Give your productivity goals some teeth with Beeminder

Do you have problems setting new goals and sticking to them? I do. I’m downright terrible at it. Going to the gym, sleeping more, eating better. I have all the good intentions, but just not enough of the follow through. That’s why I’m pretty intrigued by Beeminder. They’re a service that keeps you focused on your goals by allowing you to enter into a “commitment contract” with them. Essentially, you pay them money if you fail at a goal you’ve set. It’s a way to add some real-ness to your efforts, and provide a tangible consequence if you give up.

Beeminder makes it easy to keep track of your progress by integrating with a bunch of automatic data sources (FitBit, RunKeeper, and Gmail to name a few). And today, they’re adding support for RescueTime. You can connect your RescueTime account to Beeminder and let them automatically pull in information about your productivity levels or the amount of time you spend in specific categories. This allows you to create all sorts of goals on Beeminder, among them:

  • Increase your amount of productive time per day
  • Decrease time spent in email
  • Spend more time on software development
  • Spend less time on Hacker news

Here’s my personal goal for increasing my productive time:

beeminder-goal-1

Basically, the yellow path represents the total cumulative productive time I’ve committed to logging for the next few weeks (units are in minutes). Measurements are automatically pulled in via the RescueTime API. If I fall below the line, I’ll have to pay $5 (you can adjust the pledge amount to make it more meaningful if you want).

It’s a great way to use your RescueTime data to motivate yourself to make meaningful changes. It’s also a great example of how the RescueTime API makes it easy to do interesting things with your data. Thanks to the Beeminder team for putting this together!

To give it a try, go to https://www.beeminder.com/rescuetime to get started. To learn more, check out the announcement over on the Beeminder blog.


2 Comments on “Give your productivity goals some teeth with Beeminder”

  1. Thanks so much, Robby and fellow time-rescuers! Despite having my own crazy-nerdy time tracking tool, I’m really liking the RescueTime/Beeminder combo so far. I’ve been using it to beemind a couple specific things: limiting time on comic-rocket.com and increasing time in TextMate!

    Danny of Beeminder

  2. [...] UPDATE: Check out the announcement of Beeminder integration on the RescueTime blog. [...]