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Journey to a Worthy Life


awcy_h
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Hello all. I'm a 22 y/o student from Sweden.

 

Yesterday I decided to fix my life. I intend to keep a 'progress' journal on this site both to keep myself honest and as a way to not forget why I'm on this journey. Written below is a rambling summary of my experience with games, and how I fell down into what today seems like a near bottomless well of my own creation to drown in. It is my intention to make daily updates to this journal for the foreseeable future. Should I fail, then I hope that some others can use this as a record of what not to do. For I fear that there are no second chances for me this time.

 

I've been having a love-hate relationship with games as far back as I can remember. In the beginning it was mostly love, in the last 5-6 years of my life it has decidedly turned into a most sour and bitter relationship. To find a starting point for where games began to take over my life is impossible. They have been with me my entire life, yet as I should have grown out of them I learned that I couldn't. Games and escapism made me fall behind on my grades in pre-highschool and landed me in a bad highschool. Gaming during highschool almost sabotaged my chances to get into university. The state exam we have here in Sweden allowed me to slide into one of the more prestigious engineering schools (KTH or Royal Institute of Technology) without having more than middling grades. It has never been my ability to perform that has been the issue, but my tendency to procrastinate, escape into games, putting my head in the sand, and what seems like a will-to-self-destruction have made me always fall short in most things in life. 

 

In University, I promised myself to turn my life around and to become something. I tried to leave games behind and largely succeeded at this. But instead of studying, making real friends, getting into fun and productive activities I replaced games with endless scrolling through fanfiction websites. When asked by others how I was doing in school or life in general, I made up lies to hide my lagging grades and other failings. At all points, I had a plan on how to fix my life; yet I never acted on them for more than a week at a time and the mountain of lies kept on growing. To keep up the illusion of all going fine, I moved out with little in ways of supporting the new expenses. Almost immediately after I moved out, I returned to games and it devoured me. Still, I told lies and pretended things were fine. Lies to my family about how I was doing. Lies to the friends I didn't deserve at University, where I pretended to be someone I was not in an attempt to fit in. Lies to myself, where I pretended I was on top of the world when in reality I was only stacking the house of cards ever higher. Eventually the house of cards fell down, as they always do. Had to quit University early into the third year after I hadn't even finished the courses for the first one. The small trust I was given by my parents to help me when I moved out had been spent on bills and all manner of unhealthy activities. I managed to get into about £10000 of debt with the state in an attempt at keeping the charade going. My grandparents who lived in a different province took me in even after my behavior and record of failings, which I did not deserve. There under their supervision, I managed to get a semblance of structure and stability back in my life. After a few months, I obtained the prerequisites in order to start attending the same university again last autumn in pursuit of a different engineering degree. I moved into a new apartment, this time living on handouts from my parents. The idea was to achieve the prerequisites to get back on the state's student loan program and fund my living expenses by these. I succeeded on that point, unfortunately that allowed me some breathing room from reality and I took the opportunity to get into games again.

 

Here I am, about six and a half months later. Back into my old habits, the first opportunity I got to procrastinate was used to plunge myself head first into destructive habits. From my previous unhealthy 92kg of weight I've gone up to 101kg. I lost the right to student loans again due to failings last semester. My apartment for the last five months can best have been described as a miniature junkyard. My friendships have completely sizzled out. Family relationships are damaged. My studies are almost down the drain. Finally my finances are at the spot where I can only keep the apartment and food on the table for another month. As you and I can see, this is not a good situation. A situation entirely of my own making. Sporadically I scream out of nowhere, I sometimes think I am going insane. I'm not sure if I hate myself, sometimes I think I do but to be honest, I'm not sure if I'm able to summon up the necessary emotions to hate myself for long.

 

I've decided that I cannot go on like this. That change is required in my life. Today I've taken the first few steps to stop the inpouring of water into the ship. Tomorrow I'll do my damnedest to plug the holes in the ship and see if its course can be corrected before it hits the rocks. I hope you'll forgive the poor formatting and storytelling-ability in this first journal entry; it is 3:00am here in Sweden and I'm not sure if it'd be wise to wait for tomorrow to write.


Things done today:
Cleaned the apartment (mostly).
Cleared away the mountain of dishes.
Payed outstanding bills.
Blocked fast food delivery websites (so I start eating healthier).
Deleted all my games on my laptop and phone.
Sent in request for the deletion of all my gaming accounts.
Made the first of hopefully many journal entries.
 

Best regards, 

 

A Fellow Addict

Edited by awcy_h
added some things I have done today
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March the 13th. 

Hello all.
Today has gone well for me. I joined up with the CGAA and think that sticking with them and their program will be of great benefit to me. It is very difficult to speak honestly about my issues in life to those around me; but being in a group of people that understand one's struggles and shortfalls make it a lot easier. I think they'll make me stay honest to myself on how I'm doing, hopefully assist in keeping on track as well. Admitting one's failings, shortcomings, and yet still hope to change in front of others feels relieving; like the stone in one's stomach shrunk a bit in size. It feels like I did well today, which is a nice feeling. I try to think of this as a journey of small, incremental steps towards a better life. My progression is far, far from a running speed but at this moment, crawling in the right direction is something I am happy to accomplish. After writing this, I'll try to figure out if my studies can be salvaged. My gut feeling is that the finances are in ruins but can be rebuilt enough that I don't need to drop out over them. I hope that I don't have to re-do the first year of this degree again; but that I can somehow squeak together enough knowledge and completed 'course-points' to keep up with what are supposed to be my peers.

