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shanaqui's Beeminder Journal

Derailments: /sleeptown, again, because my wife didn’t want to go to bed when I first asked, and then I started reading and lost track of everything… Also /nanowrimo2019, twice, because I just didn’t wanna.

New goals: /dishwasher. My wife has to fill it with dirty plates: I have to empty it when they’re clean. Also /malariax, because I’m doing an EdX course and it claims I need to put in a minimum of 3 hours a week for eight weeks to finish. I’m doubtful, both because of prior knowledge and because of my reading speed, but whatever, consistent work at that rate will either get me finished on time, or let me finish early. And I get to infodump excitedly at my wife about malaria*.

Changes to existing goals: Someone had to wiggle my road for /nanowrimo2019 around because it has no-mercy rerails, but this led to it wanting three days of progress in a single day. Also, somehow the final deadline was set to 29th November, not 30th.

I also need some breaks because I’m away next weekend, so I’ll go put 2-3 days break in on the following goals (too late to work for the weekend, but good for catching up): housework, tabzeroes, dishwasher, iron, writethosereviews, littertray, inboxzeroes, journal, bookbed, rescuetime, malariax. Hopefully I won’t need to ask Jon to fix any of those if they derail because I was late with my breaks!

TaskRatchet Fails: N/a.

Other comments: I’m running off to answer your support emails and then throw myself back into crocheting colourwork for this hat. Need to be wearing a hat with dragons on for the Wales game!


* Consensual infodumping. Apparently I’m cute when I enthusiastically explain what I’m learning. This has been so since I explained dróttkvætt to her like it was essential knowledge, during my first second year of university**, or possibly sooner.
** I have had three first years of university, two second years, and two third years. My first MA was completed in a single year. So if you’re thinking, “wait, wasn’t shanaqui a biologist, why did they specialise in Old Norse poetry?”*** – well, fear not, you are correct! I am however also a medievalist.
*** Please do not try sending support requests in Old Norse, I’ve forgotten most of what I knew**** – it’s been most of a decade, have mercy!
**** I’m just embracing the footnotes at this point.

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Derailments: N/a.

New goals: /hourofcrafting and /hourofreading. Both of these are designed to make me do an hour of the activity per day. The crafting goal is tentatively going to stay no matter what, but for the /hourofreading goal I actually weaselproofed it so I could set it to archive right from the start. If it turns out to be yet another reading goal that just makes reading feel like work, then I’ll let it archive in seven days. If not, I’ll cancel the archive. And, uh, email to have Jon remove the weaselproofing in seven days’ time.

I have to admit that /hourofcrafting is going much better than /hourofreading, to which I have not added a single solitary minute even though it has existed for two days. Which is why I made the goal, really; I’m not reading much, and I “scientifically” proved at one point that for me, more reading correlates strongly with higher mood. I’ve been feeling worn down, therefore… However, if you’ve been following my Beeminder progress you may know that I always find myself archiving reading goals after brief initial successes.

So we’ll see what happens. /hourofcrafting happens to be successful at the moment because I really, really want to make this goshdarn hat so I have a hat with dragons on it for the rugby on Saturday. Also I have pretty projects I want to get to.

Changes to existing goals: I added a max safety buffer to my /activeminutes goal, since I think I intended that ages ago, and removed a bunch of safety buffer as well. I actually went through the road matrix and deleted old road changes as well, just for a nicer-looking graph.

TaskRatchet Fails: N/a.

Other comments: The review is early this week because I’ll be away tomorrow through Monday, and I keep my notes on my desktop.

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Derailments: /hourofreading derailed and was restarted, still at $0. Working out the kinks with whether this goal even works, first.

New goals: I briefly had a goal for finishing a crocheted Christmas present for my sister, but have decided on balance that it isn’t working and wouldn’t look right, so have abandoned the project. So that goal came and went in between reviews!

Changes to existing goals: I’m archiving my bookblanket goal for now. Obviously I still want to finish the blanket, but I have been asked for several crocheted things for Christmas, and I badly need to get into gear on that!

