Jump to content
JustTom

JustTom's Journal 2: Summer Edition

Recommended Posts

that damn youtube. i think it's harder to kick than games, even if it's not as hardcore of a habit as gaming. that's ok though. and honestly, it might help you get through detox if you're battling with videos and forget all about the games ?

i def know what you mean about having a hard time focusing. but you know what? i actually enjoy that feeling in some perverse way, because I realize that this is my brain on 0 stimulation. and if i can just endure it and keep going, eventually it'll get used to it and that means the addiction will be gone (or at least seriously diminished)!

so in some weird way, it's good to be distracted, because it's your brain learning to do things right.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@karabas I was thinking about this while not being able to fall asleep last night. The feeling of not having any instant gratification stimuli is actually satisfying in a way. It's really uncomfortable, but it's almost like working out - it kinda feels bad but also good at the same time, then after you're done, you just feel awesome because you pushed yourself, you can feel the muscle soreness(which is satisfying to me) or losing fat. Of course, this is not the first time I've had this, but now that I'm not gaming, trying to not watch videos, enduring hunger during fasting, sun-tanning, exercising and trying as hard as I can to crank out the pomodoros while also having nose irritation, I can reeeeeally feel the discomfort.

So the same way I'm curious how far I can push my diet(maybe a bit too much at this point), I'm now wondering how far I can push my discomfort from other things. Not saying this as some mental masturbation or a hype-up, I'm genuinely curious and motivated to see how much discomfort I can handle. We'll see where this takes me, hopefully towards excellence^^

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 37/90 | Pomodoros: 5 | Watched YouTube: Yes | Lost Weight: Yes

Embarrassing results, there are reasons for it, but I can't even be arsed to type them out. 

Today is day 38 and I very very slightly feel like playing some starcraft. Probably because I still follow the subreddit AND all the GSL matches. There's no way I'm relapsing though. This is the 40-day mark and some cravings are to be expected. Just don't be a fucking monkey and you'll be gucci, Tom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 38/90 | YouTube and Reddit Detox: 0/90 | Lost Weight: Yes

Day 39/90 | YouTube and Reddit Detox: 1/90 | Lost Weight: Yes

I've completely blocked YouTube and Reddit from my PC tonight. I feel like it's time for me to transition from fighting video game addiction to fighting procrastination 'addiction'. I don't really like labeling everything addiction, but it's essentially the same frame of mind. I am used to nonstop stimulation from audio and video. Every time I feel just a little bit uncomfortable, I have the craving to open up something to occupy my mind. That's why I can't get myself to focus, it's a constant struggle against chronic procrastination. If I want to achieve ANYTHING that I set out to do, this needs to be eliminated. Videos are almost exclusively the reason why I stay up late and then can't get up in the morning. 

“You need to build an ability to just be yourself and not be doing something. The ability to just sit there…like this…that’s being a person.” — Louis. C.K.

This is about me learning to be okay with sitting still. This is me learning to just be with myself and my imperfections, instead of covering my mind with stimuli. This is me transitioning from a consumer to a producer. Let's go!

Edited by JustTom
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome! That's kinda my frame of mind, too. Yes, I can get rid of games, but at the end of the day the pathology is the same. And yes, it's an addiction.

How did you YT and for how long? How are you getting around the need to watch "useful" videos?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 40/90 | YouTube and Reddit Detox: 2/90 | Pomodoros: 27 | Lost Weight: Yes

I reached the point of my last relapse! Every new day is now a record! I gotta say, my first full day without youtube and reddit has been VERY uncomfortable. That's how I like it.

Fantastic day, woke up in the morning, spent most of the day fighting bureaucracy and then a bit of studying until I went to bed. No YouTube, no Reddit. Had to fight against procrastination pretty hard, but I did it. gg

13 hours ago, karabas said:

Awesome! That's kinda my frame of mind, too. Yes, I can get rid of games, but at the end of the day the pathology is the same. And yes, it's an addiction.

How did you YT and for how long? How are you getting around the need to watch "useful" videos?

1

I've been watching YouTube like an addict for 5+ years. I had over 70 subscriptions and that was only non-gaming stuff. When it comes to the necessary videos, it is very easy for me to distinguish what is procrastination and what is necessary for learning, so I just allow myself the necessary stuff. Right now the website is blocked on my PC, but I can open it up on mobile or even download it and watch it as an mp4. I just prohibit myself watching stuff out of procrastination. I can still procrastinate on other websites, but breaking the constant youtube and reddit checking habit is a good first step. Not watching starcraft will be the hardest. It's on every wednesday and saturday morning. So far I've never resisted watching it immediately.

