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Part 3.1: Pulling out the weeds


karabas
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I kinda abandoned my last journal, mostly because I went to see my family back home & obviously relapsed hard on shows and other stupid nonsense. Then I was basically traveling for nearly 2 months straight and didn't have the time or energy to keep up anything.

But things have been overall not bad. I still haven't played any computer games, so it's now been over a year since I last touched one of those. That's a huge win, and I think the biggest factor was letting go of my ~$500 Steam account. I rarely get cravings anymore even. I have been here and there with mobile games & that's something I need to work on.

There's been a major update in my life: my wife got into a graduate program at a uni, so we once again did a trans-continental move. Finance-wise things will be a lot tighter in the new place and we're living in a studio-ish apartment (it's got a tiny 2nd room that fits a desk and not much else). But it's actually good for several reasons: I'm now surrounded by pretty committed students all around me and it's making me more committed to doing something with my life myself. Also, my desk is now out in the open. I can't secretly do crap aside from when my wife is in class, so I'm a lot less tempted to do stupid things.

Movies, TV, and YouTube have not been an issue for the last two months. I'm not really sure why. I think it's probably because I've been so busy with the move that I've always had something better to do. I'm really happy for them not to be an issue, since games & shows have been my primary addiction fuel. I'm not very confident that I'll be able to maintain this, because at some point life will settle down a bit and I'll probably have more opportunity to waste time. Which is why I'm starting this journal up again.

So here's what I want to accomplish with this journal:

- Maintain my game & vid-free streak. I'll allow myself an occasional video to watch, but no more than 1 and nothing actually harmful (like gaming vids, news, and other stuff that sucks you in). No getting stuck on YT for hours.

- No more phone in the washroom. This has been tripping me up a lot lately and wasting more time than it should.

- No mobile games.

I have some "positive" habits that I want to work on as well, but I'll keep things easy for now and will focus on what I should NOT do. I feel like right now, none of the above requires a LOT of willpower (although there's a particular mobile game that's been eating up a lot of my time as of late).

I think that's it. I've come a long way already, and if I can do the above goals for 120 days, I think my life will be in a very good place overall.

But success is only with and through God.

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Hi @karabas, it's been long since I talked with you. How are things so far?

On 9/7/2019 at 3:12 PM, karabas said:

There's been a major update in my life: my wife got into a graduate program at a uni, so we once again did a trans-continental move. Finance-wise things will be a lot tighter in the new place and we're living in a studio-ish apartment (it's got a tiny 2nd room that fits a desk and not much else). But it's actually good for several reasons: I'm now surrounded by pretty committed students all around me and it's making me more committed to doing something with my life myself. Also, my desk is now out in the open. I can't secretly do crap aside from when my wife is in class, so I'm a lot less tempted to do stupid things.

That's great, not a lot of gamers who want to quit could have the opportunity (like you have) to surround themselves with mindsets similar with yours.

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Day 2/120

No comp games: ✔️
No mobile games: ✔️ 2/120
No excessive video-watching: X
No phone in washroom: ✔️2/120

It looks like getting rid of phone games made me go back to watching vids. But it's not super bad at the moment, hoping I can get it under control.

15 hours ago, Lea said:

Hi @karabas, it's been long since I talked with you. How are things so far?

On 9/7/2019 at 1:12 AM, karabas said:

Hey! Yeah it's been a while ? Things are good, how about you?

16 hours ago, Lea said:

That's great, not a lot of gamers who want to quit could have the opportunity (like you have) to surround themselves with mindsets similar with yours.

Yeah, I'm looking forward to 2 years of this!

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22 hours ago, karabas said:

Hey! Yeah it's been a while ? Things are good, how about you?

It's great so far, though there are ups and downs. As for now, I take a semester off, so I would not not be in uni until next year February/March.

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Yeah, so it's been quiet from me because I somehow keep relapsing on this particular stupid android game. I think it takes up a good 2 hours of my time a day and I just now spent 1.5 hours in a particularly-long multiplayer slugfest that I had to eventually quit because I just got sick of it.

This is really starting to annoy me. I'm wasting my time on really stupid stuff now - at least computer games are in-depth and require a good amount of learning, skill, etc... this stuff is pretty dumb and mostly luck-dependent.

So I'm re-committing myself to the detox above. I'm not really sure what else to do except try it again. I recently started rock-climbing and proceeded to injure myself on my first real day in the gym, so now I think I'm gonna be stuck recovering for a week or two, which sucks, as the activity was helping me stay away from this stuff.

Anyway... let's see what happens.

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On 9/9/2019 at 10:19 PM, Lea said:

It's great so far, though there are ups and downs. As for now, I take a semester off, so I would not not be in uni until next year February/March.

Ah, those can come in handy. And ups and downs are natural in this process ? Hope you enjoy your time off! What's your plan for this period?

On 9/10/2019 at 11:52 AM, Deku said:

Welcome back!! I missed you out here! Can't wait to see how part 3 goes.

Thanks man! Missed you as well! Here's to hoping this goes well... I feel like I haven't had any real movement on my detox since August of last year...

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Day 2/120

No comp games: ✔️
No mobile games: ✔️ 2/120
No excessive video-watching: X
No phone in washroom: X

Well, I somehow managed to stay off of mobile games! It was a close call, more than a few times. But I still can't stop bringing my phone with me to the washroom. Why?? I have no idea.

Hopefully it'll get better from here.

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i'm somehow still not able to stop playing phone games. what the hell is this?

i think i'm going to give my phone to my wife to hold on to during the day. not like i use it extensively for anything good anyway...

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  • 1 month later...

Hey guys,

It's been a while, clearly. It hasn't been super bad or super good. I finally deleted my phone games, downloaded an app lock, locked my app store, and had my wife pick a password. Yes, I can probably hack the system to install more stuff, but for it's been enough to keep away from games for the past 2-3 weeks.

I did have a brief relapse with phone games when I went for a trip and had to unlock the app store, but I found that I now found these games boring. Crazy how getting out of an addictive behavior works!

I haven't been able to really move forward with not watching videos. I'm neither here nor there. Since our latest move, we now live in a studio, so my wife's usually around and I'm embarrassed to watch stuff in front of her. So it's been minimal enough that it doesn't take over my life. I don't go to bed late. I still get my work done.

The problem, of course, is that it does still eat up my time. By the end of the day, I look back and I wonder where several hours went - and it's down to stupid crap like watching random YT videos, surfing Facebook (which I hate), and otherwise reading stuff I'm not actually that interested about.

It's a problem, but I guess it's not a severe enough problem for me to get the motivation to finally kick these habits for good. Dunno what to do about that.

On the flip side, I've been experiencing the strongest cravings for playing actual computer games in the 14 months (wow, it's been that long!) since I've last gamed. There's one particular one that's out that looks really interesting, and I keep thinking "oh, i can just game a little on the side, no biggie". Yeah, right. If I start gaming, I know I'm not coming out of my room for anything for the next month.

Sigh.

I re-read my post from when I last quit. That helped me a bit. So far I've been holding off despite the strong urge. I just keep thinking about how much is on the line: my work, income, business, family life, health (I've finally started a decent semi-regular fitness routine), etc. I really don't want to screw things up now.

I'm hoping a few days of these cravings and they'll go away. Can't last forever, right?

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  • 2 months later...

Well, as can probably be assumed, I did end up relapsing a day or two after the post above. It hasn't been a complete disaster in the sense that I haven't gamed my life away... but I've fallen just short of that.

I've been using an app called FocusMe as a crutch to block games I don't want to play. So I ended up playing somewhere between an hour and 3 a day... which still gives me time to do some work and other activities.

But I've been really falling behind. I need to be working more to keep my earnings, my own business is stagnating while I game. I haven't really had the motivation to stop until today. Not sure what came over me, but I did set FocusMe on for the next 90 days with no gaming allowed.

There's ways around the app (to some degree), but I'm hoping I can do the 90-day detox again despite that.

I still have the problem of watching videos, but one thing at a time eh?

I guess I'll need to start a new topic, since I'm not really pulling weeds here anymore. It's back to full-on gaming detox.

What bothers me the most is how long I didn't have any motivation to quit. It's not like I relapsed and then wanted to quit immediately. I gamed from November to nearly end of January until I started getting the feeling like maybe I should stop. And I'm not super convinced about it yet.

Sigh. Not sure what's going on, but I guess I'm back to try to figure it out?

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I think you should keep this topic and use the relapses as fuel to your fire for quitting. You can read them in the future to see how far you've gone. Don't hide from your relapses. Use this journal and use it as motivation.

I think you need to write down every reason you're relapsing, why you want to quit games, and what you've been doing that has triggered relapses.

Welcome back.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/23/2020 at 5:39 PM, BooksandTrees said:

I think you should keep this topic and use the relapses as fuel to your fire for quitting. You can read them in the future to see how far you've gone. Don't hide from your relapses. Use this journal and use it as motivation.

It's not really hiding from them, it's more like organizing 🙂 But I'll stick to this one for now, I guess

On 1/23/2020 at 5:39 PM, BooksandTrees said:

I think you need to write down every reason you're relapsing, why you want to quit games, and what you've been doing that has triggered relapses.

Yeah, this is an exercise I did a long time ago, probably worth to refresh. It's not that I'm "relapsing" constantly, it's more like I was off of games for 14 months, and then relapsed once. This is my first time since having relapsed in November that I've gotten enough motivation to quit again. But I'm not yet where I was back when I relapsed a year ago - not ready to give up my steam library & uninstall all the games. I'll probably have to work my way to it.

The reason I relapsed was that one of the games I used to play prior to quitting games was a particular sport management game. I was watching that sport since there was a big competition going on, then I ended up looking up the game again and checking out the new features since I last played it, and then the desire to play just became overwhelming. I still lasted quite a while (I think several weeks) before I succumbed to it. I wasn't under any delusion that I could control myself if I returned to gaming. I knew full well what it would descend into. I just couldn't stop myself.

In retrospect, I'm not sure what I could've done differently... so that's something to think about for the future.

After I got one game, that obviously quickly expanded to other games. Mostly old games that I know & love, not a lot of new stuff. Most of the new games don't really interest me.

In terms of why I'm gaming, I think it's a simple issue of running away from responsibilities. I'm a freelancer and thus my work is entirely self-motivated. And while I don't hate my work, I'm not in love with it or anything. I see it as a means to other things I want to do... but that means I basically have to force myself to work. And I've never been very good about making myself do stuff that I know is good for me but I don't want to do.

That's why since quitting games again this time around, I haven't really increased in productivity. I just replaced my wasting time with watching movies, TV shows, etc.

At the moment, I'm getting just enough work done to get by and feel OK about myself, so the desire to quit the time-wasting isn't super strong. Last time I quit was when I got myself in such a hole that I was behind on everything.

I'm not really sure what to do. In the long-term, I'm hoping I'll be able to work just a few days a week and steer clear of the computer the rest of the week. But I have to work hard to get myself there, and I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to that.

*sigh*

Anyway, it's been 9 days since I quit gaming. It's been OK so far. Not a ton of craving, but not free of it either. There's a particular game I want to play that I've been itching to do. My computer blocker basically won't block new games, so I know I can buy something new and play that. Of course, I know that once I waste a few days on that game, I'll add it to the blocker, so I'd be paying ~$50 to play it for a couple of days. For now, that's sufficient motivation to not play. Let's see if it lasts.

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2 hours ago, karabas said:

It's not really hiding from them, it's more like organizing 🙂 But I'll stick to this one for now, I guess

Yeah, this is an exercise I did a long time ago, probably worth to refresh. It's not that I'm "relapsing" constantly, it's more like I was off of games for 14 months, and then relapsed once. This is my first time since having relapsed in November that I've gotten enough motivation to quit again. But I'm not yet where I was back when I relapsed a year ago - not ready to give up my steam library & uninstall all the games. I'll probably have to work my way to it.

The reason I relapsed was that one of the games I used to play prior to quitting games was a particular sport management game. I was watching that sport since there was a big competition going on, then I ended up looking up the game again and checking out the new features since I last played it, and then the desire to play just became overwhelming. I still lasted quite a while (I think several weeks) before I succumbed to it. I wasn't under any delusion that I could control myself if I returned to gaming. I knew full well what it would descend into. I just couldn't stop myself.