TaskRatchet Fails: N/a.

Other comments: I’ve been pretty overwhelmed lately but I think I’m starting to claw it back. So yay!

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Derailments: /hourofreading and /writethosereviews. These only derailed because I forgot about my new 10pm deadlines (more below on that), but I decided to let it stand because otherwise I’ll never learn. I did also derail on /housework, but called not legit on this one because it happened right after I made the change. /mits derailed on election night, and I called not legit on that because election night was just so unrelentingly horrible.

New goals: N/a.

Changes to existing goals: I forgot to mention last week that I was changing the bulk of my deadlines to 10pm. So far it’s… mixed results; I’m still adjusting my brain to the idea. I’m not sure if 10pm works for me; it just doesn’t seem to intuitively feel like a deadline time for me. The last couple of days I have been getting back on top of it, though! It probably didn’t help that I was edgeskating on a few goals instead of keeping them out of beemergency as I prefer. Some more thoughts in a different thread.

TaskRatchet Fails: N/a.

Other comments: Welp. This week was certainly a week. I’m falling a bit behind my goals as a result of combined worry and busyness with helping other people. If I do start volunteering again as I’m hoping to, I might have to reduce some of my goals… but we’ll see what happens when I hear back from the foodbank I’ve contacted.

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Derailments: /hourofreading went. Something has actually flipped in my head and this goal is working for me, but I missed this one because I spent most of that evening playing Jurassic World Evolution, and didn’t stay aware of the time. Whoops.

New goals: N/a, because it’ll be too fiddly to set up a goal to finish this blanket in two days, but oh gosh I need to.

Changes to existing goals: I celebrate Christmas, so a good chunk of my goals now have two-day breaks for Christmas Day and Boxing Day (my wife’s birthday!).

TaskRatchet Fails: N/a.

Other comments: I’m actually starting to really like my 10pm deadlines, after struggling with them at first. They’re really helping to encourage me out of beemergency mode. I think I’m going to look over my tagging, create a dashboard of the goals that need to be updated daily, and then turn off all my autoratchets. Adam’s probably going to get me set up with an ‘urgency load’ goal like his, and and that will provide an extra kick in the butt… and I’ll slowly move the deadlines earlier. Not sure about 5pm, but I’m usually done with work by 6pm at the latest, so I might make 6:30pm my deadline. In the end! Not yet.

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NOTE: This post contains health details! I do not particularly want advice on these. You may also not enjoy me being frank about it (though it’s not like I’m giving the gory details). You’ve been warned!

Derailments:

  • I think I derailed on /fastfood this week? So there’s that. Wife felt like baking so the oven was busy, and I don’t have a better excuse. :joy:

New goals:

  • /cranberry, because I’m back to getting frequent UTIs, and various things in cranberries are supposed to help. I don’t love cranberry juice (though the Ocean Spray Whole Berries one is surprisingly bearable for me!) so I have bought cranberry pills instead. There isn’t good data on whether cranberries do really help with cystitis, either chronic or acute, but the NHS do actually include the suggestion about cranberry juice so… worth a try. Maybe drinking cranberry juice helps most because of the hydration, though, or even placebo effect, in which case the pills are pointless. I can but try, however.
  • For the same reason and because caffeine can irritate the bladder, /drinklesscoke was born, allowing me three glasses of coke a week but no more. My dentist will be pleased too.

Changes to existing goals:

  • I’ve turned off the autoratchet on most of my daily goals so I can start working toward never being in beemergency mode. I haven’t set up an urgency load thing with @adamwolf yet, but hopefully soon!
  • I’ve scooched my deadlines back to 9pm now.
  • I’ve increased my /water goal to 750ml a day – which is still a tiny little step, but tiny steps still get you places. You can guess why I have done this from previous comments in this post, methinks.
  • Finally, I’ve increased my /bathtime goal to 2/week, because it turns out that hot baths in the middle of the day are potentially helpful for people with depression not just because you pamper yourself or whatever, but because it helps to regulate your body temperature (often lower than average in people with depression), and in turn that helps to regulate your circadian rhythm and help you get better sleep [1]. It mostly sounds like a good excuse for a bath with a book, to me, but it’s also worth trying for my issues with sleeping!

