Example Goal: Spend less time on Facebook

A lot of Beeminder goals focus on trying to get you to do more of something: study more, exercise more, brush your teeth more. But you can also create goals for things you're trying to quit doing: less Facebook, less smoking, less junk food. Do Less goals are often more difficult to automate — how do you automatically report every time you open a bag of chips? Luckily that's not true for time wasted on the internet, thanks to an app called RescueTime. It'll track everything you do on your computer (and/or Android phone) and give you a productivity report card — and thanks to a direct integration, it can then tell Beeminder how you did as well!

With RescueTime integration, you can choose to Do More time or Do Less time on certain sites, apps, or categories. For this example, we want to Do Less time on Facebook. If you don't have a RescueTime account with the software installed on your computer/phone, you'll need to set that up beforehand. (The free account, RescueTime Lite, works with Beeminder goals!)

Automated-entry RescueTime goal setup

  1. Head to create a new goal (also accessible through the New Goal link in the top menu).
  2. Click the RescueTime icon to start a new goal using RescueTime data.

  3. The first step is to connect to Rescuetime by clicking this button!

    If you're logged in on Rescuetime, this step will happen automatically and you'll proceed to the next step. If not, you'll be taken to Rescuetime's site to log in there, and then redirected back to Beeminder at the right step of the goal creation process.
  4. Since this is a limiting, Do Less goal, we want to limit ourselves to At most 1 hour per week. Of course, if you want more or less hours, put in your own value.

    I only want to track my time on Facebook for this goal, so I select facebook.com from the category dropdown. I want to make sure I have an hour's leeway to use right from the start of the goal, so I'll give myself 7 days of leeway.

  5. Give your goal a brief name. If you want, you can also write a short description with more information.

  6. Finally, choose your initial pledge. This is the amount you will pay the first time you derail on the goal. After derailing, the pledge will increase by default — use the checkbox and +/- stepper below to control how high it goes. In the example below, I have chosen to start at a $5 pledge, which will increase each time I derail, until it reaches $270 — the pledge cap. (To read more about pledges and payments, check out some FAQs!)

  7. Step through the confirmations and preview section, and that's it! If I spend more than an hour on Facebook in the next week, I'll be paying Beeminder $5. (If you're incredibly confused about why the graph is going up rather than down, see if our help page on Do Less goals helps make it clear!)

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