Beeminder Forum

The Zed Sched Fire Trial: I take Mary's scheduling challenge!

That’s a really smart idea, thank you! I don’t think I would have thought of that. That basically solves everything! I’ll make a separate folder for derails, so as not to clutter my inbox, and then archive in groups of 10 each time I pay.

I always love your Beeminder comments, by the way!

Still a little confused about this - I’m not using do-less goals. How were you envisioning them working? Can you make them total vs. per-day with the cumulative setting?

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Here is the complete list of my goals, descriptions, start and end times, reminders, and deadlines!

As a random aside, it was a pain to get Excel to do the times how I wanted them (in the 12 hour format, as Chronos intended, and without the AM/PM indicators). For some reason, without the AM/PM indicator in the format setting, Excel wants to put time in the horrid, painfully ugly, and difficult-to-think-with “military time” format (24 hour).

I finally found this suggestion to modify the format string to put the AM/PM indicator on the second line:

This was just what I was looking for!

Just wanted to rant about how much I hate the 24 hour time format!


Ok I thought of an easier way to do this, so I’m changing how I do payment goals.

Instead of having four $5 payment goals and having to enter data every day so they don’t derail, I’m going to use a do-less goal, so I only get charged when I enter data. It’s called “chargeme.”

Then, I set up an IFTTT applet so every time I enter data in the “chargeme” goal, I’ll get charged. The minimum amount I can charge through IFTTT is $1 (a limitation of Beeminder’s payment processor), so I only have to enter a datapoint in the “chargeme” goal for every two derailments.

I’m going to use your suggestion and keep track with an email folder. Every derailment email will be moved to a “Zed Sched Fire Trial Derailment” folder. Then whenever I enter a datapoint in the “chargeme” goal I’ll archive two emails from the folder.

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The project officially starts in one day and 11 hours! I’m excited for this!

Here’s the revised version of my schedule, with all break times and everything included:

As always, feel free to ask about anything, make suggestions, or flame me! :wink: :fire:

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Changing disjunct (g) again:

  • g) transition/recordkeeping issues, such as: needing to realign/adjust records; my 30 day period has ended and I’m reevaluating, reorganizing, figuring out what comes next, or trying something new; or similar issues.

I printed out the schedule for myself as a “cheat sheet” along with the codes I’m using. It has a reminder to myself that:

I only have to start each task! I can just do 1 minute on it!

(Aside: wow, that was cool - I can just use the snipping tool and then hit ctrl-V and it pastes it in here - no need to save and upload!)

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And here’s how my phone homescreen looks with the new payment system:

Ha, glad to be of help! And good luck! Keep us posted; I’m personally interested in how it works out after the 30 day challenge ends, and how much longer-term effect there may be.

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Yeah, me too!

That’s why I have disjunct G in there, which allows me to take a break after the 30 days without having to have the goals end - I can just keep entering data and coding it G. That way I can just start again when I’m ready, without having to restart 39 goals lol.

I think I’ll take some time after to regroup and review before starting the next round, and see how I want to modify the schedule. There are a couple new things I am thinking of adding, and I may want to reorder something.

I was thinking about some numbers…

There are 37 daily tasks for 30 days, so that’s 1110 things I am committing to at least starting for 1 minute!

If I do them all for 1 minute, that’s 18.5 hours of work - not bad! And if I can do each for an average of 5 minutes, that takes me to 92.5 hours!

I have 695 minutes blocked out for the 37 tasks, or more than 11.5 hours a day, for an average of almost 19 minutes per task. If I can do the tasks for 50% of the designated time, that’s over 5.75 hours a day, or 173.75 hours total!

With 50 cents at stake for each goal, I am staking a total of $555, or $18.50 a day, not counting the $270 penalties!


I find this insight worth reinforcing. I have done many retreats and the more intense ones have a schedule that starts at 6 AM with dynamic meditation and end at 11 PM with stretching over multiple days. During these retreats it never occurred to me to skip an exercise or go to bed early. You simply follow the structure without thinking about it.

Good luck with this challenge!

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Very exciting - 12 hours till my first task starts (setting an alarm tonight!)

What retreat was this? Sounds interesting. That would not work for me because it would not be enough sleep.

Yeah, and I’m hoping that I can do this now that it’s a new year!!

Project officially starts!!

So tomorrow is Day 1 and I just got my first two reminders for the first two tasks!

Tomorrow is a difficult day to start this thing, since I have a bunch of things all due tomorrow. I tried to set myself up for success and do some prep work - did all my dishes and laundry so they’re not in the way, and did some work on one of the projects due tomorrow, finishing a draft.

But even so, I am going to need to spend a LOT of the day tomorrow working, and less time on my other goals. I plan to just do a minute or two on most - which is totally allowed! Very legal & very cool!

The first two goals of each day are actually due the night before - setting my alarm and locking up my phone. (I had to do it this way because Beeminder doesn’t really get weekends - it thinks Friday night is not a weekend and Sunday night is!) So I just did those! The project is off to a good start.

So my alarm is set for insanely early (8:30) and I have to stand up, take a shower and bath, go outside, and lift, all first thing! Excited to get back into lifting!

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I have done a couple of different retreats over the years. The ones I enjoyed were:

  • Vipassana retreats are relatively intense because you meditate for about 8 hours a day.
  • In the US, I enjoyed the retreats by Eli Buren. His retreats are relatively relaxed.
  • The best retreats I have done were guided by a German coach (in German). I can share the details via PM if you can speak German and are interested.

I feel you. I struggle a lot if I don’t get enough sleep, but I have also made the experience that I can survive with much fewer hours of sleep for a couple of days in particular circumstances.

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I find these kinds of things very worth doing. I find it so easy to lose sight of a goal because my do-not-disturb was on or I signed out of the Beeminder app unintentionally and didn’t get the reminders or buried my phone in the back yard where it can’t be heard or seen. Having analog and additional other-app reminders for the things I want to do at the rates I want to do them powers up my Beeminder goals a lot.

Good luck! I hope it’s started out well!

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How’s it been going? I’m finding it challenging but doable despite a few obstacles and am glad I gave myself weekends off (but can still earn buffer on weekends) and that I set it up to be a “just start” (and other ease-friendly) requirements. I’m curious how it’s been going for you.


It’s been amazing! It helps me narrow my focus to the one thing I’m doing now and not think about all the others. I can’t thank you enough for this!

A key insight is that this is really developing one habit, the habit of sticking to a daily schedule, not 37. In fact, dividing the daily goal of “stay on schedule” into 37 pieces actually makes it easier.

I ended up moving my Beeminder deadlines to the start times because, as you suggested, I ended up doing things at the deadline time rather than the schedule times.


I’m really glad to hear it!! Yeah, I agree that it feels more like one habit: the habit of transitioning to starting the (right) next thing.

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