Beeminder Forum

shanaqui's Beeminder Journal

Derailments:

  • /hourofcrafting – Sadly, it’s just the wrong time for this goal, I think. It’s derailed and I’m archiving it.

New goals:

  • /suggestions-backlog – A close cousin of the old confusion-backlog goal. There’s not as many here, and hopefully this will be a very short-term goal!

Changes to existing goals:

  • /nonewsisgoodnews – I actually had to retroratchet this or it would’ve given me waaaay too much leeway. Apparently I’ve got really good about this goal! Anyway, I decided I hated the big jag in the road from the ratchet, so I also edited the road. That means a bunch of my datapoints in the past are now in the red, but I don’t mind that tooo much.
  • /stavechurches – Finished and archived.

TaskRatchet Successes & Failures:

  • N/a.

Other comments:

  • Nothing major this week, I think. The 24-hour readathon helped me gain back some buffer on /hourofreading and /gameofbooks2020, yay. (Though I only read for about 5.5 hours.)
1 Like

Derailments:

  • /gbhc – I’m not having that much fun with GBHC at the moment (I’m very conscious that I can’t read music and that I’m out of practice), so I’m taking the obligation out of it. I derailed it and archived it!
  • /drinklesscoke – This was… expected. Especially when I drank three cans in one day. :grin:
  • /todoistzero – I could probably have finished this, but I didn’t want to. Meh!

New goals:

  • N/a.

Changes to existing goals:

  • /drinklesscoke – I’ve upped the rate on this a bit, since the immediate need to cut down on caffeine is gone.
  • /todoistzero – This is something I’m still struggling with a lot, as my derailment proves. I’m keeping the rate at 5/week, but I’ve put a tiny flat spot in it to help me get a bit more buffer, and the derailment helps with that too.

TaskRatchet Successes & Failures:

  • N/a.

Other comments:

  • I’m getting a bit scatterbrained and short of focus again, gah. Got to get on top of that.

Ever try caffeine-free Coke? It’s a lifesaver for me!

Once, when I first gave up Coke (for a long time; probably about 10 years)… but I don’t know, it didn’t taste right. Mind you, it’s been quite a while since then, might be worth giving it another go.

1 Like

Derailments:

  • /drinklesscoke – Yes, again. I’m gonna need to up the pledge on this, probably. One more try!
  • /water – The failure of these two goals is admittedly linked.
  • /clockoff – I only failed by 12 minutes! I genuinely did not realise I was even close! Boo.

New goals:

  • /vitd – My mother wants me to take vitamin D, and she’s a doctor, so she’s probably right.

Changes to existing goals:

  • /calories – I’ve lowered the allowance on this one because I don’t want to just be encouraged to track it now, I do actually want an upper bound.
  • /caloriedeficit – I’ve upped the deficit I need to hit, having realised it’s way lower on Beeminder than the target I’m actually trying to hit on Fitbit. I also ratcheted it, since I’d built up a lot of buffer that way!
  • /suggestions-backlog – Ended and archived, successfully!
  • /confusion-backlog – Also ended and archived, with success. Byebye, backlogs!

TaskRatchet Successes & Failures:

  • N/a.

Other comments:

  • Since I stopped budgeting for derailments, I keep forgetting to load my USD payment card in time for my payments to not just… fail. This is a pain for everyone, especially @dreev who seems to have to rescue me every time (because goodness only knows where I actually put the card). Any thoughts on a reminder system? Clearly the derailment emails aren’t doing the job, because they don’t make me think about actually paying
3 Likes

I don’t any good idea for a reminder system, unfortunately. But I do have a question about your Fitbit. A friend of mine had one and returned it because in his case it recorded “steps” when he was merely driving his car around. And it recorded quite a lot of these. Coming to think of it, there is another person who also returned their Fitbit. How is your experience with the device? Do you find the step count to be accurate? Noticed anything odd? Do you record your sleep with it, too? Can it even do that? Does the data seem plausible to you? I’m thinking about getting one, that’s why I’m so curious :slight_smile:

I think it’s… within tolerance. It does record some extra steps, but it was in general more accurate than the simple pedometer I used to use (i.e. I think the problem is common to pretty much anything that’s trying to count your steps based on tracking movement from a single point on your body). Rather than focus on the exact number of steps I get, I’m more interested in the “active minutes” (which it’s reasonably accurate about, at least once you’re active for around 10 minutes – it can be bad at detecting activity before that sort of threshold) and the general trends in step counts, calories burned, etc.

