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Mike's Journal


mikeyb93
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Day 1 Report.

I wasn't exactly sure how I wanted to write these and I didn't want to copy/paste a template just yet. After gaming for over 2/3rds of my life I am looking forward to stopping; however I don't want to replace video games with other ways to waste time. I'd also like to stay away from Netflix, Hulu, youtube, etc. After one  day I am starting to figure out that there are specific things I need to address. I dont really know what to do with my free time any more. I have the thought "dont play video games" but not "go do X" instead. I really need to find a substitute. I also need to make a schedule for my time. I wont be working much tomorrow so I'll have a lot of free time to deal with. Goal wise I'd like to lose about 10 pounds, finish reading a bunch of books I bought and build up my cardio for bike riding again. Not super specific, I need to refine them, but its a decent start for me.

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All good insights! Scheduling your time is very helpful, because it avoids the "I'm sitting around doing nothing, and gaming can't be any worse than that..." justification. 

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Hey, for me Todoist app really works right now. I recommend you to try it, because this way you'll structure your goals better.

How about your room? Is it cleaned up or represents a high level of entropy? You should put some effort to keep it clean, because this way you'll have really engaging acitivity and cleanse your mind.

Greetings, Mad Pharmacist

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Hycniejsy, both my room and my car are extremely messy. I'd be embarrassed if anyone saw the state they are in

Well... So much for daily, but I have been doing well so far. I haven't played any games or watch any game related video. I'm a little bit stressed trying not to watch videos or play games today. I hate working on Saturday and the plans I had with friends fell through so I am more tempted than I have been for the rest of the week. Besides that everything has been good. I have been busy enough to keep games off my mind most of the time. I read a fantasy novel, which was fun, but I would like to read less of that and more serious fiction or non fiction books. I think those are more beneficial in the long term. Still haven't made a schedule though. That's bad. I really need to to that today.

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  • 10 months later...

I'm after almost a year... I didnt think it was that long ago. I was solid for a bit over a week and got over confident. Figured it wasnt that hard and I could do without the forum. You can guess how well that worked out. I deleted my steam account about 4 months ago and then 2 months later I made another. I got rid of the 2nd one 10 days ago and then got into phone games. That was when I decided to come back. So 11 eleven months after the first post round 2 begins. I'm nervous because I have been stress by the home buying process. The stress makes it much harder to avoid games and makes me look for other escapist outlets. On the upside I should be a homeowner in a few weeks a bit proud of myself on that account.

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Welcome back. Exciting news about becoming a homeowner. Stress is a normal part of life and learning how to navigate it through healthy mediums will provide immense value to your life. Here's a video I have on it: 

 

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Almost through day three. Not really any terrible cravings for games for far, but I still think about some of the games I was playing... And now that I think about it I would like to play a flash game or something. I have dinner with a friend lined up in a few hours, so I'm not worried about falling back into games tonight. My bigger issue is dealing with my replacements for gaming. Lots of porn, twitter and blogs. Not great and replacing video games with porn could be a worse alternative. Still looking into ways to deal with this.

 

Tying into the above I am on module 5. I like the idea of splitting things into 25 minute blocks with a short break. It sounds like a very good way to keep myself from bored and going back to browsing twitter or 4chan.  The only issue for me is that I am self employed and I need to schedule my work as well and most of my work is not different enough for me to split into 25 minute sections. I think a lot of my problem is that I am prideful and as much as I way suck at time management I dont want to admit that I'm not at yet at the point where I can work for 1 hour straight without someone looking over my shoulder. I get far too ambitious with my schedule because I want to do everything, but fail, get mad at the schedule and end up doing nothing.

I'm still fairly hopeful. I would like to stop being ashamed of myself and actually be happy with how I live. I really want this to work and I'm trying to moderate my hopefulness with realism so I dont crash and burn when success doesn't happen as quickly as I would like.

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On 25.3.2018 at 11:13 PM, mikeyb93 said:

Tying into the above I am on module 5. I like the idea of splitting things into 25 minute blocks with a short break. It sounds like a very good way to keep myself from bored and going back to browsing twitter or 4chan.  The only issue for me is that I am self employed and I need to schedule my work as well and most of my work is not different enough for me to split into 25 minute sections. I think a lot of my problem is that I am prideful and as much as I way suck at time management I dont want to admit that I'm not at yet at the point where I can work for 1 hour straight without someone looking over my shoulder. I get far too ambitious with my schedule because I want to do everything, but fail, get mad at the schedule and end up doing nothing.