Maybe I should make it so that I can watch after doing 20 pomodoros that day? That would be a strong but reasonable goal maybe.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 41/90 | YouTube and Reddit Detox: 3/90 | Pomodoros: some | Lost Weight: Maybe

Day 42/90 | YouTube and Reddit Detox: 0/90 | Pomodoros: 0 | Lost Weight: No

DAMNIT !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quitting gaming is tough, but quitting YT and Reddit is another beast altogether. Good on you for being ambitious enough to attempt it (I know I'm not definitely not there yet)! One thing that worked for me was staying out of my room and working in an area (coffee shop, open area of library, etc.) with lots of people around. Something about the fact that anyone nearby can see my screen completely stops me from opening any streams, cat videos, etc. and keeps me focused on the work I have to do. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/23/2018 at 6:51 PM, JustTom said:

Maybe I should make it so that I can watch after doing 20 pomodoros that day? That would be a strong but reasonable goal maybe.

I've found the strategy of rewarding myself with my addiction for being productive as a trojan horse. Yes, it might make you productive for a few days, but in the meantime it's getting you re-hooked on the stuff until the addiction stays but the productivity's gone.

So I personally wouldn't recommend this.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 44/90

Anxiety is at the maximum, can't get myself to calm down and focus. There are some cravings too. I'm feeling really really bad, low self-esteem. Going to a party tonight despite not doing shit the whole day, hopefully I'll be able to re-start myself tomorrow. 

I almost installed starcraft yesterday, but didn't in the end. PHEWWW

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey man, you just broke your record, no need for low self-esteem! You're constantly improving and that's all that anyone can ask for.

I don't know what it is about the 40 day mark. It seems to be a common stumbling point. But if it's of any help: I definitely had a "second wind" after I nearly relapsed around that time. So just pull through it, it's just a few bad days and they'll be over!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 46/90

The last 5 days I spent at home doing absolutely nothing, very depressing. There is a cyberpunk-themed RPG game getting released in 2019 or 2020 and the studio just released a 45-minute long gameplay trailer. I've been anticipating this game since before I started the detox. I absolutely adore the art and life style of the setting. Nightlife, sci-fi implants, trans-humanism, AI, gadgets, drugs, big neon cities, dystopia - gimme all that! Of course, I had to watch it and when I did, my cravings shoot up to the sky. Thankfully I won't be able to play the game in another year or two, but it made me watch a buuunch of movies, TV, videos, almost installed a game again, stayed up all night, everything going to shit. 

HOWEVER...! Tomorrow I'm flying back to Amsterdam for the 2nd year of masters and I have a plan set up. I will reserve a locker and keep my laptop there overnight every single day. This way, I have almost no way to procrastinate at home while going to bed OR getting out of bed in the morning. As a master student, we can stay at the uni at any time, so I will just be there as much as I want to be productive and then either go out to socialize or go home to sleep. There is no other purpose of a laptop. As long as I'm able to get a locker, I think this will be enough help for me to build my willpower and habits up in the morning to finally fix the sleeping 'disorder' for good. 

School should be very very difficult, especially the first 4 months. After that, I will have a dedicated few months for the thesis and (finally)starting the business properly. I'm not feeling very confident about the 4 months, but my mentality is that even if I fail a course or two and have to take them next year, it's fine. Lots of people are stretching out their studies and also, it wouldn't even slow down my career significantly. The only thing it would do is ground me to the city, which I don't really mind. So whatever happens, I will succeed - finish school, start the business / get into startups and build up the social life(especially after I move to a new place in November). 

Today(day 47) I'm finally breaking out of a rut so I'll get some shit done in the evening at least!

***************************************************************************************************

@Deku: Yep, that works 100%. I was just not really able to do it here. But things are going to change from tomorrow on with the laptop plan I have.

@karabas : Thanks! Yeah I know it's temporary. I'm blocking off youtube and reddit today again and tomorrow the summer holidays are over and with the plan I have, things should definitely improve significantly. 

Edited by JustTom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 47/90 | Content Consumption Detox: 0/90

Still in a rut, although cravings went down to a minimum. Got very high hopes for tomorrow.

Edited by JustTom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 48/90 | Content Consumption Detox: 1/90

Traveling day + introduction bbq. I reserved a locker at the uni to lock up my laptop each day overnight so that I have no reason to slouch around in the morning. I also left my gaming mouse back at home. Got 2 more days to prepare before the semester starts. Let's go.

