Beeminder Forum

Weekends off... Am I doing this right?

If I want to do a goal with a rate of once a week but i do not want the beemergency to fall on weekends which is the option I have to follow?

  • set 0.14 daily (1/7=0.14) and enable weekends off

  • set 0.2 daily (1/5=0.2) and enable weekends off

in other words, when calculating this type of rates, should i include the weekend in the calculation?

The “Please [change your rate] to be daily (and refresh the page) before activating this. It’ll help alleviate confusion.” does not seem to help as it makes the goal easier when not having daily goals.

PD: Is there a way to calculate this in any scenario? How would you do it in a twice a month goal?

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Recap for my understanding: you want to do something once per week, excluding weekends. So that would leave M-F as viable days.

Does the exact day matter? (I.e., does it have to be Wednesday? Or can it be any of the five?) If not, then .2/day with weekends off should be fine because “weekends off” essentially removes two days (1/5 rather than 1/7).

For the quote given regarding confusion, it’s more of a mathematical problem than a human problem. It might be easier for the Beeminder backend to understand a YBR of “y = .2x + (2/7x)” (.2 per day, and give an extra +1 for each weekday). The alternative being “y = 1/7x” for a standard once-per-week goal. But with that, what would the YBR do with days off? I don’t know the answer to how it decides what to do with Beemergencies other than, “Hey man! You have [HH:MM] to do your thing!”

With that logic, you could set up your goal today (Thursday) as a weekly thing with 1 or 8 days of leeway. With 1 day of leeway, you would have until Friday to do it. With 8, you would have until next Friday. You’ll see on your graph that the red line hits 1 on the 23rd (next Friday). So all you have to do is do it by then. No “weekends off” necessary.

If you derail, there is a setting to make sure you have the appropriate leeway for the next time. In the Commitment tab, you can set “Derail Behavior” to give you 7 days of mercy. This will make it so that you don’t have to do it until the coming Friday.

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I have the answer! Option 2: 1/5 per week.

The underlying principle is that you give a daily rate and that’s the weekday rate, so your actual overall rate, after we flatten the weekends, is going to be lower than that.

So here’s how you can use that to work out which rate you want.

Short version: multiply your desired overall rate by 7/5 and give that to Beeminder (plus specifying weekends-off).

Spelled out version:

  1. You want to average 1 per week but never let that 1 be due on a weekend.
  2. So if you set a rate of 1/5 per week with weekends-off you’ll get that.
  3. Why? Because, by turning weekends-off on, you reduce your overall rate. Weekends-off effectively multiplies your rate by 5/7 by making you do something 5 out of 7 days.
  4. You want an overall rate of 1/7 per day (1 per week). So what rate should you put in such that multiplying it by 5/7 gives your desired 1/7?
  5. Answer: 1/5 because 1/5 * 5/7 = 1/7

PS: I think @brettyance is saying the same thing, in case their version is less confusing!

PPS: I confuse myself every dang time whenever this comes up for me (as a Beeminder user) so this was a really useful exercise for me; thank you for asking it!

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According to my wife, my first explanation is frequently more confusing than anything else :stuck_out_tongue:

Could the same behavior be achieved with a weekly goal as I described, or would that be the “Yes, but please don’t” way?

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If I recall, we actually don’t let you use a weekly rate (or do we just warn you not to? I forget now) when you have weekends-off, to mitigate exactly this confusion.

I think the reasoning was that if you specify the rate as a daily rate then it’s more expected that that would apply just to weekdays, ie, that the above reasoning would apply. If you specify it as a weekly rate then it’s especially ambiguous whether you’re specifying the rate before or after flattening the weekends.

Obviously it’s kind of ambiguous regardless but I don’t know how else to mitigate that confusion, other than to add a bunch of webcopy about it, which is not a great solution…

That’s why my first explanation is usually not quite good enough. lol

I was trying to conceive of a goal that didn’t need “weekends off” but rather once-a-week where the week “starts” on Saturday and ends Friday. I suppose he could get away with it by doing it on Saturday or Sunday, but it seems like that isn’t a problem.

I also imagine it might be good to have a max safety buffer of 12 days.

Ah, my original answer via email was 1/5 = 0.2, so I’m glad to see that’s the consensus. :joy:

How I work it out in general is:

  • how many days are in the period (7)
  • how many days during that period won’t be flat (e.g. 7-2=5, in a week)
  • rate per period/number of days that won’t be flat (1/5, in this case)
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Thank you all for the replies, it has been useful! :slight_smile: