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Karabas's Journal: Part 2

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Interesting. I don't have a religious perspective at all, but I would like to incorporate spirituality into my life as well. I just can't seem to find time for it - as you said, getting distracted by the constant chase of productivity and results. Going on a retreat where all you do is pray/meditate/contemplate/take part in the community sounds pretty great. Let's see how it motivated you really are to crush it now! 😄

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Day 15/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
Pomodorro Lvl 2 (56/100) 
Sleep before 12am: 3 (longest streak: 4)

No phone in washroom 17/120
Umra resolutions: 2/90

Work Hours: 6

First proper work day. I struggled a bit. Maybe it's the nearly two weeks of not doing any work. Or the fact that I'm still sick (caught something as we were departing Saudi). Either way, couldn't focus very well or get myself to really dedicate effort to work.

Also, my Umra resolutions take about 2 hours or even more every day, so that's an added filler to the day. Which I don't mind - I should be able to squeeze in that much time into my days.

Feeling good so far. Not much in terms of cravings for videos or games.

16 hours ago, JustTom said:

Interesting. I don't have a religious perspective at all, but I would like to incorporate spirituality into my life as well. I just can't seem to find time for it - as you said, getting distracted by the constant chase of productivity and results. Going on a retreat where all you do is pray/meditate/contemplate/take part in the community sounds pretty great. Let's see how it motivated you really are to crush it now! 😄

Yeah, it was definitely a worthwhile retreat. I'm curious to see how motivated I am too! Some of the effects are already wearing off (unfortunately), but some are going strong, so let's see.

The thing is, this detox and these journals are somewhat spiritual in and of themselves. It's quite startling how much they resemble medieval Sufi writings that discuss things like leaving sins or rectifying your character (controlling anger, jealousy, etc): almost all Muslim schools of spirituality (who source their ideas from the scriptures & the practice of the Prophet peace be upon him) recommend taking account of your day every day, setting "detox" goals for the action you want to leave or inculcate (usually 40 days), consulting with more experienced practitioners, leaving friends who prevent you from progressing, replacing bad actions with neutral ones, etc. And they talk about the fact that being on the path is what's important, the results come from God. So if you fail, you pick yourself up, restart, and keep going. I've literally heard all of this on these forums before.

So I think a lot of it just infusing the detox with a spiritual outlook. But I think that comes down to your overall beliefs: what you believe will happen when you die affects how you live and that affects your spiritual outlook. So worth the time investment 🙂

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21 hours ago, karabas said:

First proper work day. I struggled a bit. Maybe it's the nearly two weeks of not doing any work. 

When I come back from vacation I'm like noooooooooo. So if you ask me, I will say yeah, surely it is your vacation, don't worry about it. Just keep doing it and after a few days you'll feel like working again! That's how it is for me at least.

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Day 16/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
Pomodorro Lvl 2 (56/100) 
Sleep before 12am: 4ish (longest streak: 4)

No phone in washroom 18/120
Umra resolutions: 3/90

Work Hours: 7.5

I'm cheating a bit with the sleep before 12am thing because technically I went to bed slightly after 12. But it was a bit out of my hands and I wasn't staying up and procrastinating, which is what I'm trying to avoid. Either way, no cheats today or I lose the streak (otherwise I'll be at 5 days, which would mean beating my previous streak!).

Did a lot of work today, including spending 90 minutes on working on my business idea. I'm finding more and more that I can't stay motivated if I don't do something about it. If I maintain this level of work on it, I think I should have enough stuff ready to hit the ground running in January (I'm not setting up a company until then to avoid doing extra taxes for this year, so I need to leave my expenses until then as well).

Cravings were pretty minimal, aside from when I had to watch a youtube video for work: I nearly forgot about my detox and watched an unrelated video, but I held myself back. 

I need to restart my pomodorros at some point, but I'm not feeling it at the moment...

2 hours ago, fawn_xoxo said:

When I come back from vacation I'm like noooooooooo. So if you ask me, I will say yeah, surely it is your vacation, don't worry about it. Just keep doing it and after a few days you'll feel like working again! That's how it is for me at least.