Edited by JustTom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 49/90 | Content Consumption Detox: 2/90 | Pomodoros: 3

I slept/snoozed for about 16 hours so that totally screwed up my day and willpower.  The good ol' Tom's special! Tomorrow will be a success I'm sure. Juat gotta focus more. I'm feeling good despite the day. No cravings, didn't watch youtube or read reddit. 

Last night I became lucid in a dream after years of hiatus! It was only a few seconds and I barely had any control, but still exciting. I've been doing reality checks here and there when I feel like something is strange, but very sporadically. I'll dedicate a notebook for dream journaling purposes tomorrow, mayve I'll get back into this fascinating hobby that I abbandoned because of gaming, depression and bad sleep regime. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That sounds awesome! I've talked to some people a long while back about lucid dreaming, a group that I used to forage with had some people that would harvest the mugwort that grows native in California just for that reason. Supposedly you can brew a tea that induces lucid dreaming, but I never tried it. I can't remember ever experiencing such a thing. Have you noticed that there are specific circumstances that you're more likely to have a lucid dream? It's such a cool topic. Also wanted to congratulate you on your progress with Youtube and Reddit!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, whydoyouloveme said:

That sounds awesome! I've talked to some people a long while back about lucid dreaming, a group that I used to forage with had some people that would harvest the mugwort that grows native in California just for that reason. Supposedly you can brew a tea that induces lucid dreaming, but I never tried it. I can't remember ever experiencing such a thing. Have you noticed that there are specific circumstances that you're more likely to have a lucid dream? It's such a cool topic. Also wanted to congratulate you on your progress with Youtube and Reddit!

Thanks, quitting mindless content consumption is so so difficult, mad respect to anyone who's done it, I hope to be one of those heroes soon! ? Right now my rule is quite easy actually, I just don't watch/browse on my laptop. I can still use my phone. My phone usage tends to be healthy and plus, sometimes I actually do need youtube and reddit for guides, articles and such.

Anyways, lucid dreaming is one of the coolest things I've encountered in life, along with drugs, learning pick-up and peanut butter. I've discovered it waaay back in my highschool, when 4chan was a thing because I was 16 and edgy. After I found out about it, I spent the next 3 days reading about it nonstop, I think I've read the entire Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming by Stephen LaBerge, who is the guy who scientifically proved it, laid down some factual basis and pulled it out from esotericism. I started practicing the techniques and after those 3 days, I had a very strong lucid dream with full control - literally felt like a god. You can have amazing experiences, but it's possible to use it to improve certain real-life skills as well, if you're able to lucid dream regularly. I've been doing that for a month or two but then I broke up with my first girlfriend at that time, started gaming hardcore and everything went downhill.

The best thing about it is that it doesn't take away your time, which is the most valuable resource. It only requires mental focus at certain times and heightened awareness/mindfulness, which is good for you even outside lucid dreams. If you want to look into it, check out the sidebar at r/luciddreaming or just go straight into LaBerge's book, it's pretty much the bible of lucid dreaming. Just remember that if 1 technique doesn't work for you, just study a bit more and try another one, different things suit different people even in this realm.

Edited by JustTom
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 50/90 | Content Consumption Detox: 3/90 | Pomodoros: 6 + social

Well, if you think about it, I doubled my productivity from yesterday! ? Still very very low, although the social event took a few hours, so it's not entirely fair. Mainly because I woke up late again. Looks like the laptop in a locker trick didn't change much/ Tomorrow I have a class for the first time this year, I will count classes towards Pomodoro counters. I need to pretty much be at 16 per day on average, or else I won't make it. I thought I would prepare during summer, but once again that plan has failed. Shocker. 

Whatever, shit's getting real now. I am absolutely not going to repeat my last year where I went into depression and gaming. I am pushing myself every day and every hour to be closer and closer to the person I want to be. Developing my internal locus of control is the only important thing in the world right now. Even if I were to fail all courses and have to take an extra full-time year, that doesn't matter, as long as I take control of my impulses and emotional state. Going for some beers in the evening, but I promise myself here that I will get back home by 1 am, read a few pages in bed and go to sleep to get up tomorrow and set the precedent for the semester by jumping out of bed and crushing it!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, JustTom said:

I am absolutely not going to repeat my last year where I went into depression and gaming.