TaskRatchet Fails:

  • N/a.

Other comments:

  • Reminder that I do not want health advice; I have trimethoprim and plenty of coping mechanisms for cystitis which are actually recommended by a doctor.

[1] Naumann, J., Sadaghiani, C., Kruza, I., Denkel, L., Kienle, G. and Huber, R. (2018). Effects and Feasibility of Hyperthermic Baths for Patients with Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Pilot Trial.

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I just keep two-three bottles of water on my desk when I am studying & take a sip every 15-20 minutes. Although, I am a little worried about drinking too much water too. I read article saying that too much water in the long run can cause harm too.

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The only problem with drinking too much water that I know of (as someone who has studied human biology) is drinking too much water in a short period of time. (I.e. it doesn’t cause damage in the long run to drink a few litres of water a day; if it happens, it causes immediate damage, though I suppose low levels of damage could accumulate over time.)

It’s called hyponatremia, and it happens because as your kidneys are overloaded processing the water, you’ve essentially diluted your blood and the levels of sodium in your bloodsteam are really low. The body needs sodium to function. This is why athletes who need to drink a lot because they’re sweating a lot should drink water with electrolytes added.

Healthy kidneys can process about a liter of water per hour, so unless you are literally chugging a liter of water an hour, your kidneys can most likely keep up. The body is also pretty good about signalling an urgent stop to this kind of thing – it starts to make you feel sick and you really don’t want the water.

Most people drink less than they safely could; it’s less clear whether people are necessarily drinking less than they should. Obviously, the most important things to listen to rather than guidance on the internet are 1) your body, which normally gives pretty clear signals about thirst or the lack of it (if your sense of thirst is bad like mine, you can use the colour of your urine as a measure: it should be transparent yellow or straw-coloured, and never clear), and 2) a doctor, especially if for example you have any kidney damage.

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Thanks.

This goes very well with this nicely researched paper from 2002:

“Drink at least eight glasses of water a day.” Really? Is there scientific evidence for “8 x 􏰀8”?

https://www.physiology.org/doi/pdf/10.1152/ajpregu.00365.2002

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Derailments:

  • Due to illness: /protein, /housework, /sleeptown – I didn’t have the energy to keep up with tracking my food intake properly, plus I wasn’t eating properly anyway. Trying to do housework would’ve just been silly. Finally, Sleeptown locks your screen overnight during set hours, but I needed to take my meds at certain times which didn’t work well with it.
  • Due to Fitbit messing up: /caloriedeficit – I’m weaselproofed, so I provided screenshots plus my wife vouched for me. In summary: Fitbit claimed I ate three times the number of calories I actually did because it duplicated my single guesstimate entry twice. We know for sure I didn’t eat that many calories because I could barely eat that day!

New goals:

  • /gameofbooks2020 – It’s here! You can read about the rules here if you’re interested – basically it’s a points-based system of meeting various non-numerical reading goals like targeting enjoyment.
  • /tbrcleanup – I have a shiny new spreadsheet for 2020 documentation, courtesy of Reader Voracious, and it’s prompted me to import my TBR… and sort through it for what I still actually plan to read.

Changes to existing goals:

  • I got a few breaks due to the aforementioned illness. Turns out trimethoprim is a great antibiotic but makes me very, very sick… and I deal very poorly with that due to medical trauma. :scream:
  • I readjusted my /water goal because 750ml is an awkward number to meet and I was slipping behind. It’s now 4.5 liters per week, which means 750ml six times a week, or most days with 500ml and two with a full liter. Since I want to actually start gaining on my goals, hopefully that will lead to me drinking a liter more days than not.

TaskRatchet Fails:

  • N/a.