I'm not sure if posting updates in the 'reply section' is correct. I spent a minute looking for where to post updates but couldn't find it. If this is incorrect, can someone tell me how I'm supposed to do it?

Things done today:

  • Precooked several home-made dinners and lunches. 
  • Ate a relatively healthy set of three meals (instead of a pizza and icecream).
  • Blocked the fastfood delivery site.
  • Almost finished the deep cleaning on the appartment.
  • Went to the gym for the first time in months.
  • Admitted to my failings in CGAA.

Best regards, 

A Fellow Addict

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Getting things done and won!  The reply field is the only way I know to update the journal. You can also highlight text to quote selections which also goes to use the same reply method.

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Posted (edited)

March the 14th.

Hello all.
Today has gone well, which I am thankful for. It's only been three days but I think I can feel some withdrawal symptoms starting to appear. They are very minute at the moment and I expect to deal with them full force in about a week's time. Though I may be wrong on that front, I don't know how the 'withdrawal symptom timeline' looks. Today was far from a perfect day; just as  nearly all one's days are imperfect. But I didn't make anything worse for myself. Which is something I'm happy with. There were points during the day I wanted to start mindlessly surfing the web, and points where I caught myself starting to surf aimlessly. But to a large degree I managed to push these wants aside and complete today's big goal of finding out how bad my situation is academically and financially. To my surprise it is not as bad as I feared it was!

I can squirrel together enough state loans to keep my apartment and food on the table for four months in total; enough time scrape together the university course credits to be allowed to apply for loans again next semester (source of cash for the summer months which the state does not provide student I'll have to find elsewhere). The studies required to alleviate my situation and catch up with whom I hope to be my peers once again are daunting. I've calculated it and it is possible, but I've not yet mapped that whole thing out. Just logging into the university website caused great anxiety within me. So having done that is something I am tentatively proud of myself to have done. I have a bad habit of lying to others in real life, where I pretend to be someone I'm not. I don't think I'm ready to tell them the truth. But I think I'll try to stop lying to them.

Things done today:

  • Went outside and on three short walks. (10000 steps in total!)
  • Went to the gym again.
  • Cooked and ate mostly healthy food today.
  • Logged into the university website and;
  • Surveyed where I am currently in life academically and financially.
  • Went to the CGAA meeting.
  • Read a book for about 2 hours (will read some more before going to sleep).
  • Emptied one of my accounts banks on runescape (can't remember the password to the others)

These things may seem small to you. But to me; they are large hurdles and I am glad to have overcome this many today.

Best Regards,

A Fellow Addict

Edited by awcy_h
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Posted (edited)

March the 15th.

Hello all.
Today in a similar vein to yesterday has been good for me. Meditated a bit today. Will try to keep 15min sessions going daily. Incremental steps are being taken to correct my sleep schedule and re-acquiring non-destructive daily habits. Instead of going to sleep at random hours of the day, often sleeping for no more than a few hours of the time; I've slept relatively well the last few days. Combining that with decent meals, fresh air, and bodily exercise has been good for me. That doesn't mean that all things are fine and dandy, but that I'm grateful for the mercyful moments I've had the last two days. I caught myself in the act of being in the early moments of binging on youtube several times today. Thankfully I mostly managed to stop myself. It wouldn't do at all, replacing games with inane youtube videos. From experience, whenever I've tried to stop playing games and replaced it with another activity I view as of no value; I merely replace poison x with poison y and start to withdraw back into very poor patterns of behavior. It's not actually doing anything to alleviate the root causes but serves as a prelude to relapsing. 

I think and believe that intentionally constructing good habits are possible game changers for me. I've read that some people see one's will as a muscle and I believe I've heard someone claim that neurology agrees with this conclusion. But willpower can be supplemented by lowering the weight it has to push against. A habit (from the book Atomic Habits) can be divided up into four constituent parts; cue->craving->response->reward. This 'habit loop' if completed associates the reward to the cue neurologically and becomes like an autonomous function one carries out without thinking much about it. Like automatically searching for the light switch when one enters a dark room. Cue (the room is dark)->craving(wishing to see)->response(searching for the switch)->reward(I can see). Willpower is the muscle steering one's response to the craving and it may be the most vital muscle one has. In regards to gaming and other behavior I desire to overcome; the three other parts of the habit loops can be changed to ease the burden on my response. The cue of being bored while trying to sleep wants me to respond with picking up my phone and surfing. That's a lot harder to do if the phone is in the kitchen and an alternative response is easier if a book is on my bedside table. Cravings can be mollified if I dampen them by supplying them from different sources, making the destructive habits easier to disregard. I have a large sweet tooth, but I'm supplying it with a snack of fruits and high-fat yogurt after I finish an exercise round or (will try to) right before I pick up schoolwork. Going to the gym has not required much effort from me, this is not only due to tying my sweet tooth to it but I think it is helping. 

A bit of a rambling entry, but I'm not dissatisfied with it. Every day I stay away from games, is a day I am happy with myself. Will fit in an hour of reading before bed.

Things done today:

  • Went outside on two walks (8600 steps).
  • Went to the gym.
  • Ate relatively healthily.
  • Did my laundry.
  • Completed the study plan for year one courses.
  • Did 2h of work on my old programming course at university.
  • Went to the CGAA meeting.

If courage is the measure of facing one's anxieties and fears, then this frail lion cub roared today!

Best Regards,

A Fellow Addict

Edited by awcy_h
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Posted (edited)

March the 16th.

Hello all.

