Tagtime mediated life

I posted this in beeminding tidying:

I generally adopt a principle of “If you’re not sure how to beemind something then the answer is beemind time*”. But then I’m a religious user of tagtime so this is maybe easier for me to say than for others to do.

  • Supplementary version: If you think you’re sure how to beemind something and the answer isn’t time, double check to make sure you’re really sure and maybe try also beeminding time in parallel. Beeminding time with tagtime is the best.

I thought it might be of general interest if I were to elaborate on this, as I currently track a lot with tagtime and it’s been working really well for me so far (some of these are long running things, some are recent developments, so I currently give 50% odds to burning out and killing at least 3/4s of them)

I’ve got it on a half hour ping average, and use it exclusively for do more goals.

  • Time spent on “business” related tasks (loosely “anything which is either directly part of a task someone is paying me money for or is working towards increasing the chances of someone paying me money in the future”)
  • Time spent interacting with email (reading or writing)
  • Time spent reading nonfiction (books, research papers, essays. Comments and social media don’t count, nor does non-fiction about fiction).
  • Time spent interacting with todoist (I have a long-running love/hate relationship with TODO lists despite really liking todoist, this is my latest attempt)
  • Time spent walking (this actually counts towards my exercise goal at a 1 hour = 1 unit conversion ratio)
  • Time spent working on code in some capacity
  • A few more minor experimental ones

These are mostly set in the region of 5-10 hours a week.

As well as the obvious advantage that this basically means that I can go straight from “I want to do more X” to “I’m going to do more X” with only a couple minutes of setup cost (basically the intrinsic beeminder benefits but with no real thought about how I track something because there’s a default way to do it), I’ve found this pretty helpful because tagtime gives me a natural rhythm. If a ping goes off and I’m currently day dreaming / procrastinating / whatever I find tagtime usually shunts me onto a more useful task, and the fact that I’m tracking multiple things gives me a good way to break up my day and go “OK now I have to work on Y”.

I expected the pings to be much more annoying than they are, but I’ve basically learned to just respond to the ping and immediately resume task without treating it as an interruption. Sometimes I just note that there was a ping and respond later.

Basically, I’m finding this a pretty great experience right now and I can heartily endorse giving it a try even if you’re skeptical.

If you want to see how this works in practice, I’m currently writing a (lightly censored) log of what I’m doing to score beeminder points, so you can see the tagtime results there.