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"Hey anxiety! Great to see you today mate! I haven't seen you for a while and was wondering how you were going? I wasn't enjoying being productive today and having effective work relationships at all until you arrived!"

 

Said no-one ever.

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01 May 17

Game Free: 14 (17 Apr)

I am still disappointed that anxiety took over me for the last few days of last week. I don't know why it came back with a vengeance either, that's the frustrating part. I thought this journal was the outlet I needed to keep it under control, but it obviously isn't working. I also thought forcing myself to stay productive meant my brain was happy that I was progressing rather than being idle and causing it to overthink everything. That hasn't worked either. Normally this would be my cue to escape into gaming to ignore all the feelings, but I need to confront them and work out what the problem is. I just don't know what angle to take now, as it feels like I have tried everything.

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Hang in there, you have 4 more days than me.

I'm surprised as you have a lot of goals. I would get stressed out and give up if I were you.

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Hang in there, you have 4 more days than me.

I'm surprised as you have a lot of goals. I would get stressed out and give up if I were you.

It's feasible that it could be the cause of my anxiety, but unlikely. I find that I get more stressed out if I don't have any goals and get angry about wasting time. That's what drove me here in the first place. Thanks for the vote of confidence though.

 

02 May 17

Game Free: 15 (17 Apr)

The week is going good so far, no issues with anxiety and only minor hiccups with fumbling for words, etc. Resorting to my old methods of just avoiding words that are going to be a problem for me. My memory is still shot though, I totally forgot I had committed myself to a meeting today and was only reminded about it late last night so I didn't have the correct preparation ready. I probably need to look into how to fix this too, but I think it is a smaller problem than trying to overcome my anxiety problems. Chances are they are linked as well. Unplugged games machine for good, and finally got a box to put all my games stuff into so I can put it out in the shed. Now if I can get over this stomach bug I will be able to close those goals out.

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03 May 17

Game Free: 16 (17 Apr)

Very quiet day, except for one awesome piece of news. Got an e-mail last night from Cam saying he was doing a talk while I am in Vegas - I couldn't believe my luck! After the challenging few days/week that I have had recently it really felt like a bit of a lifeline. Absolutely can't wait for the trip now, I thought I was excited before! 

No real urges to play any games - though a friend asked me to after work today. I declined and said I had to study instead. Not a total lie - I do have a lot of study I need to finish for this subject. Managed to get a submission done today and submitted, and that is only scratching the surface of what I need to do. I think that is making me feel more relaxed, knowing I have completed something and am progressing at least in one way or another. Plus I just unplugged my games machine and couldn't be arsed plugging it all back in again :D

Edited by giblets

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05 May 17

Game Free: 18 (17 Apr)

Well somehow my days are all out here. I think it's because I have shifted when I do my daily journal from as soon as I wake up to whenever I feel motivated/can fit it in to the day. I took it out of my morning routine after the anxiety issue last week because I don't think it is helping as much as I thought. Still searching for that outlet!

Yesterday was a productive day, somewhat. I managed to do another submission to my study - I would like to do one more before I start on my research essay, but the topic is so dry I think I will try to at least come up with a framework for my research essay today so it feels like I am getting traction on that, since it is 2500 words this time and is due in about three weeks.

I feel a little bit trapped at the moment. Work is not challenging me and I am still searching for a good hobby I guess to replace my gaming. I have been tinkering a bit with raspberry pi, so thats what I am using to fill the void. Not an exciting project either - just setting up an install to be my primary PC, removing packages, installing apps etc. Still aiming to use it as my work machines so I have no temptation whatsoever to play games or waste time.

Only 5 more days for a new record for games free. 

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06 May 17

Game Free: 19 (17 Apr)

So yesterday someone asked me some questions about Raspberry Pi. Sweet in my element. Sadly though, it was about whether you could run x86 programs on it. After a quick google, I found ExaGear, which looks promising. But, then it leads to googling whether ExaGear and Steam worked together... which leads to YouTube videos of steam games working on the Pi. Which lead to me being angry of going down that rabbit hole again. So I ended up shutting down my computer and doing angry cleaning of the house... the silver lining in this cloud is the house looks really nice now!

