day buffer on all your goals. In a simpler way, think about your actual number and take 7 from there. This has been treated previously. It reduces stress and it gives you buffer just in case anything might happen.
- Do NOT add a new goal unless all your other goals are following this first rule. This strategy might not always be realistic but a helpful tool to stop me sometimes. If you are failing on your goals now, chances are that the things that are stopping you from achieving what you need to do will stop you again in the future.
- Greater data on how you are doing is looking at the moving average, which should generally be over the yellow brick road. If each day that you are entering data you are doing it on the emergency day, there might be something wrong there, as too much strict system or not enough resources to make the goal happen, and eventually you will (probably) either fail or burnout. It would even be better if the moving average was above was over the thick yellow line.
- Use codes on your goals. For example, for basic day-to-day Beeminders, like “clean the flat” or “night routine” you could use the code “b” from “basics”, so it would reflect “b-cleaning” or “b-nightroutine”. You could use “w” for work, or “hr” for “health-related”.
- This might be very personal, but Beeminding goals, should generally not be used per se, but as a part of a broader project. For example, if you are thinking about joining the gym, it might be tempting to create a goal about it first , but I think that you should define the “project itself”: What is the goal? How are you going to do it? Which resources are you going to need, and so on. Then, when you have somewhat adjusted to reality, create the goal. You could even treat it as a reward if creating goals excites you. Now, I say should because sometimes, creating random goals with experimenting/random projects might be beneficial and might open a door to a project/goal that you maybe didn’t know it could happen and suddenly sparked. And I need that, because I am someone that tends to overplan…
Possible future introductions
As a possible addendum to rule 1, I am thinking that if you are constantly on a really high number, for example, moving average over the line above the thick yellow road (which should be as something common as being below 7 days) or >21 days, you should consider increasing the difficulty of your goal.