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shanaqui's Beeminder Journal: 2021

[Previous Beeminder Journal thread]

So here we are in 2021. And as promised, here’s a new Beeminder journal thread, since my previous thread got a biiiit overwhelming.

Derailments:

  • /writethosereviews - They got on top of me, argh! I’m actually including incentives for writing/sharing reviews in time in my Game of Books for 2021, so that should be helpful.
  • /hidrate - I don’t think this is actually legit, but the jury’s out right now until someone else can take a look, so I’ll include it now while I remember just in case. I’ve been down to the wire on this one for a few days, alas.

New goals:

  • I’ve got a bunch of goals for the new year, but instead of big resolutions, I’ve gone with trying to create goals that are more like nudges, doing some small thing that pushes me toward what I want. So small that hopefully I can do it every single day, no matter what.
  • /litsyupdate - This one is for participating on Litsy, but instead of being “review every book I read” or “read my feed and comment every day”, it’s just “post what I’m reading every day”. No requirements for length or any further participation… but probably the act of going to Litsy to post my quick status update will prompt checking my feed on many, maybe most, days.
  • /pillowfort - Similar idea: for this I have to do any kind of participation on Pillowfort, e.g. post, reblog, comment…
  • /justonestitch - I could’ve gone for some kind of “finish all those blankets lying around in various stages of completion”, but again, I went for a really small version of the habit that will hopefully pay off. I joined 6-7 motifs to a blanket from 2019 yesterday, because I’d started with my one stitch, so yay!
  • /mit - This one is linked to TaskRatchet, and requires me to set an MIT every day. Beeminder holds me to adding the MITs to TaskRatchet… TaskRatchet holds me to completing them. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that before!
  • /gameofbooks2021 - My Game of Books points for this year are set up with similar ideas, including a point for posting on Litsy and a point for writing a review within 24 hours. The spreadsheet is open!

TaskRatchet Fails:

  • None in the last week!

Changes to existing goals:

Other comments:

  • Nothing really to report this week, but of course, blwyddyn newydd dda i bawb!
1 Like

Derailments:

  • N/a

New goals:

  • /xmasbacklog - Handling the backlog for one of the sites I work for (not Beeminder) after it got a bit bananas over Christmas. I identified 43 emails that I need to deal with, and decided I want them done by the 12th. In the meantime, I have to keep up with the new emails that are coming in, or add them to this backlog if they sit for more than three days. So far, so good.
  • /backlogzero - I had a gmailzero goal recently, and it failed because I always stalled over answering the last few emails after getting it down to the threshold. No more! A specific batch of emails have been tagged, the Gmail integration tracks how many, and I’ve gotta get rid of them all by the 13th. I’ve done a lot of the easy ones, so some grind remains even though my progress looks good…
  • /confusion-backlog - Beeminder has a big ol’ spreadsheet of user issues to help us identify common issues, and while training our new workerbees, I missed a bunch. I’m aiming to be caught up by 19th Feb; newly tagged emails go into this backlog too to ensure they get dealt with.
  • /booksellerstale - A reading goal of the usual sort, for finishing Martin Latham’s The Bookseller’s Tale.

Changes to existing goals:

  • /lshtm_biology - I’ve completed all the main course reading! I’m still working on the assignment, and reviewing my anki cards for it, so I’ve flattened my goal out to 2 hrs/week… It will get lowered further once my card reviews get spaced further and further apart, and this first assignment gets written. (Then I’ll spike the rate up again for a while when my next assignment is due!)

TaskRatchet Fails:

  • N/a, although I almost got caught by not ordering batteries for my smart water bottle. Did it at the laaast minute. So far my MITs have been fairly easy to achieve, in line with my feeling of being a whisker away from burnout, but they might start getting a bit more demanding… or I might set more than one a day.

Other comments:

  • I’ve been a little frazzled this week by the feeling of constantly needing to catch up, but I think those backlog goals will help. I might add another couple of backlog goals, but we’ll get these out of my way first.
1 Like

Derailments:

  • N/a

New goals:

  • /thereandbackagain - According to a Habitica challenge, it’s 920 miles to the Lonely Mountain from Hobbiton [edit: depending on which challenge you do, which apparently I picked the 920 one, not the 967 one]. Think I can get there by the end of the year? Technically, I shouldn’t have called this ‘There and Back Again’, as the trip does not take into account the journey back, but shoosh.
  • /aworldbeneaththesands - A book-reading goal, with the usual rules (odometer goal, rate of 5 pages a day, autoratchet) to finish Toby Wilkinson’s A World Beneath the Sands.
  • /abaddonsgate - Getting back to reading the Expanse series! Usual rules here too (instead of the bigger 50 pages/day I had on the previous two goals).

Backlogs:

  • Splitting these into a separate section just for this week!
  • /backlogtabs - I had a lot of old tabs open, having lost my habit of tab zero. Now I’m back there, woo! This only took two days once I had the motivation…
  • /addressbacklog - One of the things I do over at Postcrossing is moderate addresses. There was a bit of an influx right when I didn’t have time to do the task, and it’s got on top of me. No worries, I’ll chip away a chunk a day and soon get back to normal… and, done!
  • /backlogzero - This one’s all done too! I followed @dreev’s method of isolating the backlog and beeminding that, which meant I had to get this down completely to zero… instead of constantly having more trickling in and just chipping away the newer stuff. Again, once I had the motivation in the form of a Beeminder goal, the emails melted away. And I’ve kept it that way so far.

Changes to existing goals:

TaskRatchet fails:

  • Cleaning the bathroom after an already frazzling day trying to catch up with backlogs… turned out to be a nope!
  • Sorting through my mail – apparently chores just aren’t my thing this week.

Other comments:

  • Nothing else to report, I think!
1 Like

I think Mark Forster gets the credit for that idea! See the intro of “Redqueening, Inbox Zero, Backlogs, and Fluid Dynamics”. Also nice work on getting back to inbox zero! I’m doing unusually well at that myself at the moment with bmndr.co/d/gmailzero.

Derailments:

  • /screensoff - Lisa’s off work this week, so we’re holding high revel and failing to go to bed on time.
  • /teeth - Siiiiiiigh. I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to remember to clean my teeth in the morning. I managed to make it a bedtime ritual I never ever forget – why is this so much more difficult?!

New goals:

  • /paperpatternindustry - For finishing Joy Spanabel Emery’s A History of the Paper Pattern Industry, a fascinating study of the development of sewing patterns. Usual rules on book-reading goals! And… I finished and archived this already, too.
  • /changepasswords - I’m going through my password manager and making sure my passwords are all secure, and changing them up when they’re not or when they’re really old. It’s… gonna take a while.
  • /mischiefandmayhem - I’m testing out whether to just start a new goal for every book I start, even if I seem to be reading it really fast. So I only started this one today, but I’ve set up the goal – with the usual rules.

Changes to existing goals:

  • /treadlightly - Had to have a break put in it because my treadmill’s borked.

TaskRatchet successes:

  • Since I’m putting my MITs in TaskRatchet, there’s a lot to mention if I do all the successes… but sometimes stuff needs flagging up.
  • Like the fact that TaskRatchet got me to do one project invoice and then (a few days later, with a rather bigger penalty) another.
  • And it nudged me to do reading for my essay, and forced me to get something down on the page even though it’s really difficult.

TaskRatchet fails:

  • Invoice project 1 and project 2 (managed project 1, not project 2); fee $5.
  • Hoover office; fee $1.

Other comments:

  • My backlogs are staying under control, though I’m still grinding away on the spreadsheet backlog. But having so much feedback is a good problem to have!