It was a good realisation or mnemonic that I am addicted. I keep telling myself it's not that bad and I could handle it I just want to go down this path to be more productive, but the way it can so easily hijack my mind and take over, next thing you know, hours have passed and I haven't done any study or anything. Scary shit. 

22 days is coming up. Little bit anxious about it this morning. I might try to not even come near my desk on day 22 - which I think is Monday.

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07 May 17

Game Free: 20 (17 Apr)

Nothing new to add - spent the day over at a mate's place just unplugging from life. Was a lot of fun, but means I was not productive in any way for the weekend.

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10 May 17

Game Free: 23 (17 Apr)

So a new record of game free days! I have been a bit quiet lately as I have been at home in bed sick for three days. Not recovering as fast as what as I used to because I can't get as much sleep with my son. This would have been a perfect recipe for gaming - being home alone, no distractions, nobody holding me accountable. But I don't care about them anymore. They don't interest me at all! I think my relapse did that for me, or at least helped focus that. The strongest feeling I have had to relapse has been some mates of mine talking about the original playstation - and the misty eyed nostalgia of "those were the days" came to mind. It's so easy to emulate consoles these days too...

I haven't been constructive at all since I have been sick. When I haven't been in bed I have been mindlessly surfing the internet, which is bad. That usually turns into spending money, which I tend to waste too much of. I plan to get back to being productive today, or at least book some shows in Vegas to go see while I am there so I don't spent all my time on the tables. 

Broke my 13 day Duolingo streak yesterday too :( Whoops. Was going so well. Back to being productive!

Edited by giblets

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I can relate to how you felt. I spent yesterday sick as well (I was throwing up, not fun). But for the first time in my teen-->adult life, I didn't want to just retreat to gaming when I was sick. I've spent legitimate time sleeping off a sickness in the past, but it was always after I had already gamed and felt I could go no further. Yesterday my main priority was to get better. I watched some Netflix, true, but I didn't even want to game! That was a totally new experience for me. It's interesting that I keep finding new things that I didn't realize were so influenced by games. 

Also, just looked up what Duolingo is. THAT'S AWESOME! I didn't know something like that existed! :) I seriously wish they had Japanese to learn, but I'll start off with Spanish and cross my fingers for Japanese in the future. 

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I can relate to how you felt. I spent yesterday sick as well (I was throwing up, not fun). But for the first time in my teen-->adult life, I didn't want to just retreat to gaming when I was sick. I've spent legitimate time sleeping off a sickness in the past, but it was always after I had already gamed and felt I could go no further. Yesterday my main priority was to get better. I watched some Netflix, true, but I didn't even want to game! That was a totally new experience for me. It's interesting that I keep finding new things that I didn't realize were so influenced by games. 

Also, just looked up what Duolingo is. THAT'S AWESOME! I didn't know something like that existed! :) I seriously wish they had Japanese to learn, but I'll start off with Spanish and cross my fingers for Japanese in the future. 

 

That's great Moe! I used to be in the same boat, but sometimes I never reached that "I can't go any further" point, so I would just essentially just take the day off gaming. I just have to be careful not wasting it endlessly surfing the web, which is the point of today's entry.

Duolingo is awesome! I started using it a few years ago and I never really got into it. I have picked it up again as part of my 90 day detox and am really hooked on it now and learning far quicker than I was a few years ago. If you do go down the Spanish path let me know as that is what I am learning, it might be helpful to compare notes.

