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Tux's Journal


Tux
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OK, let's do this.

I'm 23. Studying computer science. Since someone asked on my introduction thread, my favorite GNU/Linux distribution is Debian.

I have tried to quit games in the past, but I always came back to them. There was several reason why, be it a lack of interpersonal boundaries (not saying no to someone inviting me to play), a failure to find a healthy way of stressing down, or simply, rationalization. Believing that I can moderate it. I even tried game development, I had a great idea for a game, which would have taken me more than a year of full time work to get somewhere. I have stopped this. If I want to program something, it will not be a video-game.

So what is different this time ?

  • It's not 90 days, it's for ever.
  • I'm committing to it.
  • I will find a solution to each problem that arise.

I did not succeed in the past because I did not do the three bullet points above.

At some point, I thought, I would come back to them. When I'm 40, 50, 60, whatever. I saw the journal of someone who is 66 here, so there is not going to be an age where I can binge play. And I'll probably want to enjoy real life much more. If I'm not coming back to them, it mean I have to move on. Deal with this once and for all.

I did not take the process seriously. Having a badge, having a number that goes up is essentially worthless if you're not doing anything to deal with the problem. It will take the time it will need, but I want to free myself from them. Which bring up the last point.

Without games, I need a way to rest, after a day, week of work. I have read Cam's article, where he identify four needs. Not all apply to me, but I will have to find a solution for each one that applies to me. Focusing on Game Quitters will mean that I will be able to deal with each problem, and find a permanent solution.

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Thanks you.

So for simplicity, I will consider this as day one, even if I have been game free for more than 2 months. It's going to be harder this time, but I have decided that games are gone for good. No going back to them ever. Just changing to this mindset instead of one where I "might" (it's not even a certitude) come back, it makes a HUGE difference. I actually need to plan for things outside of the computer, instead of waiting for a relapse to get busy. It is probably the right move because it actually feel hard. As if I am discovering an empty space in myself.

Hope I'm not scaring anyone with this. I should be just fine, but it takes some time to register.

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You're not scaring anyone mate, we have all been through this or going through this. I completely understand about the mental shift and it's great that you have got that sorted straight off the bat! It took me a little while (about 26 days to be exact) before I really embraced the idea that phase of my life was over and wasn't coming back. You'll see massive results from it.

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I had dreams about games this night. I could learn to control my dreams (that's called lucid dreams), but not only it's something I would need to finish instead of just starting it, but this summer I just don't have the time. I have a full time job that is far away from home, and so just writing this here is done in a time crunch in the morning. Anyone familiar with this know that you need to write your dreams as soon as you wake up to remember them (because what's the point of controlling them if you can not even remember that you did it ?).

Right now, I have some things to finish first. Not only am I doing this, as well as Respawn, but I already have a small project undergoing. It's a little program with a GUI (basically it's not a command line utility) that is supposed to help me organize myself with my projects. So that I have some personal accountability, and before starting a project I can ask myself the right questions, like, how much time will it take, what do I need to do daily for it, etc. Just moving forward with this need me to invest some hours in it every day. Right now, I can't put those hours somewhere else, or it's another unfinished thing.

If I never finish things, I can never fully learn from them. This is made in C++, using GTKmm and SQLite3. I also use Glade for creating the graphical interface. If I finish this, I'll have some real experience with those tools. Not a lot, but it's something I'll then be able to build onto. Starting and not finishing mean I never have any meaningful foundation.

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When they happen to me mate I find that I can't allow myself on a computer or I'll lose a couple of hours, then before you know it your day is wasted. I just change my environment somehow, like leaving the house or calling someone to talk about something completely random.

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I'm not getting especially nervous about them, I've been having them regularly for a while now. It is just really annoying, it's as if games are the only thing I can think about in my sleep. I really want to be able to think about different things, especially when I just keep dreaming about the same games over and over.

Concerning my job, well so far it's the best one I've ever had (it's far from perfect, but it's in my field) and I am not impatient for it to end. I can enjoy it, improve my computer skills with it...

So far I'm not being talkative, but I just don't have that much time. I hope to be able to post a bit more, and on other topics too soon. It might even be a new hobby to start when I will have more time. ^_^

Edited by Tux
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I was not the kind of guy who goes to a fast food very often before.

Now, I am the kind of guy who NEVER goes to a fast food. There is so many reason to avoid them: the food, of course, but also how they treat their slaves (or is it their employees?), the business model they have... McDonald for example, they are criminals in white shirts. They go as far as to make the light in the restaurant uncomfortable so that people leave earlier, to make more space for others. And this is just one example. Not the worst.

I had another dream this night, unrelated to video-games (at last). Guess what, it was a nightmare. Which made me asks myself a few questions. In the nightmare, I was in deep troubles because I had some exams to pass, and did not study a word of them. As in dreams like this, it was super-important stuff, and I was overly emotional (okay please don't call the cops on me, at some point if I recall I was strangling some dude).

