Beeminding my Blog Writing

Meta post about beeminding my blog - written because I am derailing in the first week!

Hi, I am Claus Witt and I am acratic. I have found that beeminder has been a great tool for me to ensure that I do stuff that I want to have done.

I have used it on and off for a couple of years now. And I have found a couple of truths about what to track.

Do track

  • things you have control over

  • process over outcome

  • things you can automate (the tracking of)

  • things that have an impact on the outcome you want

  • things that matter to you

  • things where you are unlikely to cheat

Dont track

  • outcomes you cannot control

  • things that are not important to you

  • things where you can easily cheat

  • things that require you to manually update the graph data

What I have tracked

The most important thing I have tracked in the past is my weight. Automatically tracked from my WiThings scale. On top of that I (manually) tracked amounts of certain physical excercises that I could do at home.

In other words I tracked outcome (weight) and process goals that were not automatable (e.g. number of kettlebell swings in a week)

What I am tracking now

I am tracking way more now than I used to. And most of my goals are without any pledge. (Meaning I pay a monthly membership fee, to be able to not loose money by losing).

This is because I have found that the loss of money has a couple of side effects on me:

  1. It will make it easier for me to quit the goal completely

  2. It will make it easier for me to cheat

  3. The actual loss of the money does not hurt that much (not that I am rich… Far from it)

What intrigues me about Beeminder is not so much the betting against yourself part - but more the graphs. I have found that trendlines, visible data, open apis and all that makes me work more towards a goal.

I found the same thing when I changed from Endomondo to Runkeeper: having an open api to my excercise data made me excercise more.

Tagtime - timetracking for complete nerds

I have also begun tracking time with a tool called TagTime. It disturbs me at a random time while I am at my computer, and asks me “what are you doing right now?”

The tags that I use to track time are then combined into some beeminder graphs that track that I get enough sleep, spend enough time with my family, don’t do too much support work, do enough work on some specially selected projects, and that I procrastinate less than a set amount.

As long as I answer each ping truthfully these graphs should be exact… Over time anyway.

So what about this blog goal then?

I have two content goals in my life: Make at least one blogpost (which I have correlated with two github commits) a week, and do at least 20 tweets a week.

Why exactly one post, and 20 tweets? I pulled it out of a hat really. I think it is doable, without making crappy content.

I could off course combine it with beeminding number of engagements with others (or bouncerate, or unfollows… or whatever) however that would make me beemind stuff that is not in my direct control.

Criticism welcome

Now that I have setup goals for my writing - please do contact me and scold me if you find the quality of writing lacking!