In retrospect, I'm not sure what I could've done differently... so that's something to think about for the future.

After I got one game, that obviously quickly expanded to other games. Mostly old games that I know & love, not a lot of new stuff. Most of the new games don't really interest me.

In terms of why I'm gaming, I think it's a simple issue of running away from responsibilities. I'm a freelancer and thus my work is entirely self-motivated. And while I don't hate my work, I'm not in love with it or anything. I see it as a means to other things I want to do... but that means I basically have to force myself to work. And I've never been very good about making myself do stuff that I know is good for me but I don't want to do.

That's why since quitting games again this time around, I haven't really increased in productivity. I just replaced my wasting time with watching movies, TV shows, etc.

At the moment, I'm getting just enough work done to get by and feel OK about myself, so the desire to quit the time-wasting isn't super strong. Last time I quit was when I got myself in such a hole that I was behind on everything.

I'm not really sure what to do. In the long-term, I'm hoping I'll be able to work just a few days a week and steer clear of the computer the rest of the week. But I have to work hard to get myself there, and I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to that.

*sigh*

Anyway, it's been 9 days since I quit gaming. It's been OK so far. Not a ton of craving, but not free of it either. There's a particular game I want to play that I've been itching to do. My computer blocker basically won't block new games, so I know I can buy something new and play that. Of course, I know that once I waste a few days on that game, I'll add it to the blocker, so I'd be paying ~$50 to play it for a couple of days. For now, that's sufficient motivation to not play. Let's see if it lasts.

I know how you feel. I'm a huge hockey fan and I was the best player in the world at EA Sports NHL series from 2012 to 2015 or 16. I had quit video games for a while and then watched hockey. I just missed playing it, though. I checked out the game and all my friends saw me log in and hundreds of people messaged me. I went on to play club games with them and then got invited to the Canada vs USA tournament to be the starting goalie in it. I was hooked again and it took so long to pull away. I finally could pull away because the game kept getting worse and less enjoyable to play. I then realized I hated all of my "friends" on that game because they weren't real friends. They just enjoyed that I was getting them victories. I felt hurt. I also hated how long it took to find clubs to play and stuff. I quit and moved on to other games like RuneScape and Overwatch but realized the same thing. Nostalgia doesn't last long once you play. The games aggravate you and you remember why you quit in the first place.

Maybe you need an environment where you have to be productive? I thought I'd enjoy quitting my job and creating stuff as a hobby for money. It put so much pressure on me that I ended up going insane (also the fact I was being severely abused by someone I was living with to the point of suicide, but that's not the point I'm making). Being at an office has actually fueled my life and made me just focus on my work and feel important. I can be a self starter there, but not outside of work. That takes all the pressure off of me once I'm out of work.

I think you might benefit from a working environment where you need to be productive so you don't have to push yourself that way so often. Maybe also finding a hobby. It took me 8 months to try rock climbing and 1.2 years to try 3d modeling and I realize I enjoy those hobbies the most. Don't give up. Sometimes it just takes time and frustration. Keep repeating good habits and being observant. You got far before and can do it again.

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  • 5 months later...

So it's been a while. Again.

I deleted my Steam account today. Well, I requested it to be deleted... bastards keep it alive for 30 days to lure you back in.

Last time I did this, I went on to a 18-month no-gaming detox. To be fair, that was a much bigger financial hit than this time... but I'm hoping that this time around, I'm quitting for good.

It's kinda funny, actually. I didn't see this coming at all. Last time around, I hit rock bottom in terms of my addiction and I finally got the balls to hit that Steam delete request. And deleting Steam and all my games & achievements really made coming back to gaming a lot more difficult.

This time around, there was no rock bottom. I've been using the Focus app to limit my gaming to 90 mins a day. It was a sort of bargain with myself. I didn't have the strength to quit, but this way I still got work & other responsibilities done. So I was doing ok. Not great, mind you. I was spending 90 minutes a day gaming, then I'd still waste more time watching videos and the like. But it was passing.

But the thing is, I could've done so much more if I wasn't doing all this stuff. My income is basically proportional to how much time I spend working... I could've been better off financially. My business has been stuck without launching. I'm not sure if I'll finish it at this point.

