Was this derailment legit?

I made a thread for all my derailments and all the times I call non-legit.

This example came up, and I wondered your thoughts on it.

The goal is to lock my phone for 40 minutes, and in that time, meditate for 12 minutes, do a stretch for 2 minutes, and choose a task to work on, and it needs to be started by 11am.

I missed this goal this morning - I had not been sleeping well for a few days due to staying up late, and I had dental surgery yesterday afternoon and had been on antibiotics for that, and was just exhausted, so I made the decision to not set an alarm and catch up on badly needed sleep.

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I would say that this would count as a derail because by choosing to not set an alarm there is an implicit acceptance that you may not wake up in time for your goals.


@cgamer1 sorry if I wasn’t clear - before going to bed I made the decision to skip the task and count it as non-legit due to the dental surgery and my general exhaustion.

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I’m with @cgamer1 — it’s the first part that counts: “before going to bed I made the decision to skip the task”. For me, part of that decision is accepting the economic consequences of prioritising sleep over productivity.

Contrast to something like “because of dental surgery and general exhaustion I slept longer than expected and so missed doing this goal, so I’m calling non-legit”. Still debatable, but crucially it’s not premeditated.

Thank you for the thought experiment. Until typing the above, I hadn’t realised how significant I think premeditation is here. In a decade of using Beeminder I can’t think of a time that I decided in advance to call a derailment not legitimate. For me, the (usually internal) legitimacy debate always occurs post-derailment.

I have on many occasions decided that I would rather pay $5 than do that task during a busy day. And I’m sure I’ve argued non-legit for tasks that I completely forgot about during an unexpectedly busy day, but that’s a slippery akrasia slope so I mostly pay up.