13 May 17

Game Free: 26 (17 Apr)

I am thankfully starting to feel human again, though still not productive. Today in fact was the first time I have achieved anything worthwhile in 9 days. Well, worthwhile other than keeping me and my son alive while my wife was away with work! I managed to do two submissions for my study this afternoon, and am about to start on another one when I thought I should write in here first. I am finding I am succumbing to preoccupation again, this time instead of gaming it is my rekindled passion for Raspberry Pi. I have always been fascinated by electronics since I was a kid, and in hindsight I should of studied that instead of computer science. Combine that it the possibilities of the pi and I have a recipe for disaster - me wasting lots of time and money starting (thats the key word, since I have only finished one project so far) pi builds. I was really into them when they first came out, spent a bunch of money, did my first (and only) project, then fell into gaming as that was easier. I am not ashamed of my passion for them - it is great to have a passion for something - but I need to save money for my Vegas trip (and beyond as I am wasting too much), and I need to use my spare time to either study or do chores. I am thinking I might have to use some kind of system to ensure I only spend an hour or two tinkering or reading. Maybe the Study checker app that I saw others using on here, though I found it such a chore to keep changing the activity category so many times a day. Suggestions?

Edited by giblets

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26 days is incredible, keep it up. This is the typical time you'll really start to see more improvements overall, especially if you focus on doing key things like exercising and being intentional with your time. Keep going, you're doing great.

When are you in Vegas? Are you the guy who messaged me that will be there at the same time? 

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26 days is incredible, keep it up. This is the typical time you'll really start to see more improvements overall, especially if you focus on doing key things like exercising and being intentional with your time. Keep going, you're doing great.

When are you in Vegas? Are you the guy who messaged me that will be there at the same time? 

Yes that was me! I'm there for a week, flying out the day after your talk. I am looking forward to it.

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16 May 17

Game Free: 29 (17 Apr)

It's been a while since I have posted, again mostly because nothing has been happening at all. I am still battling with this illness - I think I am going on 11 days now with the virus. I can't remember the last time I was sick for this long. The silver lining is I have had absolutely no energy so haven't been bothered to even think about games! Or anything else for that matter. Apart from working, looking after my son and maybe half an hour or so of researching things to do in Vegas other than gambling, all I have been doing is sleeping. While it sounds great - it is really putting the pressure on for my studies to be complete before I fly out - I don't really want to be studying on my trip! I am not even sure if they allow laptops on planes to the US anymore - I have been reading that they are banning everything above a mobile (cell) phone.

I'd really like to get back into having goals in my journal. I was really enjoying holding myself accountable by listing them here, since the anxiety hit I have just been using a habit tracker on my phone. I'll think of a new format and work on it later this week when I get another submission done for my studies.

I haven't read as much on these forums as I usually do either - so I hope everyone is having success on their journeys!

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17 May 17

Game Free: 30 (17 Apr)

The big 30. Officially 1/3 through the 90 day detox. One month since I last fired up a game, which I remember was Craft The World. I am happy with how I have been going lately, very little urges, but not really happy with my productivity, which is somewhat due to how sick I have been. I just watched Cam's TEDx show in Boulder, wow. There was a lot of people there! Very inspiring to see someone who is just like one of us stand up in front of so many people and just go for it and nail it. Hopefully one day I will rebuild my confidence and overcome anxiety to be able to back myself to do something like that. I look forward to seeing him in action in Vegas.

So I feel a bit refreshed now after seeing that, though it doesn't make up for the reason for today's post - I have realized I have started to get slightly judgmental at the people around me. Or specifically, how they are not being productive or progressing themselves because they are enslaved by social media. You think World of Warcraft is addictive and everyone points at that for enslaving people? It's got nothing on social media. I am glad I have rolled me giving up Facebook into my 90 day detox, and I do not miss it either, but I definitely feel a lot happier going somewhere or standing in line without having to stare at my phone and see what other people are up to. Who cares. Just focus on what I am up to, take in the scenery, enjoy the moment, take the time to reflect or meditate. Anyway, it's not my position to be judgmental of anyone so I need to ensure that I stop that asap.

Still haven't completed my study submission, or worked on my research essay. I wanted to have both done before the Vegas trip, but the flight is in 9 days and I don't see it happening. I have completely underestimated my ability to study with a toddler running around the house - the only windows I seem to have to focus are after his bedtime, by which I usually am tired myself! I must talk to some people to see how they managed to do it.

Edited by giblets

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That TEDx talk was crazy. My first speaking gig ever. If I can do it, so can you. Here's the backstory if you're curious.