Life has been active today. I didn't get everything done and didn't get to complete the one-hour math study session I wanted to do. While I was still flying high, I kept a very solid scheduling and planning thing going back in the day. Every activity I did every day was marked down by the half-hour, all daily activities were planned for with and made to support longer-term goals and deadlines. It goes to say that whenever I slump; I stop maintaining the practice. I tend to seek and wish for perfection in whatever I do, preferably succeeding at things in two hours of work or less. The problem is that I'm not perfect, but the tendency is there to judge myself harshly whenever I fall short of the pinnacle. An example is that my schedule logs my activity by the half-hour. If I did not maximize my productivity at all times, minimize wasted time to nearly nothing, and worked for eleven hours or more a day it didn't meet my goal and I was never satisfied with it. One hour planned between 1 pm and 2 pm for an activity? Takes one and a half because it is more difficult than expected and started 30min late because of a phone? That's a failure. Didn't matter much that the task was completed, the baseline was near perfection. I've taken up the scheduling and daily planning again with changes made to it so that it is much more accomodating and energy-providing instead of energy-consuming. 

I managed to stay off the phone much better today. If I became bored for a split second today, my eyes would wander in search of the phone. If I saw it; I'd go and get it and immediately open discord to check for messages, turning to WhatsApp, before ending with either Bloomberg news or some youtube videos. Always in that order, always in this exact pattern. If I was standing when I became bored, I first felt for my phone in my pocket before searching for it. I didn't need the phone but for three occasions today yet I went looking for it more than twenty times I'd imagine. This loop of searching for the phone to alleviate boredom is deeply ingrained within me. But when I placed the phone under some items out of view, I managed to not go and pick it up. The 'loop' was broken and therefore required conscious input from me on whether or not to pick up the phone. This I believe, is very good evidence for me that Atomic Habits (book) knows what it's on about and that I should work on implementing its methods and ideas in the pursuit of changing my habits. I didn't manage quite as well when on the laptop as switching between tabs is easier, but hopefully, I'll find a way to put a stick into that wheel as well.

Did well today and I'm happy with myself.

Things done today: (if not otherwise mentioned, planning, scheduling, meditation, and journaling are done each day)

  • Went outside on two walks (6700 steps).
  • Went to the gym.
  • Ate healthily today.
  • Went to the CGAA meeting. 
  • Worked on identifying habits and what their triggers to start are (cues).
  • Worked for 3h programming.

I will read for an hour before going to bed. Hope you all have had a good day.

Best Regards,

A Fellow Addict

Edited by awcy_h
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March the 17th.

Hello all.

Registered for my upcoming uni courses today. They begin on Monday which is daunting and makes part of me want to crawl into my shell. The upcoming programming courses are intended for people who have completed 15hp worth of programming more than me; equivalent to a full quarter of the study year going full time. I have to stay active and engaged during these courses to receive credits while catching up on programming, preparing for the three coming math exams, a physics course (iirc, the course is viewed as the hardest one at uni), and a probability & statistics course. There is some give, in that I don't have to succeed at all of these. Regardless though, it is a mountain of hard work which should have been done over three periods, not one as I'm currently signing myself up for. I will try to split it up into smaller week-wise piles to take care of, then into daily or two-day piles to take care of. Those are more manageable and I can see myself completing those. My productivity got to shoot up more than GME during the short squeeze if I'm to complete them all. But the working intention at the moment is to complete approximately 4/5 of these and that's enough to narrowly stay within the state's loan study requirements for next semester. My time horizon extends one day. But I shall do my damndest to make sure that one day is amazing. So that tomorrow's me will have a similar spirit and lay down another brick for the road we're building. 

I remodeled my apartment's layout today. By the advice of Atomic Habit, I'm separating the different areas of my small apartment by what I intend to do at them. Importantly, the place for food/leisure and the place for work are separated with my armchair serving as the 'relaxation and recuperation station'. The intent is to hampen all inclinations towards non-productive endeavors while at the work desk and to immediately switch over to the leisure desk once I feel like I need a break; laptop and all brought with me. It feels somewhat silly, seeing what I'm writing but it is helping me. I did not switch tabs nearly as much today as I did yesterday while I was programming. I also didn't feel the need to pick up the phone as often as I'd normally do; the phone now lives safely in a 'back area' of the kitchen where it is intended to be only brought out when leaving the apartment or I have a real task which I need it to complete.

Things done today:

  • Went outside for two walks (6700 steps).
  • Went to the gym.
  • Ate healthily today.
  • Went to the CGAA meeting.
  • Registered for courses.
  • Did 3h+ of programming.

Once again, an hour of reading before bed. May do some back of the envelope calculations on what exactly my budget can afford me; food and other expenses-wise. 

Best regards, 

A Fellow Addict

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March the 18th. 

Hello all.

Woke up at ten am, will set up alarms so I don't sleep in again. On the whole, I'm satisfied with today's activities. But there is one thing I did today that I'm conflicted about. I am part of two D&D groups and have about 7 hours a week tied up to these. If they count as games: I will quit them without hesitation. If they don't, then I'm not sure. Didn't enjoy today's session and felt restless throughout it, imagining myself back at the work table doing some programming. Yet in a few weeks, there is the possibility of me finding a work/leisure balance that works for me and D&D sessions may be part of that. A temporary solution to the question of leaving my two D&D groups is that if D&D starts encroaching the spot gaming had for me then that's crossing a red line. If I start thinking about D&D daily, I'll quit; there is no intention on my part to get absorbed into something I can ill afford to allocate time to. In two weeks (4 sessions in total) I'll decide if I'm going to up and leave from my groups. It will suck somewhat, as I've become friends with one of the people I play with. At the same time, I imagine it'd be relieving. 