I think time managment is something real hard but potential rewarding if you get into the habit.

I tried different systems in the last 2 years but especially as my "job" was studying at home I couldn't get myself ot work on a schedule. I just never was able to stick to the stuff I wrote into it last day. I switched things around and procrastinated. I also somewhat lied to myself if I got some productive hours in.Now that I am employed (but can plan my commitments largely on my own) I am trying to get this problem under control. The game changer for me was jsut to write down what I am will do next and note the time. If I did something else (like browsing or another task) I would write down an end time to it and note the new stuff I am doing. And I would repeat this the whole work day. It doesn't take much time (maybe 20min/day in sum) but it is real hard because you realize how scattered and shitty your focus is and how little of your time you actually work. I think this excercise is foundational for everything else if you have a problem with structure. You need first the data to support your planning or else it will always feel like your new idea is better then the old. If you document what you do you can evaluate yourself and actually improve.

If you did this for a week you will ache for some time management because it feels real bad to see all these browsing and time waste written down on paper. Whatever then you'll do you can actually see your effectivness go up. This is real powerful. A side effect is that you are more intentional with your work if you simplay state what your doing before you get to it. For example if I would done this this morning I wouldn't be on gq but study right now. That was why I opened my laptop. Monkey mind at his finest. I think I will do this habit again to see if my new scheduling plan does me good. Seems like I mainly convinced myself to do smth. with this comment. Again.

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23 hours ago, WorkInProgress said:

I think time managment is something real hard but potential rewarding if you get into the habit.

I tried different systems in the last 2 years but especially as my "job" was studying at home I couldn't get myself ot work on a schedule. I just never was able to stick to the stuff I wrote into it last day. I switched things around and procrastinated. I also somewhat lied to myself if I got some productive hours in.Now that I am employed (but can plan my commitments largely on my own) I am trying to get this problem under control. The game changer for me was jsut to write down what I am will do next and note the time. If I did something else (like browsing or another task) I would write down an end time to it and note the new stuff I am doing. And I would repeat this the whole work day. It doesn't take much time (maybe 20min/day in sum) but it is real hard because you realize how scattered and shitty your focus is and how little of your time you actually work. I think this excercise is foundational for everything else if you have a problem with structure. You need first the data to support your planning or else it will always feel like your new idea is better then the old. If you document what you do you can evaluate yourself and actually improve.

If you did this for a week you will ache for some time management because it feels real bad to see all these browsing and time waste written down on paper. Whatever then you'll do you can actually see your effectivness go up. This is real powerful. A side effect is that you are more intentional with your work if you simplay state what your doing before you get to it. For example if I would done this this morning I wouldn't be on gq but study right now. That was why I opened my laptop. Monkey mind at his finest. I think I will do this habit again to see if my new scheduling plan does me good. Seems like I mainly convinced myself to do smth. with this comment. Again.

That sounds like an awesome idea. I can easily keep a journal on my desk. I think being able to see how much time I waste versus how productive I was would be really helpful and push me to be more careful with my time

 

Yesterday I wanted to figure out how long I could actually sit down and work for. Normally I try to pump myself up and say "I can work for 3 hours straight, I got this, blah blah blah". Then I fail, get discouraged and procrastinate. So I set a 15 minute timer and worked for 15 minutes straight and took a break afterwards. Then I tried for half an hour and did that just fine. I was surprised by how much I could get done in a short period of time if I just focused on what I was doing without getting distracted. One thing that helped me was talking myself through my desire to go browse 4chan of be distracted. I'd tell myself it was okay to feel how I was feeling, but I need to get back to my work. I'd lean into and acknowledge the craving rather than trying to ignore it. I'm also going to start making a to-do list. I need some deadlines that from me rather than clients so I can learn to be more proactive. Right now if I finish everything that needs to be done in a day I cant stop myself from goofing off, but its far better than procrastinating.