It did not come across as your first speaking gig, so you nailed it. Appeared very calm and collected.

 

19 May 17

Game Free: 32 (17 Apr)

My days are out again - yesterday should of been 31. I guess this is a reminder to get back into a regular routine. Stupid illness through all that out. I am feeling a lot better now, but not at a state to run a half marathon this weekend before Vegas, sadly. It is what it is, no point getting stressed or angry about it, I can't influence that I was sick for so long. Yesterday was somewhat interesting, I think I have worked out I have replaced my gaming hours with (mostly) other non-productive activities at the moment and that is what is causing me to be a bit unhappy with my progress, both professionally and personally. I am determined to sort this out though, one of the main reasons I wanted to give up gaming was to be more productive, so I need to get back to working on that. I watched a few of Cam's and other speakers videos last night to see if it would help, and I think it has a little bit. Something that resonated with me all of last night was "Sit with it". When you reach that block instead of looking for something else, instead of doing something else, sit there and wait until you are ready to work again. This really hit home for me - as it is not uncommon for me to have 2 tabs open or a second screen on something I am interested in (whether it be youtube, facebook, news sites, etc) while I am studying or working, and I can just alt-tab and waste countless time on it, then get angry at myself for not achieving anything. This was also covered off on GTD of how to stay focused and remove distractions by using full screen mode, etc. I was going ok with it for a little while with a focus app, where you force yourself to focus for 20-30 minutes and then reward yourself with a break, but I have fallen off the bandwagon of using this, the same as the Study Checker app that I only used for a few days. Time to get back at it!

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20 May 17

Game Free: 33 (17 Apr)

Feeling much better again today, but now I feel bad emotionally. Now it's the weekend my family wants to go do things together but I really need to study and get some headway on my assignments, so I still feel like a jerk Dad and disconnected from my family. They are off to the zoo and here I am sitting at my desk in front of my computers, where I always used to be, so I can't help but ponder what has changed? I am going to use that as a catalyst for a "Sit with it" day. I am going to stand up my 3 goals a day again, and today's is going to be to smash out 3 hours of study this afternoon so me having these guilt feelings are not for naught.  I also need to shake up my morning routine I think, I started getting up an hour earlier than everyone else as per GTD to get some stuff out the way, and I do, but it mostly is around my to do lists, such as deleting emails or checking my credit card etc etc. I am thinking maybe it should change to be reading, or studying, or something, so that it sets a good note for the day. I do like the feeling of having all my crappy little jobs that usually distract me out the way, but I don't think it puts me in a productive mindset. So tomorrow I'll just get straight into study.

Alright, here we go, a Sit with it session, starting now. Close all distractions.

Today's Goals:

  • Complete 3 hours of study.
  • Setup a BitTorrent sync server to back up my study notes across my computers.
  • Do something for my family to make up for not being with them today.

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21 May 17

Game Free: 34 (17 Apr)

Wow "Sit with it" is hard! I closed everything down yesterday, just had my draft open, and exactly 6 minutes in my brain was like "why don't you just google this". I actually laughed at myself. I didn't realise I was that bad. So I told myself no, and powered on. About another 5-6 minutes later, my brain starts thinking "you should check out a RPi script for this...." It was crazy. It stayed that way for about the first half hour, and then I think my brain gave up and just knuckled down and focused. As a result, I did get 3 hours of study done, but the big difference is this time I actually felt quite accomplished at the end, rather than feeling like I needed to study more and didn't achieve anything. Quite happy with that. I didn't think I would see results after only one attempt, but I hope now in my next session I will go 9 minutes between my brain trying to trail off.

I achieved all my goals yesterday - first time in a while! I wonder if it is because before I made them this time, I made sure they were relatively small and I thought I could achieve them with some effort, but not heaps. I guess a contributing factor was how easy setting up the Resilio Sync (formerly BitTorrent) - I am absolutely amazed. How are people paying for cloud storage if a program like this exists? Of course though, my problem now is my preoccupation, because I just want to sink time into it to get everything sync'd from my phone to the RPi. I can never seem to do things in small bites, I always seem to go in boots and all. It does explain why I am here though! I can't just play a few games, I need to go in boots and all.

