Schedule Breaks On All The Things!

Monday, April 20, 2020
By dreeves

Broken staircase with Infinibee shuttling stick figure across

There’s a huge irony in us shipping this feature during the coronavirus lockdown. Namely, none of us need it for the foreseeable future! Our calendars are like an infinite Euclidean half-plane covered in fresh snow.

(Ok, fine, I floated that claim among some hardcore Beeminder users and they vehemently disagreed. Examples of why this is great during a pandemic — which I did not make up — include planning a mental health day, running a virtual event/conference, and getting furloughed from your job and scheduling 3 weeks to study Proust.)

The point is, this new feature is extremely useful when you have something coming up on your calendar that changes your normal routine. For me, in the Before Times, that was most commonly trips, but it could be anything.

How it works is you click the main menu and look for BREAKS like so:

Screenshot of the main menu, with BREAKS newly added

Or just head directly to beeminder.com/breaks where you’ll see something like this:

Screenshot of the megabreak (as we've regrettably internally dubbed it, for lack of a better name) feature in action

You can click those column headers to sort your goals alphabetically or, more usefully, by how much safety buffer they have (or by how you’ve capped their safety buffers, if that matters for some reason). Then you just click the Take A Break checkbox on every goal you want a break for and fill in the dates. You can also specify the rate. By default that’s zero to have a full break, but you may just want to make your goal a bit easier while on staycation or whatever.

There’s a separate section at the bottom for Do Less goals. For these, you probably want to allow for a higher rate than usual, rather than a lower one, so that you can relax your “eat less ice cream” goal while pouring over Proust. But the whole page is perfectly general and you can use it for an anti-vacation and make all your productivity goals harder — and with no ice cream — for a couple weeks if you want to!

All the things we’ve previously said about scheduling breaks still apply. The newness here is just the handy table for scheduling breaks on multiple goals at once.

For much more about this feature, including bug reports and requests for various enhancements, plus a lot of gushing about how overjoyed this feature has made many of our mega-fans, see the “Megabreak: Mega-Wishlist” forum thread.

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