Yeah, that's probably all it is.

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Day 17/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
Pomodorro Lvl 2 (56/100) 
Sleep before 12am: 5 (longest previous streak: 4)

No phone in washroom 19/120
Umra resolutions: 4/90

Work Hours: 5:35 (13:05 this week)

Went to bed exactly at midnight and so rescued my early sleep streak. Sleep's been good so far - time for morning prayer ends late, past 8am (it's winter), so I get 7.5-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep in if I'm in bed by midnight and it's great. I haven't napped during the day and have been alert and motivated.

Less hours worked for the day, but it's not a problem since I was taking care of my wife who isn't feeling well and spent 90 minutes on the phone with my parents. Considering I talk to them like once a month (they're all so busy), I'm fine with losing some work hours over it.

Also, my goal for each day is 6:40 minutes, because that gets me to 40hrs in 6 days and gives me a free day to hang out and catch up on sleep. So thanks to my Monday's productivity, I'm only 15 minutes short of target so far.

Keep in mind, I'm also spending time with my wife AND I'm spending nearly two hours a day on prayers, going to the mosque, reading Qur'an, etc, which has helped me re-focus my life a good bit (at least so far). So I think I'm doing pretty well productivity-wise.

Let's hope I can maintain this at least for the next 3 weeks. Have to have a plan for what to do during my vacation time with family come Christmas...

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Day 18/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
Pomodorro Lvl 2 (56/100) 
Sleep before 12am: 6 (longest previous streak: 4)

No phone in washroom 20/120
Umra resolutions: 5/90

Work Hours: 7:05 (20:10 this week)

Good day, got stuff done, so can't complain. Pretty much on target in terms of work hours. I'm thinking of taking Friday as my day off. I have Friday prayers anyway and that takes up at least 1-2 hours of my day as it is.

No cravings.

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Day 19-20/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
Pomodorro Lvl 2 (56/100) 
Sleep before 12am: 8 (longest previous streak: 4)

No phone in washroom 22/120
Umra resolutions: 7/90

Work Hours: 4:20 (Thursday), 1:00 (Friday) (25:30 this week)

Thursday ended up being slightly less "productive" because I went to a study group. The group itself was 2 hours, but the friend picking me up was picking up a bunch of other people, so it ended up taking closer to 4 hours. So I think it's pretty good I managed to squeeze in 4+ hours as it was.

I decided to take Friday off and overall it worked out well. I managed to accomplish almost all tasks I set out for the day. However, I ended up not resting as much as I was hoping to and some stuff kept me up past midnight (even though I was ready for bed at that time), so today I ended up sleeping 3+ hours after morning prayer AND I'm still groggy and lazy.

I need to try to sleep a bit earlier today - even 11:30 instead of 12:00 should make a difference.

Anyway, it's salvageable: I've got less than 15 hours to go, so need to put in 7 hours or so today/tomorrow and I'll cap off yet another 40-hour week.

Also, I've put in a good amount of time into developing my business. I have a lot of the marketing collateral done, so I might even have time to work on generating some content. That way I'll be able to do some sales right away in the new year. Let's see.

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By the way, my previous video detox streak was 25 days. I'm feeling fairly confident about going past that milestone this time, God willing. 

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1 hour ago, karabas said:

Also, I've put in a good amount of time into developing my business. I have a lot of the marketing collateral done, so I might even have time to work on generating some content. That way I'll be able to do some sales right away in the new year. Let's see.

Nice. Is this the online course you were talking about earlier?

Also, your video detox means absolutely no videos, right? Pretty hardcore haha

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1 hour ago, JustTom said:

Nice. Is this the online course you were talking about earlier?

Yep. I'm working on a basic email sequence + landing pages. Almost done, I think. After that I need to get some essential content recorded. I think the idea of doing that scares me, because it makes the whole thing real. And doing this whole thing is a risk. A risk of spending time, money, effort, on something that may or may not pan out. So I think I'm putting it off because of that. But I'm running out of excuses to do it, plus I really think it can unlock a lot of other goals I have in life, so I think that motivation is starting to outweigh the fear.