Had a massive urge yesterday to play Colonization - the game that basically swallowed my childhood. It came from watching a clip of Harvest Moon on YouTube and thinking about profitable crops etc. I am not sure why I was watching Harvest Moon clips, I guess it was just my brain taking control again. Anyway, the point of writing that is I can understand why Cam says not to watch Twitch streams or clips or whatever, it is a slippery slope. I am sure that if I hadn't set up the extra barrier of just running RPIs with linux on them I would have at least fired it up and played a few turns.... a few hours.... not completed any study at all....

Today's Goals:

  • Complete 3 hours of study, again. Hopefully get over 2,000 words.
  • Figure out the permissions problem with Resilio and a USB so I can backup my phone before my trip.
  • Go for a walk or drive with the family to a park. Try to relax and not think about study and work when we are there.

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22 May 17

Game Free: 35 (17 Apr)

Had a big step back with my health this weekend. I don't know if it is because I have been getting up at 5am every day so need more sleep or not, but it is a source of frustration. Yesterday I woke up with a sore throat and feeling blocked up, and last night I had a coughing fit that was so bad I was sick. My optimism that this would be gone by the time I hit Vegas is gone. I've tried every herb and/or drug that I could get my hands on, drank so much water that I needed to go to the bathroom every half hour, still no dice.

Achieved all my goals again yesterday, thinking of maybe I should start a counter for that as well. I am up to 13 days on Duolingo. Not sure if I like having so many counters though, like I did before my anxiety breakdown. I will do some mediating/reflecting about it and see what value I might get from it.

I am a sucker for retroachievements.org. I am spending too much time on it. For example, on Saturday I got a lot of work done on my electronics projects, and around the house in breaks from my study. But yesterday I didn't get any of this done, in between study I just surfed the web and checked out that site. The end result was when it got to dinner to spend time with my family, I was depressed. I need to walk away from the screens in between the breaks. Obviously staring at a screen is one of the main problems that screws up our behaviour, not just the games.

Have my Resilio server up and running - but it keeps freezing. I don't know why. I have it running on a RPi and on a normal PC, for the aim of syncing everything across to the RPi and leave that running instead to save on power, but it has frozen 3 times in a day already. I have no idea why. I should do some researching on it but I think I have spent too much time on it right now - I need to focus on some other things, like my family this week before my trip.

Today's Goals:

  • Complete 1 hour of study. I think I will only be able to get 1 hour done by balancing work and family time. I am above 2,000 words now though.
  • Get Resilio and VPN client set up on my Windows laptop - the laptop I was building will not be ready before the trip, and I will need something to keep studying on (yes in Vegas, urgh).
  • Meditate for 5-10 minutes when I get back from work. This might help me from being depressed. I don't want two days of that.
  • Do a little bit of tinkering on my RPi laptop - I'd like it to be at point where I can bring it back in from the garage before the trip so it doesn't collect dust.

Four goals! Riskayyyy

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23 May 17

Game Free: 36 (17 Apr)

Spending way too much time again on retroachievements. Just reading, searching, thinking about what SNES/NES games I used to play and what achievements they might have these days. It has to stop. So even though I felt confident to expand my daily goals out to 4, I didn't achieve one of them, which was my 1 hour of study, which I put down to my spare time was wasted on retroachievements. I need to force myself to not look at this site for at least a couple of days, so I can get my study back on track. It is a never ending battle of productivity versus mindlessly choosing entertainment.

Feel feeling unwell. I think I need to get more sleep, or at least go back to sleeping in instead of getting up an hour before everyone else to get my admin out of the way, but my gut feeling is I don't want to do that. I like the hour to myself, with a cup of tea (note to self: all out of green tea, buy more tea), and going through my habit tracker doing my daily tasks. Still haven't incorporated any reading or working on my essay as soon as I wake up, but I am still happy with what I achieve. Way better than when I used to wake up early to check the auction house for World of Warcraft. How has that wasted time helped me now? Apart from lifting my wallet from $16 a month, which in the long run can run into the thousands (which I think I did).

