phi, I only know you through your forum posts, but it sounds like you’re really frustrated with your progress on your masters project. You are even now saying it you’re progressing at less than 10% of your expected speed! Wow! That would really bum anyone out!
I don’t think anyone is arguing on the side of Beeminder having bugs. Everyone wants them gone, the founders, the support staff, anyone who uses it… but the more I read this thread, the less I think it’s actually about bugs.
One of my favorite pieces of writing about productivity is this post from Merlin Mann, “Because buying new running shoes is more fun than actually running”. I highly recommend that everyone interested in productivity or self-improvement read every single sentence.
Getting less done in 1 year than you expected in 3 weeks is quite a bit of difference! If the decimal bug would have been fixed in 1 hour, would you have made an additional month of progress? An additional week even?
Sometimes we get in over our heads, and projects start to be surrounded by indeterminate negative emotions. Instead of jumping in when you have a few minutes, we start taking on meta-projects and meta-meta projects, because they feel like making progress, and they feel good. Maybe this is switching task managers, or doing a bunch of reading, or researching the optimum sneakers to wear so you can start becoming a runner. The more we do these, the more the negative emotions around the original project grow–now it’s been two months and we’ve made no real progress! What! We signed up for a gym and bought all these exercise clothes and we still haven’t gone to the gym or lost any weight?! Now we feel even more guilty about it, and start researching therapists to see if we have an executive function disorder. There certainly can be value in reading and planning and research and self-improvement, but when it’s procrastination, it starts a pretty terrible arms race.
I used to be the absolute worst at this. I had a rough awakening sometime in my late 20s about this, and after, honestly, a few years of working on it, I felt like I was in an OK spot, and I haven’t really had any relapses of planning-as-avoidance or self-improvement-as-avoidance since then. (Now, taking-on-too-many-projects-as-avoidance is definitely something I am actively working on.)
There’s a lot of sharp people on this forum who have worked through a lot of complicated life problems using Beeminder (and other tools). Do you have a forum post where you’re looking at your progress, your expectations, what’s been tripping you up, and how to get back on track? If it’s too personal for this forum, I recommend finding someone that you can talk about it with. Having someone trusted to talk to about self-improvement stuff gives you a whole extra angle to see what’s going on, and can really level up your self-analysis and subsequent improvement. “Fish don’t know they’re wet,” and all.
Good luck! I hope you make good progress on your project, and you start to feel better about it.