1 hour ago, JustTom said:

Also, your video detox means absolutely no videos, right? Pretty hardcore haha

It's mostly no videos. I watch stuff I have to for work and the like, obviously. Or a video a friend/relative sends me. And I watch SpaceX launch webcasts 😄 (because I"m a nerd and Elon Musk is a role model). Other than that, nothing. The easy workaround bug on BlockSite got fixed, so it's fairly annoying for me to watch something on this computer. But since the pilgrimage I haven't really wanted to watch anything. I don't know if this is permanent or not, but I'm using it while it lasts to get myself off of this nonsense.

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Day 21/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
Pomodorro Lvl 2 (56/100) 
Sleep before 12am: 9 (longest previous streak: 4)

No phone in washroom 23/120
Umra resolutions: 8/90

Work Hours: 6:50 (32:20 this week)

Considering I was so tired that I slept until 12 and had some long conversations with the wife and still got all my umra resolutions done while going over the target 6:40 of work, I call this an awesome win.

Now I have to do 7:40 today, but I'm up and it's early and I'm motivated, so LET'S DO IT.

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Day 22-23/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
Pomodorro Lvl 2 (56/100) 
Sleep before 12am: 11ish (longest previous streak: 4)

No phone in washroom 25/120
Umra resolutions: 10/90

Work Hours: 7:40 (40:00 last week), 4:40 Monday

Last few days have been a tad strained. I'm working, but with less focus. I'm not going to bed late, but I'm really pushing my own boundaries here. Yesterday I went to bed at 12:30. I'm still counting it, but I need to go to sleep actually before 12 to keep my streak.

I think the sleep is getting to me overall. I usually need a lot and I'm sleeping slightly under 8 hours every day and it's been accumulating. It's enough to stay up after morning prayer, but I feel a 3-hour crash fest coming up like last week. Problem is, I can't really afford it productivity-wise, but it might need to happen. Tomorrow, maybe? I don't think I'll hold out until Friday.

Yesterday I got only 4:40 of work in, but with good reason: we started our Islamic classes with a teacher again. So I had a 2-hour class and I spent time preparing for it (probably another 2 hours or so). So not too bad, but I do need to make that time up. And I have another class on Thursday. Oh boy.

Anyway, things are not so bad, but I'm feeling a dip in motivation coming up. My prayer has been a lot more distracted as of late as well and I'm not liking it. I'm hoping it's just a matter of rest.

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Day 24/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
Pomodorro Lvl 2 (56/100) 
Sleep before 12am: 12 (longest previous streak: 4)

No phone in washroom 26/120
Umra resolutions: 11/90

Work Hours: 6:10 (10:50 this week)

Yeah, so that sleep I was talking about? Totally happened yesterday right after I posted. I was so sleepy and I went and crashed for 3+ hours. I'm still not feeling 100%, but I think I can wait it out until Friday to get some extra rest.

Clearly, my sleep schedule is not providing me sufficient rest (even though I'm sleeping close to 8 hours a night). I need to make changes.

I think after Friday, I'll aim to sleep before 11:30pm. I have a feeling that extra 30 minutes is all I need, but let's see.

The big challenge is going to be our upcoming trip to see my family. My family (especially my Mom) go to bed super late. But since I see them once/twice a year only, I really want to spend time with them, so I stay up too, but it totally destroys my sleep schedule. Over there, dawn is around 7:10am, so I have to be up ~6:45am at the latest. To get 8 hours of sleep, I need to be in bed by 10:45pm. That sounds highly unlikely, given my family lol.

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Day 25-26/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
Pomodorro Lvl 2 (56/100) 
Sleep before 12am: 14 (longest previous streak: 4)

No phone in washroom 28/120
Umra resolutions: 13/90

Work Hours: 4:05 on Wednesday, 4:20 on Thursday (19:15 this week)

The last couple of days have been tough. I've discovered that we may or may not be in hot water tax-wise in this country and spent a lot of time figuring out next steps and just stressing out. Ended up going with my wife for an unscheduled date to de-stress. Hence the productivity drop on Wed. Thursday was better, but I had class that I spent the morning preparing for and then 2 hours during the day attending.