So remainder of the week - 100% productivity. No more wasting time. Only 3 days until I fly out and I am not organised. I am not sure what I am going to do on the plane without games this time though, usually I burn hours by playing games, but I don't want to take a single one this time. That's 14 odd hours on the plane without them.... I wonder how much of it I can sleep! If I had my raspberry pi laptop going I would tink for a few hours, but I don't see it happening. I got a lot of altering of the case done yesterday during my lunch hour, so it is possible I could have it ready, but I need mounting tape etc that I don't really want to waste time going to go buy.

Today's Goals:

  • Complete 1 hour of study. Maybe during my lunch hour.
  • Keep tinkering a little bit on the RPi laptop - today modify the HDMI/USB flap so that it can be kept closed permanently.
  • Do something to prepare for Vegas - pack or something.

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Nice job so far!

Good luck on the plane. I love plane rides :) I would suggest reading a book or doing a crossword (something hands-on) if you get bored. I'm getting on a plane pretty soon too but I'm trying to cut down on screen time, so I'll try not to watch movies. 14 hours is cruel though, good luck.

Pro tip: Ask for extra blankets/pillows after takeoff. :)

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Nice job so far!

Good luck on the plane. I love plane rides :) I would suggest reading a book or doing a crossword (something hands-on) if you get bored. I'm getting on a plane pretty soon too but I'm trying to cut down on screen time, so I'll try not to watch movies. 14 hours is cruel though, good luck.

Pro tip: Ask for extra blankets/pillows after takeoff. :)

Thanks mate! I am a bit scared to be honest with the flight and trying not to play games. This will be the first time I have tried it. The other international flights I have done (the last one about 18 months ago) I did have some emulators on my phone. Admittedly I don't think I played them very much as I got bored and I did other things, but it was a security blanket to have them there, which I don't have this time. Part of my brain keeps thinking "it's ok, you are allowed to play some games on the plane, people would understand, everyone else will be doing it" but I don't want to give in. I am going to fight it. My solution so far is to charge up my kindle and load up some books I have been meaning to read for years but never got around to it because I was gaming instead, some audiobooks I downloaded before cancelling my audible account, catch up on podcasts, and I do still have some study I need to do so I will force myself to work on that on the plane. And of course there is to get lots of sleep to minimise the jetlag. I'll see how all those go. I'll keep the puzzle idea in mind, the only real puzzles I enjoy these days are pixel puzzles, and they tend to be a bit hard to find.

24 May 17

Game Free: 37 (17 Apr)

Well the above paragraph pretty much covered off what is on my mind yesterday/today. I did not waste time on retroachievements which is good, but I still can't shake the feeling that I have picked up this week of being unhappy with not being as productive as I would like to be. I didn't get any study done yesterday again, which is bad, I was focused on sorting out some stuff for vegas instead, and trying to shift my calendar from Google. Both those tasks are done now, but it is worrying with how little study I have completed because it means I am going to have to do some study in the US - and I really don't see that happening! I am just going to have to force myself to sit with it, at least an hour or two a day anyway. Just get some momentum on it.

Got a lot done at work though which I guess is good, or at least would be good if there wasn't so much to do there since so many people before me did absolutely nothing. Well, that's a bit mean, they probably did some stuff, I just can't find where it is.

I finished modifying the HDMI/USB flap on my RPi laptop and got really excited that I was almost finished, so wanted to keep pushing on to work on it some more last night with the notion of being able to take it with me on the trip next week. This was part of the reason I didn't study. Unfortunately I had forgotten about needing to modify the screen to fit the cables in as well - so still a few hours of work to go. I'll do another some more during lunch today, but I will have to force myself to not do any after work so I study. Achieved 2 out of 3 goals from yesterday, the one that fell by the wayside was the study one again. I need to fix that. Today is the day.

Today's Goals:

  • Complete 1 hour of study, right after putting my son to bed.
  • Only spend 1 hour tinkering on the RPi laptop - cutting the screen to fit the HDMI/USB cables.
  • Move contacts from Google.

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