Hi Tom! Happy to read you’re doing well ? and you look motivated! Depression is always a tough animal, but commitment towards our goals will help us succeed and feel happy about ourselves ? At least in my experience, depression is only possible when I lose sight of what I want & my objectives & the happiness I hope to find “in” or “behind” them. Of course, happiness is always impermanent. It’s not a possess, but a disposition of the mind, an endless race. We gamers could say “the grind” or “the climb”. We felt good when we climbed those ranks in a mmorpg or a moba, we were chasing something, and we knew what it was. What are you chasing at? Whatever it is, remember that it’s part of your “real” life, which is a hundred times more important than your starcraft account’s rating, isn’t it?

Sorry, got a bit carried away while writing this ahah

P.S. Just curious, what’s your field of study again?

Keep going, you’re doing great!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, JustTom said:

Looks like the laptop in a locker trick didn't change much

Give it a little time (maybe even a lot of time) to take effect. Not having the laptop with you at night is a great habit overall. At the very least, you'll learn what else is making you stay up if this alone won't fix the sleep problem. It's very useful to dig down to the essential problems so you can solve your issues at their roots.

Considering you almost relapsed a few days ago, it sounds like you're doing really well! And day 50! That's a solid milestone ? Closer to the finish line than to the start now and way past your previous record.

A lot to be positive about!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 51/90 | Content Consumption Detox: 4/90 | Pomodoros: 17

Overslept again because I started watching bullcrap on my phone in the morning. The next two days I will be forced to get up early because of morning classes, so that's good. On thursday it's time to build this morning habit up again, along with some free momentum. The rest of the day was fantastic. Little procrastination, high productivity, I am really enjoying the business course I took as an elective at the uni. Felt so good after the class I even approached a girl, vibed a bit and exchanged contacts, as opposed to exchanging contacts with a few classmates. More as an exercise than any real attempt though. 

If I keep up the content consumption detox, at some milestone I will expand it to not use youtube and reddit at all, not even on mobile. 

**********************************************************

@info-gatherer: Artificial Intelligence(master) is my study. It's got the sexiest sounding name, in my opinion, ? My depression creeps in whenever I am not following my values and goals, it springs from self-disappointment, so yeah every time I am on the path, I'm feeling good. Surprisingly to many, even if I fail due to external circumstances, that doesn't get me down at all, as long as I know I did the best I could, given my circumstances, that's being successful in my book. The feeling I hate the most is when I get immersed in binge-watching some dumb shit(or games) and completely lose consciousness, I just become like a monkey and consequently, the guilt, disappointment and lack of self-control trigger depression. So yeah I try my hardest to avoid that!

I'm still following your journal, wanted to write something as well, seeing as you had some bad days, but couldn't think of anything wise so just.. hang in there I guess. Get some people around you, that sorts things out automatically most of the time. This thing is hard, but I think it's literally the most important thing we can do in our lives. Then through our self-development and advancement, we can help others as well.

@karabas: Yep, I intend to keep locking my laptop up. I have also installed an app blocker on my phone for youtube, this mind remind me to not repeat the same morning cycle that always leads to me falling back to sleep, no matter how awake I am at the beginning. This is a continuous effort so failures are accepted. Thanks for the encouragement ? The cravings went away indeed and I find it easier to not procrastinate(by not spending ANY time in my room, mostly). I'm on the path, very happy happy about this right now.

Edited by JustTom
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 52/90 | Content Consumption Detox: 5/90 | Pomodoros: 25

Boom! Tomorrow I have a freebie wake up because of the morning class as well, so here's to another successful day. However, even though I was putting in the hours, I didn't get a lot done. The work amount is insane and the difficulty is way above my current level, so I'm having trouble getting into the zone. I will need a lot of help from other people with 1 of the courses.

Content Consumption Detox record confirmed ?? ? Even mobile usage is pretty low. It's pretty much just watch the bi-weekly GSL starcraf tournament, which is ~4 hours per week if I sum it up. Obviously a big waste of time too, but this is a step by step process, I'll eliminate that later. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, karabas said:

Damn! 25 pomodorros! How long is each one? 30 minutes? That's a ton of productive time.

25 minutes, so ~10.4 hours. Half of it was classes though(sitting and listening). I should feel super happy about it, but I'm sad about the fact that once again, I have 0 time for social life because of the difficulty of the course.  Unless I heavily skip on sleep, which I am literally physically incapable of doing no matter how much I would want to lol

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, JustTom said:

I should feel super happy about it, but I'm sad about the fact that once again, I have 0 time for social life because of the difficulty of the course.

Temporary pain for important gain man. But maybe do use a pomodorro or two/day to do something social. The short-term sacrifice is worth it if it'll ensure long-term sanity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×