So I don't know what happened. Today, my Focus plan expired, meaning there was no time limit on my gaming. I played a little bit of this, a little bit of that... and I just felt SO BORED. Here I am, a 30+ y.o. man who's moving pixels around on a screen, pretending they're footballers. Or pretending to rule some civilization and feeling proud that it virtually accomplished something.

It's all completely worthless. If I die tomorrow, I'm not going to wish that I could've won a culture victory with the Aztecs on Civ 5 or something. I have far more exciting, real life goals that I want to achieve.

And so I just felt so bored by it all. I looked at my game list and realized I had 0 interest in playing any of them.

So I deleted my Steam account.

This is not like last time. I'm already feeling the urge to play again. Last time it took months for cravings to come back.

But I also want to do things differently this time around. I want to quit it all. No more stupid TV shows or movies (95% of it is boring... the plots are so formulaic), no more wasting time on YouTube. I need to stop entertaining myself.

Here's what I'm doing for that:

  • I'm planning on giving up my Pixel 3 tomorrow and getting an Alcatel Go Flip 3 instead. It's a "smart" dumbphone: it runs KaiOS, so has stuff like google assistant, maps, whatsapp, etc, but is still basic & too slow to allow for mindless browsing or gaming
  • I'll create Focus plans to prevent visiting Netflix & restrict everything else.
  • I want to try to create a habit using something I picked up in "Atomic Habits": every time I want to get distracted, but focus instead, I'll move a paperclip from one container to another. Not gonna be creative about it - I have paperclips and if they worked for the guy in the story, hopefully they'll work for me too.

I'm not actually sure if I'll keep up this journal. I just wanted to come here and write about today as a way of committing and just making myself accountable.

Hope everyone's detoxes are going well! ❤️

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Welcome back. You have some serious goals with the no streaming/browsing/gaming. I haven't seen anyone do it with no browsing or shows. Although I'm sure some people do. What will you do with your free time? Sounds like a lot of working for the most part.

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8 hours ago, karabas said:

So it's been a while. Again.

I deleted my Steam account today. Well, I requested it to be deleted... bastards keep it alive for 30 days to lure you back in.

Last time I did this, I went on to a 18-month no-gaming detox. To be fair, that was a much bigger financial hit than this time... but I'm hoping that this time around, I'm quitting for good.

It's kinda funny, actually. I didn't see this coming at all. Last time around, I hit rock bottom in terms of my addiction and I finally got the balls to hit that Steam delete request. And deleting Steam and all my games & achievements really made coming back to gaming a lot more difficult.

This time around, there was no rock bottom. I've been using the Focus app to limit my gaming to 90 mins a day. It was a sort of bargain with myself. I didn't have the strength to quit, but this way I still got work & other responsibilities done. So I was doing ok. Not great, mind you. I was spending 90 minutes a day gaming, then I'd still waste more time watching videos and the like. But it was passing.

But the thing is, I could've done so much more if I wasn't doing all this stuff. My income is basically proportional to how much time I spend working... I could've been better off financially. My business has been stuck without launching. I'm not sure if I'll finish it at this point.

So I don't know what happened. Today, my Focus plan expired, meaning there was no time limit on my gaming. I played a little bit of this, a little bit of that... and I just felt SO BORED. Here I am, a 30+ y.o. man who's moving pixels around on a screen, pretending they're footballers. Or pretending to rule some civilization and feeling proud that it virtually accomplished something.

It's all completely worthless. If I die tomorrow, I'm not going to wish that I could've won a culture victory with the Aztecs on Civ 5 or something. I have far more exciting, real life goals that I want to achieve.

And so I just felt so bored by it all. I looked at my game list and realized I had 0 interest in playing any of them.

So I deleted my Steam account.

This is not like last time. I'm already feeling the urge to play again. Last time it took months for cravings to come back.

But I also want to do things differently this time around. I want to quit it all. No more stupid TV shows or movies (95% of it is boring... the plots are so formulaic), no more wasting time on YouTube. I need to stop entertaining myself.