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45 minutes ago, mikeyb93 said:

That sounds like an awesome idea. I can easily keep a journal on my desk. I think being able to see how much time I waste versus how productive I was would be really helpful and push me to be more careful with my time

 

Yesterday I wanted to figure out how long I could actually sit down and work for. Normally I try to pump myself up and say "I can work for 3 hours straight, I got this, blah blah blah". Then I fail, get discouraged and procrastinate. So I set a 15 minute timer and worked for 15 minutes straight and took a break afterwards. Then I tried for half an hour and did that just fine. I was surprised by how much I could get done in a short period of time if I just focused on what I was doing without getting distracted. One thing that helped me was talking myself through my desire to go browse 4chan of be distracted. I'd tell myself it was okay to feel how I was feeling, but I need to get back to my work. I'd lean into and acknowledge the craving rather than trying to ignore it. I'm also going to start making a to-do list. I need some deadlines that from me rather than clients so I can learn to be more proactive. Right now if I finish everything that needs to be done in a day I cant stop myself from goofing off, but its far better than procrastinating.

Welcome back and glad to have you here.

15 minutes is a great window of time.  And then taking a break after.  It's short enough to push you to do as much as you can within that time frame.  Smart thing to do!  Also, I love To-Do Lists.  When you see the amount of tasks that you check off, it's extremely rewarding.  It's a nice visual reminder, depending on how you look at it.  Some people might have the perception of, "oh I didn't finish ALL of the tasks, I failed!".  Or, you can look at how many you were able to complete and reward yourself afterward.  Prioritizing your To-Do list is also important.  My suggestion would be to write down the 'least' favorite thing you need to do, and put it at the TOP of the list first. 

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Day 10 video game (and porn) free. It feels good. I have the "I Am Sober" app on my phone to log my time. It felt embarrassing at first; I hated saying I was an addict, but I think humbling myself helped. I stopped trying to pretend it wasnt an issue, that I could top at anytime or  "if it isnt games it will be something else". I like being able to see my progress and being able to count it out makes it seem more meaningful than just 1 unmarked day after another. I'm struggling right now though, my cravings for both porn and games are hitting me after being away for the weekend. Part of me says if I watch porn I wont play games or if I play games I wont watch porn. Its tough because if I let my mind wander I start to imagine how much I would enjoy either activity, exactly what I would do, etc. I am going to try to reada chapter or 2 of a book and then go to sleep. Hopefully it works

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Day 17 full days without video games. No slip ups, not many thoughts. The closest I got was playing the game on google chrome when the it cant find internet. I pressed it once. said "oh wait, shit, thats a game" and closed it. The game was started and stopped within 1 second, so I'm counting it as on the level. I really dont think that much about not playing games. I still want to remain on the forums because last time I got confident I screwed it up by leaving.

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Coming into day 20! I had a weird urge to play some lego game that came out in 1999. Lego rock raiders or something like that. I looked it up, but didnt buy/download it. I am doing better, not too much to add at this point. Mostly just checking in.

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Happy to say I am 1/4 of the way through. It doesnt feel like it has been 22 days or so. I am happy with myself on this end. I have lots of other issues I need to deal with but at least on this front I can say I am getting better. It also helps that there dont seem to be any games I really want to play right now. I am used to gaming as a distraction and coping method, but I shouldnt be checking anyway. Also I have watched a bunch of videos about hearts of Iron because I found it amusing, but those videos are a danger zone and probably could be an easy way for me to slip back into gaming

 

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Pain

 

I am in a lot of pain. I tore something (probably my hip flexor) in my hip during my ju jitsu class on Saturday. I have dealt with chronic pain since I was 13 or 14 (now 24) I was told it was just growing pains, but I didn't grow and the pains stayed. Around 18 I tore a rotator cuff. They hurt constantly, but I've learned to deal with it and do what I enjoy to the best of my ability. This new hip pain is about 2-3 times worse than my usual day to day pain. Its distracting, keeps me from sleeping and has hurt my general mood. I'm also concerned about my ability to function. Right now walking up and down stairs is painful. I'm worried it wont get better or I will be stuck with permanent damaged like my shoulder. All I really want to do right now is play some video games and forget I have these problems. Get so absorbed I forget about the pain and the anxiety. I really do not want to deal with it.  But I am less than 45 minutes from hitting 27 days game free. 