Overall this tax thing put the possibility of having to leave this country soon at the forefront (it looks like we should be OK and won't need to leave), and that made me realize that were we to leave today, I'd really kick myself for not spending more time studying and taking advantage of the fact that there are Islamic teachers here. 

I'm considering setting a new goal for 30 hours of work + 15 hours of study a week (I already do about 5 hours of study). Most likely no point in setting these goals right before the trip, but maybe I'll set that goal for when I return. Will pray on this.

Work hours this week are definitely not going to hit 40. I'd need to work 10 hours Sat & Sun both to make that happen. And yeah, that's not happening. But I'm OK with that considering the turbulence of the past couple of days.

Plus, I'm still not watching videos or playing games. I'm now past my previous record of video detox and I'm past 120 days of no gaming. Pretty awesome stuff!

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3 minutes ago, karabas said:

Plus, I'm still not watching videos or playing games. I'm now past my previous record of video detox and I'm past 120 days of no gaming. Pretty awesome 

14 days sleep before midnight as well man that's epic. Your work hours don't add up to me though, if you sleep 8 hours per day and don't waste time on games or media. Do you spend all the rest on chores, family and religious study? I'm just curious, you don't have to answer of course. 

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8 hours ago, JustTom said:

14 days sleep before midnight as well man that's epic

Yeah man! Last time I managed to have a streak that long was like 6 months ago, but I wasn't tracking it back the.

8 hours ago, JustTom said:

Your work hours don't add up to me though, if you sleep 8 hours per day and don't waste time on games or media. Do you spend all the rest on chores, family and religious study? I'm just curious, you don't have to answer of course. 

I still waste some time on reading stuff on twitter & news and the like, so it's not all productivity. But yeah, my wife and I are big talkers so we end up spending probably ~2 hours total a day over meals. My spiritual routine in the morning and evening + 5 daily prayers + going to the mosque for one of them is probably another 2.5-3 hrs. So add stuff like posting on the forums here, taking small breaks between work, the additional study I do, shower/brushing teeth, talking to friends on whatsapp and checking the news, and you've got a full day 🙂

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Day 27/120 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
Pomodorro Lvl 2 (56/100) 
Sleep before 12am: NO!! (longest previous streak: 4)

No phone in washroom 29/120
Umra resolutions: 14/90

Work Hours: 0:40 (19:55 this week)

It was my day off and it went pretty well. Got through most of the goals I set for the day.

In particular, I'm excited about this meditation technique that I learnt about. There are a number of spiritual "paths" or "orders" or whatever you want to call them: basically they all have the same goal of entering a person into a state of continual "presence" with the Divine, where you're going through your day in constant awareness of Him. In the words of the Prophet (peace be upon him), to "worship God as if you see Him". The goal is one but the approaches are many (all going back centuries if not a whole millenium) There's a particular teacher of this discipline that I like (and even went to meet this year) and I've already been using the morning/evening spiritual routine that they do. However, their main practice is a form of meditation where you empty your thoughts and then imagine your heart calling on God.

It was something I knew about for a long time, but it seems like now I'm at a stage in my life where I'm actually willing to put in the time to do this - and I'm even looking forward to it. So I'm pretty excited to start that. I'll probably add it to my morning routine - it's usually a time when I don't have distractions or immediate obligations.

I did mess up my sleep routine last night. Stayed up talking to the wife after we had a late dinner. I knew it was late but I didn't push myself super hard to go to bed and ended up sleeping at 1am, sleeping through the morning prayer, and just having an all-around sleep fest.

However, I did assume when I started that it'll be impossible to sleep early every single night. Stuff comes up. So my idea was I get to keep my streak if I return back to it the next night (or the next possible night if something specific is keeping me up like travel). So I absolutely have to hit the sack before 12am today, otherwise I'm restarting my record-breaking 12-day streak.

Still no videos or games. I noticed myself falling into checking FB too often, so I signed myself out and didn't go back yesterday.

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