I do use it to record my sleep and it’s not bad; I can’t usually trick it by just lying still, for instance. The data usually makes sense: I don’t think there’s any good evidence that they can really track REM vs deep sleep and so on, but stuff like movement during the night is a decent rule-of-thumb proxy for depth of sleep.

So all in all, I take it with a pinch of salt, but find it broadly useful in seeing trends.

2 Likes

Derailments:

  • /teeth – And headed for another if I can’t get back into my routine! Grr.

New goals:

  • /genomicsera – For the FutureLearn course on genetics in medicine. Though it’s already annoyed me by asserting that “COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2” are both names for the virus. (No: SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the virus; COVID-19 is in fact the name of the syndrome it causes. Like the difference between HIV and AIDs. They’re inextricably linked, you can’t have COVID-19 if you aren’t infected with SARS-CoV-2, but that doesn’t mean COVID-19 is the name of the virus. I expect a little accuracy from a course supposedly teaching science…)

Changes to existing goals:

TaskRatchet Successes & Failures:

  • Added task: Write personal statement for MSc application.
  • Added task: Request transcript for MSc application.

Other comments:

  • I think that’s it for this week!
2 Likes

Derailments:

  • /clockoff - I almost called not legit on this one, because I really wasn’t conscious that I was going over. But I think it might behove me to stay a bit more conscious in general.

New goals:

Changes to existing goals:

  • /understandingcbt - Course finished, graph complete, archived!
  • /quickbooks - Put a bit of extra break in, so it’ll be due after all my payments have come in

TaskRatchet Successes & Failures:

  • Completed: Request transcript for application.
  • Completed: Write personal statement.
  • New: Pick reference images for art commission.

Other comments:

  • Nothing else this week, I think.
2 Likes

Derailments:

  • /drinklesscoke - I just really wanted a nice cold coke after a thirsty walk. Bah.
  • /hourofreading - I wanted to watch the Great British Sewing Bee instead, so I did.

New goals:

  • /taskratchet - Trying out the integration, trying to make sure I remember to use Taskratchet! Conservative rate and lots of leeway at the start for now.

Changes to existing goals:

  • A bunch of my goals got breaks added, either by support (with my wife vouching for me that they were necessary) or by me to kick in later. I derailed on my reading goal; for me, that’s a serious sign that something isn’t right. So, working on that!

TaskRatchet Successes & Failures:

  • Completed: Pick reference images for art.
  • Added: Write to [old penpal].

Other comments:

  • I’m having a lot of trouble focusing at the moment. It’s probably partly the meds and partly anxiety. I’ve also come up in a rash under where my Fitbit sits! Steroid cream and no Fitbit it is (since I’ve also got lesions on my right hand/wrist from a fatal combo of eczema and compulsive skin-picking). I’m trying to be good to myself about this; it’s not being lazy, it’s not knowing I need to do stuff and just not doing it, but a lack of ability to keep my attention on the right things and remember consciously that there’s stuff that needs to be done.
1 Like

Derailments:

  • /water - I didn’t realise I was derailing on that day and then boom!

New goals:

Changes to existing goals:

  • Archived or archiving: /meta_nothungry and /meta_fastfood, /nothungry itself, /rescuetime, /drinklesscoke, /protein, /nailbiting, /checkin, /tabzeroes, /inboxzeroes, /sleep, /water, /statsupdate, /getmoving, /engage… this might not be all of them. Basically, I’m feeling burnt out and some of these goals are proving unhealthy, and others are just so routine that data-entry is actually more difficult than doing the thing!
  • Example of the above: /sleep has been archived because the result was me stressing out about sleep and I already have another goal which approaches the same problem better, /sleeptown. Sleeptown is an app where you create a town by building things overnight… as long as you don’t exit the app. So it’s been enforcing my sleep hygiene and is doing way better than the /sleep goal, which was just driving me loopy with annoyance when I felt well-rested and happy, and Fitbit insisted I’d barely slept.
  • Another example: /nailbiting has proven so successful that I don’t think I will ever derail. My biggest problem is remembering to enter the data. One of the things I’m doing now is trying to touch every goal every day, which means I am entering the data… but this goal essentially clutters up my list and makes data entry that much more difficult.
  • Example the third: /water is supposed to make me drink more water by being hooked into my water consumption in Fitbit. Problem is, measuring that accurately bothers me because I am obsessive, and I’ve been reluctant to refill the bottle with fresher colder water on hot days because then how much did I actually drink??? I don’t want to get into measuring it. I’m just going to create a new goal for simply filling up the water bottle and having it on hand. Aaand done!
  • I’m not going to go through the whole lot here, but I’ve talked them over and experimented a bit and realised… these goals were getting in my way instead of helping, or turning fun things into chores. Beeminder’s supposed to make me more awesome, not more frustrated and definitely not burnt out. Clearly things weren’t working.
  • Almost all my goals have a week of flat coming up. Some of them will need to be trimmed a bit over time, but I just need some space to figure out a new routine.