In other news I downloaded an app called habitbull which is helping me keep track of habits I want to develop and how often I actually do them Its nice to have a good way to keep track of my progress outside of how well I remember

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day 30! I feel great about this. I'm proud of myself even though it has felt fairly automatic for most of the days. I think one of the key differences between this attempt and my last attempt is that I didnt say to myself "I got it" after 13 days of no gaming and then leave the forum and the challenge. Doing that led me to tell myself a little gaming here and there was okay since I "beat" my addiction. This round I have wanted to get versions of board games on my phone but I didnt. When I was in pain I wanted to play games, but I didnt. I wanted to play some other crap because I was bored and was going to goof off no matter what, but I still didnt play video games. The Habitbull app I mentioned in my last post is also doing wonders for me. Being able to see how often I actually do what I say I should do is extremely helpful in seeing my actual condition instead of what I guess/hope I am doing. It gives me statistics and makes it very real to me. Having it pushes me to work on my habits instead of saying "tomorrow" when I am tired or frustrated. Between the previously mentioned items and the fact that I just moved into my new house I am starting to feel like a new person... or at least a different one. I like it and I feel better because of it. Normally I would say "I hope it continues", but I am in control of my fate. If I keep improving in a few more years there will be another new Mike and he will be even better. 

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16 minutes ago, Cam Adair said:

Congrats on day 30! That's a huge accomplishment so far. Staying humble about your journey is important. Have you heard of the concept of the Beginner's Mind? If not I think you'll dig it: https://zenhabits.net/beginner/

Thanks Cam! I think I've heard about it before, but I have not read anything more than a sentence or 2 about it. I'm about to check it out.

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Day 33

 

The beginners mindset Cam posted was pretty coll. It seemed similar to meditation or what some would call "being present" or "being in the moment". I think it involves getting ourselves out of auto pilot. So much of what we do gets put on auto pilot. Even as I write this I ignore the feeling of the keys on my fingers or the sound they make. The mildly uncomfortable feeling in my neck, the brightness of the screen in my eyes. All this gets swept away when I am typing on auto pilot. Speaking of meditation  I have been practicing the headspace app that Cam, mentioned in a video, article or post. I really like it. I started with 5 minutes and at first it felt like a long time but now it feels almost too short. I am also keeping my room and car much much much cleaner, I am almost compulsive about it. It made me smile going back and looking at how I talked about my room and car being in almost a year ago. Me from a year ago would not have thought what I am doing now is possible and most of this change has just happened in the past few months. I find myself a lot more content. 

I cant overstate how helpful it has been to commit my morning to some basic habits I want to build everyday. I always found that if I jump immediately into work it is extremely difficult for me to get out and take care of basic things. I have been almost spotless with my habits so far this week. It is a great thing and has made me feel very productive compared to how I used to be. I'm meditating, reading a book for 30 minutes, having some time to worship the Lord and then get a quick ab workout it. It used to feel extremely hard, but now it seems easy.

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Day 37

Still going strong. Outside of wanting to play the app version of a board game I really like I have had very few urges despite checking a game based subreddit or two when I am bored. It is a time wasting activity that needs to be dealt with, but it doesnt make me want to play games. I also found out that a game I was really looking forward to a few months came out recently and I am not bothered by it very much. It interests me much less than I thought it would. I'm happy that at this point I am not just suppressing desires but the desires have, in part, gone away.

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DAY FORTY-FIVE! 

"Woah, we're half way there
Woah, livin' on a prayer"

I have not forgotten about games, but they are losing their power over me more and more everyday. I cant wait until I care about games even less.

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Day 47

How the mighty has fallen. On day 45 I felt great. I was half way done the challenge. I felt great I felt confident that I was going to crush the rest of the challenge without a problem. I was starting to think that I didn't really need the forum anymore and that it served its purpose. Now just a few days later and all I want to do is buy a game and play it until the sun comes up again. I just had a really mediocre day. I feel like I didn't get anything important done and then I broke my 27 day no porn streak. It has me pretty crushed right now and I just want to hide and pretend I'm not mad at myself. I want to stop the negative feels the fastest way I know how, gaming. I don't know what I'll actually end up doing, part of me wants to got o sleep to avoid everything. I still haven't relapsed, but I feel close.

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  • 1 month later...

Relapse, but one the bright side I am back a lot faster than the last time I went back to games. I was bored on my flight back from Kansas City and thought a phone game or two wouldn't hurt. It really is amazing how I cant stop myself if I partake a little bit. Its all or nothing. Time to go back to nothing. Its been less than a month, but I feel a lot more depressed than I did before hand. Back to day 1

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