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Sunday, February 23, 2014

5 months with Beeminder

I'm forever blowing bubbles... by hehaden from flickr (CC-NC)
It's been 5 months, plus or minus a few days, since I started serious some beeminding.

Early on I tried to set goal levels somewhere near where I want my long term averages to be, minus some reasonably wide margin for things which might go wrong (it's not pessimism, it's an outside view), but that's actually how I failed one of my goals once and these days I readjust short term goals often and aggressively.

I have status of my beeminder tasks on my GTD dashboard, and it display both time-to-fail and long term weekly averages. That's what actual averages are:
  • Try new fun things - 2.55/week. The "new" being the key here in case you're wondering why I bothered to put it as a task. About half of these turned out to be awful, but the point is for trying something out. I could probably use broader definition of what counts as a new fun thing.
  • Exercise - 2.15h/week. (due to counting method that actually means something closer to 2.5h/week) That's about sensible long term average for a busy person. If I have time for more I'll do more, but there's only so much time in a day.
  • Online Education - 2.38 lessons/week. That's a very interesting one. I redefined "lesson" in a different way for just about every single education resource, whatever was closest to 1-2h/lesson time. Interestingly even at this aggressive pace it doesn't seem like I'll be finishing any courses anytime soon. There's some diminishing returns here, and it feels more fun and more useful to try something else out rather than spend time "finishing" what I already started.
  • Play Magic - 7.19 games/week (that is about 3 full matches/week, I'm counting this way because EDH, casual etc. don't use matches, and people ragequitting after game one are a thing). Making sure I allocate some time each week for Magic led to discovery of a lot of interesting decks I'd otherwise miss. And yet I haven't played much of any Constructed formats other than Standard and a bit of Modern lately.
  • Commits to Open Source repositories - 8.36 commits/week. That's about 100% github these days. That's mostly me being more aggressive about putting stuff I write on github if possible instead of just stashing it in my personal ~/everything repo. And it turns out a lot of stuff I write for myself still can't reasonably go public.
  • Blog - 1.68 posts/week. I counted a few blog-sized things I posted on Google+ which I didn't want here because they were even more off topic than usual stuff I tend to post here, but even disregarding them that's very active blogging.
  • Books - 0.8 books/week. And I'm nowhere closer to getting through the ridiculous stashes of books I sort of meant to read. At least they're mostly electronic form these days, so they take less space. If Amazon releases that rumored high resolution e-paper Kindle this year, that might increase by a lot.
I'm reasonably satisfied with how all these things are going, and I'm in very low risk of failing since average time-to-fail for these goals is somewhere in 20-30 days range typically, so if anything horrible happened that would significantly reduce my ability to do them I'd have enough time to adjust the targets accordingly.

As for things I want to see done which are harder to beemind - I haven't found a decent solution. I tried a pomodoro beeminder target but that was a miserable failure. My experience with pomodoros has generally been pretty underwhelming. Single-tasking is just not very compatible with me. I tried a lot of non-beeminder-linked things, with varying degree of short-term success, but nothing really looks like a good long term solution. If you have any ideas for things worth giving a try, definitely tell me.

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