TaskRatchet Successes & Failures:

  • Completed: Write to [old penpal].
  • Added: Write Poke2 review.

Other comments:

  • I have 54 Beeminder goals, even after weeding out all those goals mentioned above.
  • I’m feeling a little burnt out and I’m not sure how to address it. Hopefully this reorganisation is the first step!
1 Like

Derailments:

  • I think I missed mentioning derailments on /gameofbooks2020 and /protein. It was just before I realised my goals were out of hand and ended up putting in tons of breaks and cancelling other goals.

New goals:

  • N/a.

Changes to existing goals:

  • I’ve put in a little more break on /sciencematters again since they’re still not uploading new material… sigh.

TaskRatchet Successes & Failures:

  • Completed: Write Poke2 review.

Other comments:

  • It’s been a quiet week, but I’m feeling about ready to get back to it!
1 Like

Derailments:

  • /weight - Not entirely sure what happened there, actually. This goal is now archived in favour of focusing on inputs.

New goals:

  • /weighingin - Behold my simplified solution. Instead of a gently-sloping weight-goal and a meta-goal for weighing in, a single goal fed from Fitbit directly that just records whether I weighed in or not. I think. This may disappear and reappear a couple of times as I tweak it.

Changes to existing goals:

  • Most of my deadlines have now moved to 5pm! Also, I’ve turned reminders off.
  • I’m going on another tear of archiving goals… I think I’ve ended up with so many goals that I literally end up with no time that isn’t scripted. Then my brain crashes and just makes unscripted time, throwing everything else off. I have a plan to think out what kinds of goals would actually meet my needs right now, and which ones are just creating obligations that I can’t really commit to meeting at the moment… and some are just sitting around cluttering up the list when I already do them on auto-pilot! So I’ve come up with three areas of focus, and each area can have up to six goals.
  • Areas of focus: I think three is a good place to start with, so I’m going to say that right now I have three aims: 1) take care of my health (including my mental health); 2) read more, enjoy it, and boost my book blog; 3) work and manage money in a sensible and sustainable way. Any goals that don’t serve these three areas are going, for now at least… though I am keeping two meta goals as well which help me use Beeminder effectively!
  • Therefore, here’s the list of goals I’m archiving! /reassurance, /nouptime, /nosetonose, /cuddleclair, /cranberry, /vitd, /mistakes, /newscientist, /nature, /bathtime, /cleanseandmoisturise, /sciencematters, /genomicsera, /iron, /mits, /upanddressed, /francais, /neatscience, /zooniverse, /housework, /dishwasher, /reviewcommitsto, /taskratchet, /weight, /weighins, /journal, /sleeptown, /teeth, /tweethappy, /waterbottle, /litsy, /littertray, /inhaler.
  • Health goals remaining: /fastfood, /bodyweight, /weighingin, /nofudge, /reachout, /gratitude.
  • Book/blog goals remaining: /breathesbooks, /gameofbooks2020, /shelfappreciation, /impulse, /hourofreading, /writethosereviews.
  • Work/money goals remaining: /bsupport, /todoistzero, /clockoff, /ynab, /quickbooks, /priory.
  • Meta goals remaining: /beemergencies, /weeklyreview.
  • If I bring new goals on board or resurrect old ones, it’s no more than one new goal per category per month. I keep thinking everything is fine every time I have two good days in a row, so I’m gonna be strict about this one. I don’t care how ready I feel!

TaskRatchet Successes & Failures:

  • Added: Catch up with reviews, fill in Habitica hours.
  • Completed: Catch up with reviews, fill in Habitica hours.

Other comments:

  • I think I’ve talked quite enough for one week…
2 Likes

Derailments:

  • /priory - Twice! I have no excuse, I was just… burnt out and struggling to keep up with everything, take #209475.
  • /ynab - I lost track of time on this one, forgetting about my new deadline. Still legit, I think; gotta learn to respect that deadline.

New goals:

  • N/a

Changes to existing goals:

  • A couple of breaks got added when I got heat exhaustion earlier this week.

TaskRatchet Successes & Failures:

  • Added: catch up with entering reading stats, write weekly roundup post for the blog, comment on other people’s roundups, reply to all blog comments.
  • Completed: n/a.

