View Full Version : Beeminder?


Footsore Ramble
12-11-12, 07:05 PM
I've been trying out beeminder (https://www.beeminder.com/) as a tool to keep me motivated with stuff, and I really like it. It's been keeping me writing in my journal and practicing music.

It seems like you could use it as an ADHD management tool, but the trick is figuring out how to quantify goals. It's easy for me to say to myself that I want to write x words a week in my journal, for example, but I'm not sure how to set up a goal like 'finish reports in a timely manner'. Perhaps I could dedicate x hours per week to certain tasks?

I was just curious if anyone around here is using it, and whether you have any tips. I will continue to play with it, and update this thread myself if I have any good ideas.

Phoenix Ash
12-12-12, 04:18 AM
Really interesting concept.

Financial incentives to stick to your goals...

I would lose my shirt. :rolleyes:

I bet the developers are making lots of $ though!

dvdnvwls
12-12-12, 03:13 PM
I've been trying out beeminder (https://www.beeminder.com/) as a tool to keep me motivated with stuff, and I really like it. It's been keeping me writing in my journal and practicing music.

It seems like you could use it as an ADHD management tool, but the trick is figuring out how to quantify goals. It's easy for me to say to myself that I want to write x words a week in my journal, for example, but I'm not sure how to set up a goal like 'finish reports in a timely manner'. Perhaps I could dedicate x hours per week to certain tasks?

I was just curious if anyone around here is using it, and whether you have any tips. I will continue to play with it, and update this thread myself if I have any good ideas.
Successfully accomplishing one task is just a yes or no, so it doesn't work very well. But you could quantify on repetitions - getting the next X number of reports done at least one day/one hour (whatever time frame) early.

Hours per week only matters in situations where the action itself is the goal - exercise, sleep, and so on. Hours per week spent on reports is irrelevant if they're still not done. :(

Footsore Ramble
12-12-12, 04:23 PM
Hours per week only matters in situations where the action itself is the goal - exercise, sleep, and so on. Hours per week spent on reports is irrelevant if they're still not done. :(

True, but I think that in my case, I'd be getting them done if I actually put the time in. The problem is that I'm thinking of jobs that are a layered series of tasks and which ultimately require several months to be finished. The question becomes how to break those down into something that can be counted without being so much of a hassle it isn't worth it.

dvdnvwls
12-12-12, 04:40 PM
True, but I think that in my case, I'd be getting them done if I actually put the time in. The problem is that I'm thinking of jobs that are a layered series of tasks and which ultimately require several months to be finished. The question becomes how to break those down into something that can be counted without being so much of a hassle it isn't worth it.
Well...
It depends what kind of work they are. What is the end product of the layered series?

Footsore Ramble
12-13-12, 02:24 PM
Well...
It depends what kind of work they are. What is the end product of the layered series?

Well, if you are really interested in the boring details, PM me. :)

So, I just found out you can link Beeminder with RescueTime (https://www.rescuetime.com/), so that's one way to quantify productivity at work without having to do any extra bookkeeping, which is nice.

Another possibility is to create short-term goals, rather than committing to x amount of work for the forseeable future. It would help to have a method of breaking down tasks to their most basic components first.

Footsore Ramble
12-13-12, 02:28 PM
Really interesting concept.

Financial incentives to stick to your goals...

I would lose my shirt. :rolleyes:

I bet the developers are making lots of $ though!


Yeah, I'm apprehensive about it. On the other hand, that makes it a better incentive, eh? Also, It's a more immediate and concrete kind of consequence than most things in my life. I want to practice music so I can be a better musician, but on most days 'be a better musician' is such a nebulous goal that it does nothing for me. 'Practice a half hour each day or lose 5 bucks' seems to be working pretty well, though. Plus, the progress tracking tools are by themselves quite encouraging.

dvdnvwls
12-13-12, 05:47 PM
I don't know about the rest of you but I have a problem with this kind of thing, for the following reason:

I can "work" for hours on something that doesn't get the job done.
- I'm not a perfectionist, but can easily get hooked on one single detail in a "perfectionistic" sort of way.
- I can do "unimportant job X" forever, when I'm avoiding "urgent job Y".
- When I'm making a big effort, I can lie to myself that the effort means I'm getting something worthwhile done, and I believe it (at least partly). Effort gets us good will from friends/colleagues/spouses/parents/teachers/whoever - at first. "Well, he's trying, so that's a start. He deserves a chance." And you do deserve a chance. You deserve several, in fact. But... that good will wears out. It always wears out. The truth is, results count.

Therefore, for an incentive/disincentive program such as this one to be effective on me, I would need to make very sure that my stated goals were all, very strictly, measurable external progress on the important job.

Working on a book? Chapters done, not hours spent.
Chapter too big of a goal? A page then. Or a five-page chunk. Whatever.

Need to lose weight? Pounds gone, not time in the gym. (or in my case, number of diet recipe books in the cupboard doesn't count if I eat something else instead.) ;)

Basically, for anything, measuring completed goals, not measuring effort. Failed-or-misdirected effort doesn't count, and good honest effort that's inefficient doesn't count for much.

Defining goals that are measurable and external can be tricky, but it can usually be done. There are goals (such as meditation and others) where a particular way of being is the goal. I would not put meditation or similar goals on Beeminder. :)

Footsore Ramble
12-13-12, 05:51 PM
I think it might be best used in conjunction with some type of organization tool that lets you break down your goals and visualize each step.

dvdnvwls
12-13-12, 06:05 PM
I think it might be best used in conjunction with some type of organization tool that lets you break down your goals and visualize each step.
Sure, if you frequently have larger goals where it's hard to define results on the in-between steps then some kind of tool could be really useful. I've never used or tried or even seen such tools. Maybe I should.