Our bodies and minds have evolved to enjoy life right here and now because it could be gone tomorrow. We crave fatty foods because they gave us extra padding in case we couldn’t eat next week. We crave sweets because they gave us energy to keep ourselves alive. Then came all the conveniences of the modern world.
[The Beeminder founders, Bethany Soule and Daniel Reeves, presented at the Portland Quantified Self Meetup on April 10. This is what they said.] We’re excited to be here! We used to go to Quantified Self meetups in New York and we just moved here, to pursue the Portlandian Dream of working a couple hours a week in a coffee shop and going to clown school. [They hate it when you say that.]
The problem of self-control may be a ridiculous first world problem but it's the granddaddy of first world problems and I want to solve it. We live amidst a deluge of opportunities for instant gratification, especially in the form of food and entertainment, and most of us don't handle it well. The general problem, known as akrasia, is this:
If you’re fitness savvy you know that you should be gaining muscle as you lose fat. So isn’t focusing on body weight silly, since muscle is denser than fat and ultimately we all want to be svelte and strong and lean, like a jungle cat? Maybe you have a fancy scale that tells you what really matters
[This is a guest post by Gandalf Saxe.] Having been a university student for some years now, I've come to appreciate just how important it is to spread out your studying over the whole semester. It's the single most important aspect of good study technique. I'll even go so far as to advocate the opposite extreme of the typical student's modus operandi
Say you have a hard deadline in a month and you know you’ll end up down to the wire. You check the exact time of the deadline and see that it’s 9am. Groan! That portends a brutal all-nighter. Why (oh why) couldn’t they have made it 9pm the previous night? (Same story for deadlines that are timed so...
If you’re a connoisseur of productivity porn then you probably already know about Mark Forster and his Get Everything Done blog. Or you might know his various time management books, the most well-known being “Do It Tomorrow”. He’s also the inventor of the AutoFocus system, which has been featured more...
[This is a guest post by Beeminder superfan — and self-quantifier — Jake Jenkins who tells us the story of how Beeminder made all his dreams come true. Well, one particular dream, which will have come true in another year or so of hard work.] When I was 9 years old I went to a beach party. As the sun set and the bonfire was lit a guy broke out his guitar and started playing familiar songs. People gathered close to the fire, but closer to him, and broke into song as the music moved them. At that moment I realized that I wanted to learn how to play guitar.
[UPDATE 2023: We’re continuing to keep this list up to date (see the “On the Horizon” section for the very latest). Let us know in the comments if there are any competitors we’ve missed!] I just blackmailed myself with a silly photo thanks to our competitor [UPDATE: former competitor; see graveyard...
Beeminder is goal-tracking with teeth. We plot your progress on a graph with a Bright Red Line (formerly Yellow Brick Road). If your datapoints cross that line, we take your money.
The Beeminder blog is a hodgepodge of productivity nerdery and behavioral economics written by the founders and various friends.
Does Beeminder sound super crazypants? Just confusing? One of the first things you may want to check out is our User's Guide for New Bees. Check out other posts we're most proud of by clicking the "best-of" tag below. If you're a glutton for honey, the "bee-all" tag has everything we still think is worth reading. Other good ones are the "rationality" and "science" tags, if you're into that.
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Akrasia (ancient Greek ἀκρασία, "lacking command over oneself"; adjective: "akratic") is the state of acting against one's better judgment, not doing what one genuinely wants to do. It encompasses procrastination, lack of self-control, lack of follow-through, and any kind of addictive behavior.