I spoke with my father today. Of the many people I've hurt by withdrawing from them, he is one of the ones I have hurt the most. It wasn't the smoothest conversation nor the easiest one; though it was the most important activity of the day. I've been hiding from the outside world for a long time now. From former friends and family. Time to stop that. Withdrawal symptoms have started to appear more markedly. I'm easily agitated, boredom has not been an issue. 

Habit-work is going well. Switching tabs on the laptop while at the work table is uncommon for me. When I switch tabs to a news site or youtube, I switch it back within a few seconds. Unintended uses of the phone were nearly none. I've not done more work on designing habits today even though I planned to do so. Same with lots of work. D&D did eat up today's time. Same with my daily habits, about three hours of combined exercise with about one and a half-hour on other daily activities. I feel ready to bite my teeth into some longer periods of programming and math. To be honest, those hours are more enjoyable than the time I spent at D&D.

Things done today:

  • Walked 9100 steps.
  • Went to the gym.
  • Ate healthily today.
  • Went to the CGAA meeting.
  • Did laundry (so I'd have clean training clothes).
  • Attended D&D session.
  • Spoke to my father.
  • Tried to repair a pair of pants.

Will do an hour of reading before going to sleep.

Best Regards,

A Fellow Addict

 

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Posted (edited)

March the 19th. 

Hello all.

Good yet underwhelming day today. Woke up at 8:40 am, 20 minutes after the alarm so I'm going to increase the volume of it. When it comes to productivity, I've not been up to much today. My mother and I scheduled for me to come over today a few days ago, which took many hours out of the day that I'd otherwise have liked to work. On the flip side, I got to interact with people I care about. I admitted to my gaming addiction to her, as well as explained most of my situation to her. To my dismay, I told her one small lie but other than that I was honest with her about how games swallow my life and how my situation has been. As these things are, she probably already knew. Still, it is good to have been honest with her about my gaming issues and that they haven't gone away simply because I restarted university. I don't look at D&D more favorably today than I did yesterday; will see if I stick around for two weeks or not. I've found a time saver today. By switching over the CGAA meeting to the phone after a certain point, probably halfway; I can go to the gym earlier and listen in on everyone while cycling there/beginning training. It can be hard to spot places to squeeze time out of the daily activities without hollowing them out. Can't reduce a morning walk to five minutes without it losing much of its value for example. Meditating requires time, cutting that down isn't going to do me much good, etc. Time can be re-gained from pre-cooking 8-10 portions of food at a time and some during breakfast but not much more than that from what I can see right now. 

Habit side, things are progressing well from what I can tell. I try to be attentive to what my actions are and see if I can spot any poor habits or good ones that I want to cultivate at the moment. There are always hundreds of things I'd like to work into my life if I could. Yet I have to remind myself when my mind gets the better of me that I was ruining my life with games less than a week and a half ago. There is a potential upside, yes. But the abyss is deep on the other end, not skipping a few steps in hopes of rushing up the hill is more than prudent. In the end, I am grateful for this day and for having been able to spend some time with my mother and brother; even if very little work was done. Somewhat falling behind on the schedule, it isn't a big thing right now as it has leeway. One day at a time - one hour of programming at a time. Eventually, those will stack up to where I want them to be. Don't forget the steps for the mountain awcy. Enjoyment, satisfaction, and continued sobriety are tied to those.

Things done today:

  • Walked 11000 steps.
  • Went to the gym.
  • Ate mostly healthily.
  • Went to CGAA.
  • Visited my mother and:
  • Admitted to my continued issues with gaming.
  • About 1h of programming.

I will read for an hour before bed. Yesterday, I was tired enough when going to sleep that I forgot a lot of what I read. Going to re-read some today.

Best Regards, 

A Fellow Addict

Edited by awcy_h
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Posted (edited)

March the 20th.

Hello all.
Mediocre day today. Woke up at the right time, but my motivation has been lacking today. I think it is at least in part a case of withdrawal. In addition to lack of motivation which could be described as apathy, I'm more agitated and easily frustrated. Much more than my normal baseline. If I have to then I'll overcome them. Even if I'd act towards others like a grumpy old man and curse my math books in front of me, there is no place for games. Hopefully, they'll dissipate over the coming week or two as I trudge along doing my best under the new neurochemical reality. I'm not going to resort to medication to ease the process of quitting games, even if I'd probably have an easy time obtaining some stock. If it is to be a true process of quitting for me, it must be done through ordinary means. 

Haven't done much work today. Some programming. I pre-cooked enough meals for 4 days (still need to prepare a large amount of rice), which took longer than I wanted. But I did one very important thing today. All my training clothes were dirty and the laundry times were all booked up. This was an easy excuse for why not go to the gym today. But that'd lead to it being easier to not go to the gym tomorrow and so on. So I hand-washed my training clothes in the sink and trained in wet clothes today. My consciousness indicated to me that not avoiding the gym was something I must do, despite my irritability and lack of motivation. So I had to follow it. As these journals are related to quitting gaming, I'm probably going to start posting my weight once a week. It's related in all the ways general health, food consumption, and exercise promote good things in life and how I've taken up the gym after gaming, so it'd be a nice place to track progress. Note that my scale is shoddy so these weights may not be entirely accurate.

Weight: 99.0kg (Height 182-183cm, writing this as it'd be useful to form an opinion on how bad the weight is)

Things done today:

  • Walked 8200 steps.
  • Went to the gym.
  • Ate healthily.
  • Went to CGAA.
  • Spent 4h+ meal-planning, purchasing food items, and cooking for what should have taken 2h.
  • Programmed for ~1.5h.