I could easily dismiss this as another nightmare, which are not uncommon for me to have. But I decided to dig deeper with this. Because this is the kind of event that can still happen in my life, as it did happen in the past (except strangling someone). I miss a year of school in the past, because I was not focusing on studies, and was playing too much games. The routine was, wake up, do some computer, go to school, at the end of the day come home, run through my homeworks, and play, a little too late into the night.

I never had any real difficulties with homework in the past, and my mother was always making me do them. Then another school year started, and suddenly she was not there anymore. I gradually slipped with my grades. Then after several years, I reached the "critical mass" of not learning: not enough knowledge to simply go through class without working.

I can not continue like this, and let things like that happen to me. Each time this is the same story: Okay, the exam is over, boy, that was stressful. This time is the last. I will work on those things seriously now. And in reality, I never change anything. Just thinking of it, I have been doing the same mistakes over and over, for years.

I am thinking about this, and I am asking myself questions about the whole thing. If I were to give advices on how to miss a year of school, how to mess up exams, what would those advice be ? When I want to make a change, what are the obstacles I find in front of me ? I have not gotten used to having troubles understanding something. I am not used to trying, over and over, experimenting different things, to learn something challenging.

Enough storytelling.

This year can be different, and I am not going to make my usual speeches on how this year, I get it all right. I am not a politician, I am not here to make myself blind promises I will not keep. I am more of an engineer. I need to figure this out, find tools and strategy, and apply them.

Studies will be my number one priority. When I really want to work on something, I get up early, and work on it before anything else in my day. I am going to do just that for classes, as well as other techniques. I prefer to use this for personal projects, but if I also set up a time where I stop working on studies at the end of the day, and am free to work on my projects, go out... then I am sure it will be much easier to pursue my own projects. After a day of school, you just don't come back home, happy that you still haven't finished the day since you need one or two hours on your lessons, homeworks. Motivation for this is hard. But coming back home, and being able to pursue your passion, the hobbies that you like ? Of course you won't get as much as you could have if you did them first thing in the morning. But you will more easily spend hours on something like that, than on complex class material, that even if you are interested in, is just work.

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GTD did a great podcast a while ago that talked about the first thing you do when you get up sets the 'tone' for the day.

From memory they said to wake up, drink a glass of water, and get moving before even looking at your phone and consuming content. If you do that then you will be proactive for the rest of the day. But if you wake up and get on your phone, you will begin consuming content and then be in that mindset all day.

So on the days you really want to study, set your alarm to get up before everyone else to minimise distractions, get straight out of bed, and leave your phone in the bedroom. You will find your productivity will be increased tenfold!

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I have heard similar things on this subject. This is the kind of structure that can be very good for me, but on week-ends I tend to rationalize and not go straight for my cold shower, which set the mood for the day. I can get into that habit to get more out of "work free" days. Thanks you for the advice.

To get rid of my gaming problems once and for all, I decided to commit to this, which meant buying the elite Respawn. I am currently at Module #5: Control Your Time: How to Stop Wasting Your Time and Be More Productive. Sometimes, just what Cam is saying is making me overly emotional. This time he said that gaming was part of a routine, and looking back it really was. School, homeworks, gaming. School, homeworks, gaming. At the time gaming helped me go through school since I did not have a lot of friends and kids at that age can be very toxic, be mean for no particular reason. I hate saying this but it is what it is. But this is the past. Back then I did not have that many resources (if any at all) to deal with my problems, start be more assertive and defend myself and make some friends.

I really hate telling about this, even if I might need to, it makes me feel weak. I am scared that I will not get rid of gaming this time again. I do not know if I will, but so far I am making everything in my power to make sure I do get rid of gaming. It has been in my life for more than a decade, even if the last years I have reduced the time played by a LOT.

By the way, Cam recommends using a calendar to set up a routine, however he recommends Google Calendar. Does anyone know of an open-source software that can sync between devices (even if I have to do something on my side) and work similarly ? I found one called Etar, does anyone have an opinion on it ?

Edited by Tux
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You're strong, Tux. I mean you took the initiative to purchase Respawn Elite and are working through the modules with great diligence. That's strength, not weakness. Give yourself credit for what you've accomplished. I know it's easy to lose sight of that. You focus on the 98 miles (km?) left on the journey and forget about the 2 you've successfully walked.

  I don't know any open source software. I use my phone's calendar for reminders and I use a notepad app for a daily checklist. 

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I am struggling with my weekend routines as well, to the point where I don't enjoy my weekends as much as I do the weekday. I have tried this weekend to bring my notebook home to set out what I want to do each day for the sense of accomplishment and structure, but it hasn't caught on yet really. I'll keep trying.