Other comments:

  • I stopped work on the bookblanket in December because I had a lot of other stuff to do, but now it’s time to figure out how to get that finished. It’s going to be pretty long! All the better to snuggle under, I guess. Anyway, first I need to figure out how many more motifs need to be made and how many need to be joined, and then make goals accordingly.
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Derailments:

  • N/a, though /mits came close when I stupidly forgot

New goals:

  • /bookblanket_catchup is back! I have 27 new motifs to make. I’ve set this fairly conservatively so I can take my time; I already have 16 to join, and some ends to tuck in. I suspect I’ll make some progress once Good Omens is on the BBC, as we’re going to rewatch it then and it’s familiar enough I can get plenty done.

Changes to existing goals:

  • I actually deleted /tbrcleanup, because I decided to do things differently. I’m re-entering all the books I want to keep by hand…
  • So I’ve created /recatalogue. I have roughly 36 shelves worth of books in our flat; I’m going to go through, cull and re-enter the books I’m going to keep at a rate of one shelf a day. In theory. Two shelves down, many more to go. I culled roughly half of the books on my history non-fiction shelves, but they were quite out of date for my current interests (tons of Tudor stuff, for example).

TaskRatchet Fails:

  • N/a. In fact, I added one for something I’d been procrastinating on and promptly completed that the next day. Such motivational power!

Other comments:

  • I am thinking I definitely need to recalibrate various things if I keep working this much. Also, my taxes are going to be a pain, and I swear if I ever get a real job it will be so I can stop filing my own taxes and just have them done automatically via PAYE. I should possibly beemind doing my accounts each month, too. Bah.
  • My hourofreading goal may have broken the curse whereby beeminding reading never works for me (aside from Game of Books, which is rather abstract). I’m not counting my chickens, because I’ve had reading goals that worked for a month or two before, but I do think it’s suggestive that I struggled to start with, but am now quickly gaining safety buffer.
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Derailments:

  • N/a, somehow? I’m creeping up on them for several goals, but keep evading by the very skin of my teeth.

New goals:

  • /cleanseandmoisturise, because my wife’s doing it, it’s easy enough, and ah, hell, my face could probably use it, even if my scars are always going to doom me to an uneven skintone.

Changes to existing goals:

  • /malariax was archived, because I completed the course. (With a final mark of 92%, thanks Beeminder!)
  • I’ve upped the weekly rate on /bsupport, since I’ve been doing more than that most of the time for months and months, oops.

TaskRatchet Successes & Failures:

  • Successes: doing linguist tier-ups for Habitica, doing my timesheet for one of my employers.
  • Failures: none.

Other comments:

  • On scars, above: I have dermatillomania (aka skin excoriation disorder, aka compulsive skin picking), I don’t really want to talk about it (unless you need advice about how I have got it under control, in which case I will be happy to chat, but have no magic bullets). And no, thank you, I don’t want to hear about your miraculous scar treatments, sorry!
  • An odd one to thank Beeminder for, but I think my goals to daily spend a significant amount of time hanging out with each of my three bunnies is bearing fruit. Hulk has always been happy to groom me and even lick my face, but only when on the ground – unlike Eclair and Biscuit, who are sometimes more eager to groom me than to get their own pettings and cuddles! It’s a sign of affection for a bun, so I’m surprised and honoured to announce that at nearly nine years old, Hulk has suddenly started grooming me while I’m holding her.
  • I need to make goals for reading Nature and New Scientist. Let this be my reminder to email @narthur and add that to my TaskRatchet list if I haven’t done it by the end of today!
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Derailments:

  • /dishwasher, because… I was just coasting along assuming it was empty. It might’ve been, I don’t know, but I didn’t check. So I derailed myself.
  • /inhaler. I’m not actually positive this did derail, but I was being really bad at taking it, so frankly I was glad to see the extra leeway.
  • /neatscience. I could’ve called an exception for mental health, to be honest, but again, I wanted the buffer.

New goals:

  • /nature and /newscientist are go! They’re both weekly publications, so they both have a rate of 1/week.