Again, another hour of reading before bed. Work on programming, math, and habits tomorrow.

Best Regards,

A Fellow Addict

Edited by awcy_h
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Posted (edited)

March the 21st.

Hello all.

Today, I did well. Slept in again, so going to add extra alarms and increase the volume on the stereo's morning alarm. But other than that, I've been productive today. Didn't complete nearly as much as I wanted to as I'm having difficulties with LATEX packages not downloading correctly and some file permissions. I think I have a solution for it tomorrow, will see at that time. If not then I may just have to ask one of the lab assistants for help which'd be embarrassing.  My mood has been the opposite of yesterday's and having prepared meals cut down time spent on cooking from about 30min-60min to 10min. Going to the gym early and switching the CGAA meeting over to the phone halfway in to facilitate that is a good practice. Came home 20-30min early which means I'll finish reading quicker and get to sleep earlier; progressing towards a more sound sleeping schedule. 

No habit work today I'm afraid. Sat at the computer programming and the hours went by. While programming can be very frustrating, I'm satisfied that I'm doing something with my days. Got to purchase more training t-shirts soon. Laundry every other day is not a sustainable practice. Luckily the shirts should only cost $12 each.

Things done today:

  • Walked 6600 steps.
  • Went to the gym.
  • Ate mostly healthily.
  • Went to CGAA.
  • Programmed for ~3h and 45min.
  • Long scheduling session, planned for the coming week.

Will read for an hour before going to bed. May do some habit-work as well, will see.

Best Regards,

A Fellow Addict

Edited by awcy_h
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I'm almost 10 years older than you and we're at the same stage. I hope you succeed! I wish I did as well when I'm only 22. 

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March the 22nd. 

Hello all.

Good day today. But that's the thing about good days; they often become good because we make them so. Changed the alarm to 7:30 and put the Sonos alarm volume to 45 (very. very loud). There are now also several alarms going off between 7:10-7:25 to make me get out of bed before 7:30 so I have time to cancel the big one before it hits. Should that not work then I'm going to be jolted awake by the screaming loudspeaker. Finally managed to fix/overcome the issues I had with my programming yesterday. It's been a long day in that I've been active throughout most of it. A folder (physical) has been set up to track my expenses, store receipts, and generally promote good purchasing behavior.

With the guidance of 'Atomic Habits' (book), I've done some 'habit-work' today. The problem with working to fix bad behavior or promote good ones is that they can sometimes be hard to identify. Playing games is bad, yes. But what is it I did before starting to play games earlier? - Identifying these sorts of patterns in my everyday life is difficult because I don't think about them. More than that working on making cues to good behavior obvious and bad behavior less prevalent; I've been doing some working on the response part of the habit-loop. This is the part of making good responses to cravings and stimuli easy with bad responses to these being made difficult. Not much done yet but I have some ideas cooking for how to eliminate bad screentime usage on the phone. I highly recommend the book to everyone here. It is a practical guide to a scientifically-based approach to habits and the changing of habits. 

I also found what I presume to be a lost iPhone in the stairway. Picked it up and taped up a note on the door telling the owner to call me so they can retrieve it (they have to describe it in detail, of course).

Things done today:

  • Walked 8400 steps.
  • Went to the gym.
  • Ate mostly healthily.
  • CGAA.
  • Programmed/math work/habit work/budgeting for 6.5h.
  • Did laundry.

Won't read for an hour today; too late for that now. I will have to leave the gym earlier tomorrow and not deal with others' lost phones I guess.

Best Regards,

A Fellow Addict

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Posted (edited)

March the 23rd.

Hello all. 

Another good day. Slept in until a bit after 10 am which I'm not proud of. Having lost out around three hours of work; I've been stressed throughout the first half of the day. Despite that, I pushed on and worked instead of slipping into bad habits as I'd have done two weeks ago. Splitting activities by area in the apartment and following these strictly has been a boon to my focus and ability to work. I feel less of an inclination to watch youtube or read the news unendingly when I'm at the work desk. When I do open tabs to these sites, I quickly catch myself and go back to work (when not deciding to take a break and switch to sitting at the leisure table). I can probably not receive uni credits for my programming courses this academic year. I'm in contact with the professor in charge of the first-year student's programming courses to see if an exception can be made but it looks doubtful. Even if I cannot receive credits for them, I can still scrounge up enough credits to still be applicable for student loans this autumn. But instead of completing a set of math courses and programming courses, it is the math courses, physics, and possibly management. I'm determined to see this through regardless. Come next autumn, I will be caught up with the rest of my year group skill and knowledge-wise, even if I don't get the course credits for the programming courses until next year. The gym was very active today, there was a group of about 8-10 girls there on top of the usual crowd. I hope they stick around (or perhaps they're regular and I've simply not seen them because I'm new), it is always good for one's health to be at the gym and it shouldn't be an activity only guys do. It's good for all.

Things done today:

  • Walked 5600 steps.
  • Went to the gym.
  • Ate healthily.
  • CGAA.
  • 4h of programming.
  • Looked through the parallel programming course's weekly assignment. I can probably complete it on schedule. 

The alarms will be set extra early for tomorrow. I need to get to uni early to purchase some books and it's a long bus ride to get there. I will read for 45min before bed.

Kind Regards,

A Fellow Addict

Edited by awcy_h
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March the 24th and 25th

Hello all.