I avoid Google Calendar as well., though most of my efforts have been to change the back end rather than the client so far. I jumped from Google to a different provider (Mailfence) until I can get a Nextcloud install sorted at home. If you have the capacity to have your own computer running with it all the time that might be the solution for you, it is open source and you control your own data as it is your own install.

I haven't tried Etar yet, but hey it's on F-Droid so it must be worth a try! I'll install it today.

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I have not started using the calendar just yet. I am going to get about a week of paid holiday next week, so I will be able to get some rest.

I have been having strong urges to play. On the way home, I was rationalizing, that if I work in the morning and play in the afternoon it would be okay, but it will never be. I spend too much time on the computer already. If I work the morning, I need to do something different the afternoon, or at least have the possibility of doing something different that is not in front of a screen.

I think I never had urges like this. Telling myself that this time, this is forever seems to have changed things. I want to do so many things, games will just be a time sink. I feel depressed, I am too often thinking about them. Imagine being in the Matrix, one day, you wake up. All of your life memories will be around what happened in it. There is so many memories of my life that are tied to games, this is depressing.

I thought about making a list of everything I want to do, and put next to it the time I will need to finish them. Now that I am writing this, there is something obvious: the time needed to finish some games is unlimited. You can not finish a MMORPG. Randomly generated games offer unlimited replays. I can learn a language in 6 months, become good at it in one year... but finish a game, master it ? It will take years of dedication, for one game. Learning a language is difficult, you need to keep doing it especially when it become hard. Games are designed to be just hard enough, to make you continue playing as much as possible. I do not believe it is possible to change my life if video-games stays.

The last time I tried, the urges were not as strong.

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Calendar is SUPER IMPORTANT. Today, set an agenda. And then before you go to bed, set an agenda for the next day. Don't go to bed without knowing exactly what you need to do the following day. Otherwise you're being reactive, and not proactive. Watch this one.

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I can second your idea of a timeline. I struggled with working out what I was trying to achieve and what I wanted out of life until I created a timeline, and it really helps you prioritise. I think there are so many ways you can do it and choose whatever works for you, it can be as simple as an excel spreadsheet. At the top of the timeline, or the first row, put the year, and directly underneath that put your age. As you start to add tasks or goals and how much time they will start to take up (such as learning a new language takes a year) and add milestones you are aiming for (such as a trip to a country where they speak the language), it really shows you when you need to be starting something. For example, using the language as an example, if you want to learn Spanish and want to travel to Spain before you hit a certain age, it might show you that you should start making it a priority now.

I found it to be a huge help for kick starting motivation, especially when you keep looking at what age or what year it will be completed in at the top. You will quickly realise there is no time to waste and need to start working on some of these goals!

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Over time, you'll forge memories unrelated to gaming. But like they say, develop and organize a daily routine to occupy your mind and keep you busy. You'll do it, Tux! ?

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Calendar is SUPER IMPORTANT. Today, set an agenda. And then before you go to bed, set an agenda for the next day. Don't go to bed without knowing exactly what you need to do the following day. Otherwise you're being reactive, and not proactive. Watch this one.

If there is one characteristic I would use to describe you Cam, it would be dedicated. Those videos are a lot of help. I still did not set up a calendar, but I planned a lot of things for tomorrow, as I have decided I'm going to do a day without using the computer. I have a week of holiday and will try to implement that. This is about knowing what to do with your time, and I want to try it.

I can second your idea of a timeline. I struggled with working out what I was trying to achieve and what I wanted out of life until I created a timeline, and it really helps you prioritise. I think there are so many ways you can do it and choose whatever works for you, it can be as simple as an excel spreadsheet. At the top of the timeline, or the first row, put the year, and directly underneath that put your age. As you start to add tasks or goals and how much time they will start to take up (such as learning a new language takes a year) and add milestones you are aiming for (such as a trip to a country where they speak the language), it really shows you when you need to be starting something. For example, using the language as an example, if you want to learn Spanish and want to travel to Spain before you hit a certain age, it might show you that you should start making it a priority now.

I found it to be a huge help for kick starting motivation, especially when you keep looking at what age or what year it will be completed in at the top. You will quickly realise there is no time to waste and need to start working on some of these goals!

If I were to accomplish the whole list I did this morning of the projects I want to accomplish, I would be busy for 40 years if I did them one at a time. I am maybe optimistic or pessimistic for some of those projects, but what is clear is that playing video-games would easily fill more than 120 years of my life, 8-16 hours per day. I spent a lot of time grinding for things I do not have anymore (games stuff). If instead I had grind real skills, I would at least have those skills as a legacy. Setting an arbitrary deadline is a good idea. In some case it might even not be that arbitrary.

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