Changes to existing goals:

  • /craftathon got archived as I get too fidgety to really sit for long periods unless I have something I have to finish by a deadline!
  • /crafttogether is archiving because it just gets fulfilled by us going to a knit and natter group, and I don’t have much time spare to do more than that.

TaskRatchet Successes & Failures:

  • Successes: Taking notes for an appointment, making /nature and /newscientist goals.
  • Failures: N/a.

Other comments:

  • I’m really struggling at the moment, to be honest. My working hours (not just for Beeminder – I contract for two other companies) have gone up, and I’m finding it hard to strike the balance again. I think it can be done, but I’m not there yet. It doesn’t help that my brain has decided good news simply means the other shoe is due to drop.
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Derailments:

  • N/a.

New goals:

  • /zooniverse: because I joined a challenge for doing Zooniverse stuff, on Habitica, but keep forgetting to do it daily.

Changes to existing goals:

  • There’s now a break in /bookblanket_catchup so I can finish making a thing for my mother.

TaskRatchet Successes & Failures:

  • N/a.

Other comments:

  • A fairly boring week in the Nikki-verse, as far as my goals go. I’ve been working on getting ahead on my goals; I now have a #daily tag which filters my dashboard down to goals where I could/should put data in every day, and by sorting that to see what’s getting neglected, I’ve been carefully adding to my safety buffer. Of course I lost some of that ground today by having a relaxed day, but it’s the Six Nations and Wales played Italy today to start, so it felt like a good opportunity for a day off. (If not really a day off, since I did work for five hours!)
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Derailments:

  • /teeth, but only as a test, so it was cancelled.

New goals:

  • /confusion_backlog: when I have spare time in my support inbox slots, I work on categorising things that confused people into a spreadsheet to help us see what the most common issues are. After a busy period and another project, I’m behind on these. There’s about 300 to do, so I’ve set it to 50/week to start with and immediately begun at a $5 penalty.

Changes to existing goals:

  • /writethosereviews has been converted to a 6/week goal where I just +1 if I’m on track with writing my reviews. This lets me build up safety buffer/occasionally have a day off.
  • /recatalogue is done with and will now archive! I do have books left at my parents’ house which I’ll need to slowly check through and add or donate, but of all the books in my flat, 331 made the cut. The TBR started at 1,250, though that figure includes ebooks and the books at my parents’ house.

TaskRatchet Successes & Failures:

  • N/a.

Other comments:

  • I’ll admit I have done basically nothing today because Wales lost versus Ireland in the Six Nations, and while we can still win the tournament, we can’t win the Triple Crown or the Grand Slam. I just… I need a minute here. At least the English can’t win the Grand Slam either…
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Derailments:

  • /inhaler, because… I’m just really bad at remembering to take it.

New goals:

  • /quickbooks, because I’m tired of the arcane guesswork that is working out what I should be saving to pay my taxes for myself. I’ve said this before and I say it again: if I ever quit my various contracts, it’ll be to take employment with a UK company that will sort out my taxes for me via PAYE.

Changes to existing goals:

  • Had to get an extension on /iron because I ran out of tablets.

TaskRatchet Successes & Failures:

  • N/a.

Other comments:

  • Using Slack reminders is no longer helping with remembering to take my inhaler at the right times, but on the other hand, filling my water bottle has become an independent habit. I think I might just have to split off my inhaler goal into /morninginhaler and /eveninginhaler, stupid as that is. Unless anyone has any other ideas!
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Silly obvious suggestions: Where do you keep your inhaler? Is it possible to place it somewhere so that it’d be the first thing you see when you wake up and the last thing you see before you go to bed?–Like leaving it on your pillow? Or place it beside something, like a toothbrush so it coincides with another task?

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I’ve tried by the toothbrush, but that didn’t help because brushing my teeth in the morning is also something I forget. :scream: Mind you, I’m better with that now (thanks beeminder) so maybe it’s worth another try. (Right now it was beside my keyboard, and my reminder was timed for after the start of work, so that in theory I’d get the reminder and it’d be right there ready to take. It worked for a while…)

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You just inspired me to write this down: Life Pro Tip: Plan To Forget

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