Short entry as I'm tired and going to bed soon. The currently ongoing programming course had a weekly assignment deadline and phyiscal 'checkin' today. Was up to 5am yesterday completing the task. Woke up at 10am and spent the time until 1pm both at home and on the bus to comment and improve my code. Succeeded and the turn-in of the weekly assignment went well. The course is 3hp in total (P/F) and had three weekly assignments and checkins I am to complete and attend respectively. I'm glad and satesfied I did the work necessary. Had to fight against stress, fears, and a whole load of small nagging voices in my brain telling me to push this course to next year and to not face it head on. Yet I did it the assignment anyway. Remember that I've not completed the two previous courses this builds upon and the 'level' it is on is much above what I'm used to.

Things done yesterday:

  • Walked probably 5500 steps.
  • Did not gym, meditate, read.
  • Ate ok-ishly, no unhealthy food but large ammounts.
  • CGAA.
  • Programmed (counting until I went to sleep) 12.75h .
  • Purchased course litterature (took 3h+ to get to uni and back)
  • .

Things done today:

  • Walked 3700 steps.
  • Did not gym, meditate.
  • CGAA.
  • Programmed for around 1.5h.
  • Attended the check-in and it went well.
  • D&D session.

Got one more D&D session tomorrow but that will be my last. Will inform both groups on Monday I recon. Will read some before going to bed, maybe 30min. Will purchase more gym clothes tomorrow and get back to semi-normal work pattern.

Kind Regards, 

A Fellow Addict

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March 26th.

Hello all.

Didn't feel like journaling on GQ today. If it isn't part of the 'back from gym' habit chain I'd not be writing this. Today I quit my D&D groups and blocked roll20/foundry. Purchased extra gym shirts and some sewing supplies to repair torn clothes. I'm fat enough that my pants (wool) scraping on the thighs wear down the fabric. I got some needles and good thread combined with some glue-nylon patches to repair the damaged pair of pants. Almost finished assignment 3/9 for the programming course. Tomorrow I'll have guests over so I'll vacuum the apartment again. It was time to do so anyway so I don't mind. Also woke up at 6:30 am as I went to sleep early yesterday. Will continue with the early morning wakeups and try to push the time I go to sleep forward.

Things done today:

  • 9300 steps.
  • Gym (increased leg press to 180kg, would like to reach 200kg next month).
  • Mostly healthy food.
  • CGAA.
  • Almost completed assignment 3/9 of the programming 101 course. Aiming for 7-9 by Friday so I can present it to my handler and try to get him to agree to allow me to complete the course late for credits.
  • Purchased sewing supplies and fixed a pair of pants (need to reinforce the nylon patch).

I keep a mostly complete record of all activities I get up to each day, noted down to the 30min mark as well as what I planned to do during that time. These 30min 'fields' are color-coded for if I acted productively and in a beneficial manner (green), did ok activities that were not in my opinion mismanagement of time (yellow), and ones where I'm actively wasting time or partaking in destructive behaviour(red). I may start posting an image of the color coloration of the past week on each Sunday if there'd be interest in it.

Will read for 30-45min before going to bed.

Kind Regards,

A Fellow Addict

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March 27th.

Hello all.

Ok-ish day today. Snoozed my way to 10 am and then did my morning routine + vacuuming before I had guests over. We had a great time together and went out for lunch, purchased some ice cream and had two traditional Swedish 'fikas'. It's good for me that I've started interacting with people again. Though I will say that my motivation today has been severely lacking. I've done about two hours of work today which is far from ideal. Thankfully there are mechanisms and good habit nets I've set up in my everyday environment that push me towards productive activities whenever I start up. Almost done with the Atomic Habits book. I'm using it and the 'Huberman Podcast' to tune my activities and environment to increase the likelihood of good days and decrease the likelyhood of bad days.

Explanation of how my schedule works (example being today). The column of alternating blue-white fields simply denotes the time. Planned activity is something I enter when I sit down to schedule the day's activities. I generally do this after a shower and breakfast, after which a walk, meditation, and journaling after which activity of some kind follows. If I am late with planning, then the 'planned activity' fields are left empty after passing the 7:00->7:30 am sleep field is passed until I get to scheduling. Green fields are activities I've done during the day which I'm satisfied with. Yellow fields hold activities that are neither good nor bad such as sleep during normal times, time spent on scheduled activities that are not necessarily productive, and breaks where I feel that they have been of non-detrimental length. Red fields hold wasted time, bad- and destructive behaviors. I left the names of the activities in on this example to show an example of a less than ideal day and what kind of activities they could symbolize. A smiley is work or a productive activity that's not time-limited, meaning they are allowed to be moved around and can run over without stressing me out over being behind on the daily schedule. 
image.thumb.png.153c350f5494d750a4873b9de24bcfe4.png

White spaces in the 9:00 pm region of the planned activity area mean that I've not decided if it is gym or work scheduled and I can decide when I get there. I've not scheduled gym time daily because it is not a forced activity. I go if I feel like it, I just happen to feel like it most of the time. Friday was a recovery day after Thursday's work marathon, you can see the work from Thursday night extending into 5:00 am Friday. I also keep a detailed daily activities log parallel to this where I log everything from daily habits, work planned each day, the time assumed for the work to take, how long I spent on each task, if it was completed or not, etc. This is scaled up to a weekly view as well. When my time horizon expands, I'll start up with the monthly planning of activities as well. 

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Forgot to weigh myself today so no update there. Will post it tomorrow instead.

