There are effective ways to achieve goals and miserably horrible ones. There are also a lot of studies and experience floating about.
So, what would you recommend to a newbee interested in effectively using Beeminder, getting into the Quantified Self movement and having productive strategies to achieve goals.
Also, cheesy mental tricks! I love cheesy mental tricks!
I think both the beeminder blog itself as well as the complice blog feature good starting points for what I’d call second (or third?) wave productivity, which includes a lot of hints and links, etc. vis-a-vis quantified self and behavioral economics.
Very important, as it informs a lot of discussions around productivity still is the getting things done system by David Allen. There are a lot of tools who work with this methodology in mind. If you want to see early stuff as regards to personal productivity on the internet, 43folders still is a helpful resource, even though many tools and some approaches are obsolete. Merlin Mann’s approach still is a very good example that constant reframing of the akrasia problem is very helpful. A good introduction to what has been called time boxing is the pomodoro technique.
Note taking is an important skill. Looking into the theories and practices behind successful note takers is important. A good blog for that might be Taking note. I’d suggest really looking into Niklas Luhmann’s Zettelkasten System as it starts to be creative for you at some point of entering notes into it.
Also, Peter Drucker’s work is very important, historically speaking.
A book recommendation I make to everyone is Dave Allen’s “Getting Things Done”. It’s a comprehensive methodology (often abbreviated GTD) that informs everything about how I approach … getting things done.
If we’re on productivity books, then let’s shout out to (former?) Beeminder fan Mark Forster who is the UK’s analogue to David Allen. Mark’s Secrets of Productive People is worth a read if you prefer something in print.
Fun fact: it was Mark who introduced me to Beeminder, through his blog.
You might find this list useful. As for book recommendation, I found Zen to Done to be useful. I learnt to focus one job at a time and then moving to next habit once the previous one is completed.
Keep things simple and get things done