Other comments:

  • I’m not even going to try to guess whether I’m doing better, but I know I have a plan to catch up with things?
1 Like

Derailments:

  • /bodyweight - Behold, I was lazy (and that week of buffer sounded good).

New goals:

  • I said I’d only resurrect one goal per category (health, reading/blog, work) per month; I’m invoking that to bring back /teeth, because I have completely lost my habit of cleaning my teeth in the morning. I actually had to work really really hard to get cleaning my teeth in the evening to be the habit it is now, where I don’t even have to think about it, and somehow I’ve never yet got there with brushing my teeth in the morning. With the Beeminder goal, I cleaned my teeth in the morning more days than not, even if it was a goal I struggled with, and I need that – especially since I am due dental work but my dentist is not yet planning to reopen.

Changes to existing goals:

  • I tweaked my deadlines back to 19:30 so that they realistically end at the end of my working day. I’d like that to be 5pm, but with timezones, my meetings end up being later.

TaskRatchet Successes & Failures:

  • Quite a few days this week, I’ve been selecting three neglected/backlog tasks a day to add to Taskratchet and post on Twitter to make myself do the thing. It’s worked pretty well!
  • Added: Wash hair, order packaging, put dogfood emails in the spreadsheet, submit MSc application, write item strings, find or re-confirm everyone’s addresses, pick two patterns and order the floss, prep parcels for shipping, prep Kindle to sell, catch up on suggestion emails.
  • Completed: Catch up with entering reading stats, write weekly roundup post for the blog, comment on other people’s roundups, reply to all blog comments, wash hair, order packaging, put dogfood emails in the spreadsheet, submit MSc application, write item strings, find or re-confirm everyone’s addresses, pick two patterns and order the floss, prep parcels for shipping, prep Kindle to sell, catch up on suggestion emails.
  • Failed: N/a!

Other comments:

  • I’m thinking of actually moving all my deadlines back to midnight. Having most of them at 5pm but some autodata ones at midnight is messing up my flow; having my deadlines earlier was helpful in some ways, but I don’t think it’s the net benefit I hoped for.
1 Like

Derailments:

New goals:

  • NB: No new health category goals allowed until Aug 6 at the earliest.
  • New reading/blog category goal: /graceofkings - So I’ll actually finally read Ken Liu’s The Grace of Kings in time for my book club! It’s working well for The Priory of the Orange Tree, but this road is a bit steeper… so I’m not sure how well my brain will respond.
  • New work/financial category goal: /earning - There’s probably a graceful way to automate this, but I’m not bothering. At the end of the day, once I’ve clocked off, I’m going to put in a rough estimate of what I’ve earned that day. I’ve calculated roughly what I need to earn per day to cover all my savings goals and obligations, plus some spending money. This way, I can see very clearly whether I’m earning enough. In theory, this will hopefully encourage me to take some time off once the needs are taken care of, instead of looking purely at hours worked (which isn’t a great metric, because if I work for [client #1] I’m way better off than if I’ve spent the same time working for [client #2] or [client #3]).

Changes to existing goals:

  • /breathesbooks - I’ve turned up the rate on this because I was gaining a lot of safety buffer. Actually, it should probably go up a bit higher, but we’ll see. (It covers doing posts for linkups like Top Ten Tuesday, What Are You Reading Wednesday and Stacking the Shelves, plus about 10 minutes of commenting a day… so probably it should go up to at least two hours. But I’ll ease myself into it.)
  • /beemergencies - I’d forgotten that with many fewer goals, I’d risk beemergencies much less. I’ve ratcheted the road and lowered the allowable number of beemergencies per day. I might spin up road.beeminder.com to smooth out the past road to make it look prettier…

TaskRatchet Successes & Failures:

  • New: Inbox 50%, get Rachel’s package ready, sort out dogfood email backlog, five oldest emails, Rachel’s package take #2, make new Beeminder goals.
  • Completed: Inbox 50%, sort out dogfood email backlog, five oldest emails, make new Beeminder goals.
  • Failed: get Rachel’s package ready, Rachel’s package take #2.
  • Note on the failures: the first time was akrasia, the second was not having thought ahead… but also just not making myself sit down and start writing a letter.

Other comments:

  • I went ahead and moved my deadlines back to midnight.
2 Likes

Derailments:

  • N/a.

New goals:

  • NB: No new health category goals allowed until Aug 6 at the earliest.
  • NB: No new reading/blog category goals allowed until Aug 10 at the earliest. I may allow completing this goal and then archiving it to mean I can make another.
  • NB: No new work/financial category goals allowed until Aug 10 at the earliest.

Changes to existing goals:

TaskRatchet Successes & Failures:

  • N/a this week.

Other comments:

  • Haven’t been 100% well this week and it kinda shows. I’m trying not to let things slip again! I have been reading a lot more, though, and I’m pleased so far with the effects of the /earning goal; I think it’s doing what I wanted it to.
1 Like

Derailments:

  • /bodyweight - I tweaked something in my neck, and I’m currently taking antibiotics and just generally not feeling quite up to things… but if I’d paid attention to this goal sooner I’d have been fine, so I’ve called it legit.
  • /graceofkings - Just couldn’t settle down to read for anxiety-reasons, and decided to let it go.

New goals:

  • NB: No new health category goals allowed until Aug 6 at the earliest.
  • NB: No new reading/blog category goals allowed until Aug 10 at the earliest. I may allow completing this goal and then archiving it.
  • NB: No new work/financial category goals allowed until Aug 10 at the earliest.

Changes to existing goals:

  • N/a.

TaskRatchet Successes & Failures:

  • New Tasks: check GmailZero help doc wording, wash hair with newfangled products, register all postcrossing postcards, call surgery for test results.
  • Completed: check GmailZero help doc wording, wash hair with newfangled products, register all postcrossing postcards, call surgery for test results.
  • Failed: N/a.

Other comments:

  • I am really, really tempted to make new goals for finishing two other books (in addition to the /graceofkings goal). I mustn’t! If I finish The Grace of Kings, I can start another book club book… but not until!
2 Likes

Derailments:

  • I derailed on a couple of goals while my wife was ill, but I called not-legit on all of them.

New goals:

  • NB: No new health category goals allowed until Aug 6 at the earliest.
  • NB: No new reading/blog category goals allowed until Aug 10 at the earliest. I may allow completing this goal and then archiving it.
  • NB: No new work/financial category goals allowed until Aug 10 at the earliest.

Changes to existing goals:

  • N/a.

TaskRatchet Successes & Failures:

  • New Tasks: Set up new phone, clean bathroom, weekly roundup post, 10 minute tidy, tidy office, disinfect kitchen, write shopping list.
  • Completed: Set up new phone, clean bathroom, weekly roundup post, 10 minute tidy, tidy office, disinfect kitchen, write shopping list.
  • Failed: N/a.

Other comments:

  • What a week. Whew. I didn’t complete my goal for reading The Grace of Kings, I didn’t even get to start a different book club goal… I’m surprised I clung on as long as I did, actually.
  • I really want/need to resurrect my inhaler goal next.
1 Like

Derailments:

  • /fastfood – Lisa just got over being ill, how could I say no? :slight_smile:

New goals:

  • /waterbalance – It was really hard to pick what health goal to add this month, because I could’ve used both a medication goal and a water goal. In the end I decided this was a better bet, since I have other systems for reminding me to take my medication. I need to add a net of +1 per day; I get +2 for a bottle of water drunk, and -1 for a glass of pepsi/coke.
  • /bc-longway – This counts as a direct replacement for the book club goal I ended up archiving. I wish I’d kept it, actually, as I still haven’t finished that book… if I haven’t by next week, I’ll make that my new reading/blog category goal. Anyway, this goal is to finish rereading The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers by the end of the month. Should be easy-peasy.
  • NB: No new reading/blog category goals allowed until Aug 10 at the earliest.
  • NB: No new work/financial category goals allowed until Aug 10 at the earliest.

Changes to existing goals:

  • /beemergencies – I was building up a lot of buffer on this one, so I set an auto-ratchet and also lowered the allowed rate again to one beemergency per day!
  • /impulse – I am struggling with whether this goal is actually working. At the moment, I haven’t been counting gifts bought for me, preorders, or purchases made using book vouchers… and I think it’s defeating the point. I still don’t really want to disincentivise preordering, as it’s so important for authors, and obviously I can’t control gifts… but purchases made with book vouchers will now count. However, I don’t think the format of the goal is actually working either; I’m aiming toward one book a week, purchased on the specific day, and having a do-more goal isn’t limiting me in the right way. I’ve set up an archive on this goal; I think I’ll try a do-less goal instead.

TaskRatchet Successes & Failures:

  • New Tasks: N/a.
  • Completed: N/a.
  • Failed: N/a.

Other comments:

  • I’m feeling pretty good about my Beeminder life at the moment. Things always feel manageable, without being so safe I don’t think I’ll ever derail.
2 Likes