Things done today:

  • 6000 steps.
  • Gymmed. My body has been telling me to cool it a bit, especially my legs as I've been running each day on the treadmill. Have walked instead of the treadmill and paced myself more.
  • CGAA.
  • Ate mostly healthily.
  • Fixed the pair of pants from yesterday.
  • Finished assignment 3/9 for programming 101.
  • Half an hour of maths.
  • Planned for my Numerical Analysis course and checked it out.
  • Social with family. 

Will read some before heading to bed.

Kind Regards, 

A Fellow Addict.

image.png

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Posted (edited)

March the 28th.

Hello all.
Today has been a good day. Overslept again but worked for a fair few hours. I've created a new metric derived from my color-coded schedule that is meant to be a measure of efficiency. It is easy for me to get into the belief that if I'm on the treadmill of tasks, and keeping my head above the water when it comes to bad habits it is little for me to improve. This also relates to that after a week is done, I rarely if never look back at older week's productivity to check for changes. The Daily Productivity Score and Weekly Productivity Score are meant to make my productivity or lack thereof more visible to me. Thereby allowing for improvements long-term and can serve as a positive feedback loop for the small improvements that have a big effect over a longer period.

Daily Productivity Score is calculated by (Green Fields - Red Fields) / (Total Fields - Yellow Sleep Fields). I'm not counting yellow sleep fields as those represent intended sleep and shouldn't be detrimental to the metric. In effect, green fields increase the metric while yellow and red ones detract, red ones at twice the rate as the yellow ones. As part of a 'weekly review', I intend to check these metrics out and average them for the Weekly Productivity Score and include them in the monthly plan/review doc. I'm changing reading from being an end-of-the-day activity to something to be done during the day. The fewer activities intruding on sleep time, the better I'll sleep and the less I'll be prone to oversleeping. Keeping track of all these things may seem over the top. But few projects or tasks are successfully tackled unless one knows how one is doing, what the goals are, and what one should do next. These planning/recording/reviewing sessions allow me to keep on track and see what I should be doing next as well as encourage me by showing the progress I make.

Things done today:

  • Walked 8800 steps.
  • Gymmed.
  • Ate mostly healthily.
  • Gymmed.
  • Finished Assignment 4/9 and about halfway done on 5/9 on the programming 101 course.
  • Scheduled activities for the week.
  • Made 10-11 portions of stew. 

 

I weigh 99.1kg according to the scale. I think today's number is an outlier, I've been trending downwards and feel better than I did last week. Guessing actual weight is around 98.5kg.

Kind Regards, 

A Fellow Addict.

Edited by awcy_h
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Your productivity measuring system is super awesome, thank you for sharing this 🙂 

Hope that you can continue to stay productive and get more inspired and motivated to enjoy your efforts and work!

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March the 29th.

Hello all.
A good, yet frustrating day today. Went to sleep at 11:30 pm yesterday so it'd be easier to wake up. Still, I overslept by 1.5h. Regarding today's activities, I've been sitting with assignment 5 the whole day. Not getting into the programming details of it but the way the professors and teachers' assistants have designed the downloadable content we use for the exercises was extremely shoddy this time. I've spent multiple hours pulling my hair out over programming problems that we're probably not going to start dealing with before year two at uni. I still have not solved them but I think I proved that the issue lies with the code they've given us that we're supposed to use as-is without really paying too much attention to how that part of the program works. Anyway, assignment 5 is done and I'm not going to change it unless the professor requires it for me to get a grade in the course. 

Not going to the gym today. There is a long list of things I also wanted to complete today and I don't want to push more activities back in the queue. I've checked out assignment 6 and thankfully it seems much easier to tackle. Should only take 2-3h. Will try to finish it today and get some reading in before bedtime hits. 

I'll start posting an image of the schedule and tasks with the daily updates. I think it adds substance and gives better insight than simply writing about them.

Note again, about 2h30min of more work until the day is done so I'll finish reading and maybe assignment 6 hopefully before the day is over.


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I've noticed that I've been getting worse at managing my habits regarding phone use. The phone is now strictly used either at the leisure table or when going outside. At all other times, it is squirreled away into the nook of my kitchen counter in its 'containment zone'. If I want to listen to music then I'll have to take the phone with me to the leisure table. Start the music there, then put it back into its nook.

The weight from yesterday was probably accurate. Going to eat less bread at breakfast and start preparing large bowls of salads for 1-2 days at a time.

Kind Regards, 

A Fellow Addict

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March the 30th.

Hello all.
Good day today. Went to the gym, woke up on schedule, and have been programming throughout most of the day. Finished the gym session early today and did my reading before CGAA so there'll be an earlier bedtime tonight. An extra hour of sleep is something to be thankful for, that one extra hour may keep me from oversleeping tomorrow! Regarding habits, phone use decreased today compared to yesterday thanks to it not being as easily available without conscious decision-making being involved. 

Posting my entire university workload/plan so you all can see how the road ahead of me is and if I'm on track. 

PLAN: University Resuscitation - Courses to Complete

The goal is 45hp done this academic year, equivalent to 3/4 of a year's courses. That is the requirement for receiving state loans come autumn. I have 7.5hp completed this year, meaning I need to acquire a total of 37.5hp more.

Math Courses                      Exam Date                                Computer Courses          Information                            Physics Courses     Exam dates                                       Management Courses

Algebra&Geometry 7.5hp     22/4                                        Programming 101 7.0hp   Total: 9 Assignments            Mechanics    7.0hp    17/5 and 7/6                                     Introductory  6.0hp     19/4
One Variable Calc.  7.5hp       9/6                                        Algorithms            6.0hp   Total: 9 Assignments            Prob. and Stat.6.0hp 21/4                                                  Opp. Mngmt. 5.0hp     22/4
Multi Var. Calc.        7.5hp       3/6                                        Parallel Program.  3.0hp  3 Weekly Assignments
Numerical Methods6.0hp     30/5+Assignments               Large Program      3.0hp  Make large&complex prog.

