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Think big and act small. Leslie Koch
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« Beeminder Goals Report | Main | How to use Beeminder to monitor all your work »

Monitoring all your work - follow up

I succeeded in doing all 17 tasks that I set myself yesterday, though it took me longer than I expected and it was late and I was tired by the time I finished. Instead of learning the lesson, I went mad today and set myself 38 points - and of course failed ignominiously. So 17 points yesterday and 0 today.

The moral of this is that the game should be used only for those things which you want to give priority to getting done - certainly the total shouldn’t be in double figures. You can and will of course do many things which aren’t on the list.

Reader Comments (16)

52 minutes to spare! I feared you might "break the chain" today, and this article seems to tell why. I'm puzzled at your reaction though. Why, after learning 17 was hard, did you think 17 + 17 + 4 would be remotely possible? I would have picked 12 or 16 or 18 as a followup.
February 2, 2012 at 0:18 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
I said why, didn't I? "I went mad".
February 2, 2012 at 1:07 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Ah! So now you need to pay $5 next time you miss a day? Then 10 then 30? Hope you don't go mad again!
February 2, 2012 at 1:40 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
I hit my six tasks. I used the comments section to state which goals/projects were worked on. I'm liking this.
February 2, 2012 at 2:54 | Unregistered CommenterAvrum
Mmm ... I think it I would have gone mad the other way; making smaller and smaller task chunks, while the points gets larger and larger. ;-)
February 2, 2012 at 6:02 | Unregistered Commentersabre235

<< So now you need to pay $5 next time you miss a day? Then 10 then 30? >>

No. That's not how Beeminder works. It's much more sophisticated than that.
February 2, 2012 at 8:52 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

<< I think it I would have gone mad the other way; making smaller and smaller task chunks, while the points gets larger and larger. >>

That's exactly what I tried to do. And it doesn't work.

I was misled by the fact that in a normal day using AF/SF/FV I can easily do 50+ tasks. But I failed to realize that doing 50 tasks that I am selecting as I go along is very different from doing 50 tasks which I _have_ to do. A good lesson in fact!
February 2, 2012 at 8:54 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

<< I hit my six tasks. I used the comments section to state which goals/projects were worked on. I'm liking this. >>

You're an example of how it should be done - unlike me!
February 2, 2012 at 8:56 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
I remember doing this as a competition with Sprog1, first to 100. with tasks logged on a Google spreadsheet. Great fun and a little pressure...
February 2, 2012 at 9:41 | Unregistered Commenterwill
I managed all 10 tasks yesterday, fairly comfortably - with an hour or so to spare on doing basically nothing. Some tasks were only a few minutes, others were 1-2 hours. I've got 11 tasks listed today and as at 11am things are going well.

I'm basically using a closed list in my day-per-page diary. Included in my tasks are scheduled appointments. After all, these also take time and effort. So my tasks are often scheduled ahead, e.g. a review item I may have entered a few weeks ago. Unplanned tasks are going under the line.

I feel the Beeminder concept is helping me to focus on completing my closed list and I like being rewarded with the points. I really like the visual feedback too.
February 2, 2012 at 10:51 | Registered Commenterleon
I've set myself five tasks today, having learned my lesson (for how long I wonder?). I think another mistake I made was to work off the list of 38 tasks instead of working off my FV list as normal. After I'd thrown in the towel yesterday and abandoned the 38, I went back to my FV list. On checking at the end of the day, I found that I had in fact done nearly all of them (not quite all unfortunately!)
February 2, 2012 at 12:25 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Mark: FV list?

An AF-style list related to the future vision I imagine, separate from day-to-day AF/SF list?
February 2, 2012 at 12:51 | Registered Commentermichael

FV = Final Version, the new time management system I have been working on for rather longer than I expected!

Hofstadter’s Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.
February 2, 2012 at 13:26 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Six (Beeminder) tasks scheduled for today. I've also reset a meditation goal in Beeminder, with a $5 commitment contract.
February 2, 2012 at 15:14 | Registered Commenteravrum
Sounds like this exercise also teaches you to estimate times better -- both how long things will take and how much you have. Or maybe it's energy or focus. Whatever it is that limits what you do in a day. I suspect it will also help you balance a day -- it's not just the number and length of tasks you need to look at, but how they work together.
February 2, 2012 at 16:50 | Registered CommenterCricket
Another option might be productive hours (or Pomodoros or FlyLady 15s). A large task, such as going on a field trip with the kids, counts as productive, even though it really cuts down on the number of tasks done. Likewise, if you have several small tasks, listed separately so that none are forgotten, that could inflate your number. Productive time can include time off, as long as you actively choose it rather than looking back and realizing you did nothing for the last hour.
February 5, 2012 at 19:43 | Registered CommenterCricket

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