There's quite a mountain of courses to complete. My base plan is to complete the maths courses for 28.5hp, parallel for 3hp, and Mechanics for 7hp; giving me a total of 38.5hp and enough for me to continue receiving state loans in year two.

The points from Programming 101 and Algorithms cannot be counted on for the establishment of the basic plan. Yet Programming 101 is high up on the priority list as if I'm going to convince the professor to give me access to the Large Program course (required finishing both previously mentioned courses before today) despite my lack of required course completions, I'll need to present him a good picture of me catching up quickly and make it believable that I can finish that course. I've completed 6/9 assignments in programming 101 and 2/3 in parallel. Will try to finish 7+8 tomorrow and contact him afterward; potentially asking my TA (teacher's assistant, whom handles student groups for the programming courses) to take up my case to the professor. There are a lot of ifs here, too many to rely on receiving these course points in time when it comes to planning. Regardless of allowing me to complete the courses late or not, I intend to have caught up programming-ability-wise come next academic year. 

My focus is currently on Programming 101, Parallel, and secondarily on Algebra & Geometry. Once I've finished Prog 101, I'll split the time currently spent on Prog 101 on Numerical Methods and Algebra. Once parallel finishes that time will go to Prob. and Stat if I feel as if I can complete it in time, otherwise I'll focus more on the core courses. Management course exams are available to me, but I don't believe I'll reach for them as they're out of the way for my computer science degree, and focusing on programming/maths is better.

Daylies:

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Counting gym time as equivalent to sleep. This makes it so that gym does not effect the productivity metric. While there's some overlap between non-productive-yet-good activities and the productivity metic, these are acceptable as I don't want to discourage daily walks, meditation, or journaling. But including 2h+ of gym time does not seem in keeping with the intention of the metric yet I don't feel as it should be detremental to it.

Kind Regards,

A Fellow Addict
 

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March the 30th.

Hello all.
Decent day today. On a scale from terrible to amazing, it is of course on the very good end. Yet I've noticed that my evaluation of what benchmark daily activity is has shifted. Overslept to 10 am today. Redoubled my alarms so that I now have five alarms and one 'primer' that starts playing music at a low volume 10min before it is time to wake up. Coffee is a no-go after 4 pm, will see if that helps in making me sleepier at night or not. Regarding the Huberman podcast, I've realized that I've not followed it as well as I should. My body is a biological machine I know relatively little about, yet it has profound effects on my and my mental state. Its recommendations regarding sunlight intake, eating schedule, and heat at specific times of the day will be examined more closely tomorrow to see what alterations I should make to my schedule.

Assignment 8/9 for Programming 101 is designing and testing a computer game. I won't complete that assignment, though I will make sure to learn about the programming concepts and relevant information from related chapters in the book. Should I be allowed to turn my assignments in late; then leaving nm 8 on the table will automatically lower the grade of the course by one level A->B B->C etc. It's a cost I'm willing to take to avoid games. Sent in a mail to the professor, asking for access to the Large Program 3hp that's upcoming, access to the assignments of Algorithms and Datastructures 6hp, and asked about the possibility of a late grading of Programming 101. The presentation and meeting for assignment 2/3 in parallel programming is tomorrow, work is already done but there's some room for improvements. Will do these on the buss-ride to the university.

My motivation for going to the gym is slipping. Primarily because I'd like there to be more time for work. Yet I remind myself; on a long-term basis, isn't the gym better than extra hours of work?
There will always be an extra project or assignment I could fill my evening with. While my measurement for productiveness is based on checking tick boxes in the daily and weekly plans. On a monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis, aren't the primary health benefits of exercising combined with its secondaries on mental sharpness, life enjoyment, and psychological wellness worth more? I think it could be argued that exercise and a bit less work daily will produce more output long-term than only working. 

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Kind Regards,

A Fellow Addict

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1st of April

Hello all. 

Bad day. The presentation went poorly but I think I'll still receive a pass on this assignment. The professor mailed back, didn't respond to any question or request I made but instead suggested that I should go talk to the student councilors. That's something I'll do if it so pleases him, pleases him enough to respond to requests instead of disregarding them. 

Haven't done anything after I finished the presentations at around 3pm. Took a nap that extended to a few hours after I came home, then watched YouTube videos on military history. Missed the CGAA meeting and no gym. Writing this on the phone -> no screencuts of schedule to share at the moment, but the latter part of the day is all red. Will update this post tomorrow with that anyway. 

Will do some extra reading before bed. If I'm unwilling to work, at least I can ensure that some of this evening's time is used on something productive. 

 

New book is Think Fast and Slow. 

Kind Regards, 

A Fellow Addict

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April 2nd.

Hello all. 

On the phone again; will be a short entry. Slow and uneventful day. I've not completed the tasks I intended to do. A flight of fancy made visit my brother who is currently by himself. Intended to get work done there and didn't accomplish much. Set off back home late but catched the CGAA meeting, though at a buss station. 

I've recouperated my spirits over the last two days and today thought about some possible paths I may like to go down long term. What possible worthy pursuits and goals I'd like to reach and accomplish. Tomorrow is going to be a fruitful day. Will post the full weekly productivity/schedule review tomorrow. 

Kind Regards, 

A Fellow Addict

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