Here's what I'm doing for that:

  • I'm planning on giving up my Pixel 3 tomorrow and getting an Alcatel Go Flip 3 instead. It's a "smart" dumbphone: it runs KaiOS, so has stuff like google assistant, maps, whatsapp, etc, but is still basic & too slow to allow for mindless browsing or gaming
  • I'll create Focus plans to prevent visiting Netflix & restrict everything else.
  • I want to try to create a habit using something I picked up in "Atomic Habits": every time I want to get distracted, but focus instead, I'll move a paperclip from one container to another. Not gonna be creative about it - I have paperclips and if they worked for the guy in the story, hopefully they'll work for me too.

I'm not actually sure if I'll keep up this journal. I just wanted to come here and write about today as a way of committing and just making myself accountable.

Hope everyone's detoxes are going well! ❤️

Welcome back.

I think something I've learned on this journey is the influx of emotions that rise, fall, and stagnate at both positive and negative values for some time. Rise = quitting gaming, Fall = Want to play games, Positive stagnation = good daily habits and can curb cravings as well as find new ways to funnel stress, Negative stagnation = wanting to binge games, but can't so you spend hours on YouTube or something or watch porn, drink, etc.

I think for people like us it's important to have a strong tool belt that Batman has. The tools in your belt will cure your addiction, but you don't want so many tools that curing the addiction feels like work. We're already using gaming and other bad habits to escape from responsibilities and stress, so why add more?

I've taken the approach of scheduling a minimum of half of my day with a set plan. Days with work I don't crave games because I work 8-12 hours, eat 3 meals, exercise for 1 hour, do a hobby for 1-2 hours, sleep 8 hours, relax for 1-3 hours etc. The day is gone. No cravings. 

I'm on vacation now and I've always struggled on days off due to burnout from the busy schedule I mentioned earlier. So I spend 8 hours sleeping, 3 hours cooking and eating, 1 hour exercising, 2-4 hours on one hobby, 2-4 hours on another hobby, and give myself 2-4 hours of relaxing.

The relaxation part is important because of what I mentioned above with the waves we ride. You mention you're mad about wasting time at 30. I'm also 30 and get angry that I haven't created a successful cartoon and book to bring in money so I can quit my job. My job is why I used to game and watch porn. So I get angry and treat my hobby like a job. That's more of an immediate response to the anger because we're still fixated on the instant gratification. 

I think the Atomic Habits book might help you. I didn't read it, but I do agree with redirecting queues and cravings for habits towards healthier and more productive activities. Take some time and allow yourself the relaxation so you can have a more level curve of rising and falling. You don't want to be too emotional on this process. The less of a big deal you make quitting games and bad habits the more successful you'll be because you're going to follow the path you've set without expending too much mental energy. The less mental duress on your body and mind will lead to less cravings to deal with stress and the less opportunity for relapsing.

Good luck

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2 hours ago, Erik2.0 said:

Welcome back. You have some serious goals with the no streaming/browsing/gaming. I haven't seen anyone do it with no browsing or shows. Although I'm sure some people do. What will you do with your free time? Sounds like a lot of working for the most part.

I think I've seen a few people do it. I've definitely tried it before. I think the issue with watching videos/shows/movies is that it's essentially the same thing. My brain has a cue (need to focus to get something done) and a habit (get distracted). When I'm gaming, the distraction is gaming. When I'm not gaming, the distraction is other forms of entertainment. The end result is the same (wasted time) and my brain conditioning stays the same. So when I relapse on gaming, my brain just jumps back into the flow.

Plus, I do also think that the vast majority of television, movies, and youtube are an absolute waste of time. Check out Neil Postman's "Amusing Ourselves to Death" on why. And especially if you read about the different film/tv-writing strategies, you'll start being able to predict what happens in nearly every single movie/show because they're so damn formulaic. There are rare exceptions to that, of course.

As for what will I do with my free time, I have way too many things to do 🙂 But first of all, I enjoy work. Especially since, like I said, the more work I do, the more money I earn, and I have certain plans for financial stability, charity work, etc that I want to do. So seeing hours of work pile up is actually mentally rewarding, because I also know that comes with an income. 

I also have a business project that I've invested a lot of time in, but still haven't launched. I really want to launch it, so working on it isn't tiring or boring, it's exciting.

I also have been studying my religion (Islam) on the side for years now. I have plans for books I want to cover and that's pretty exciting to me as well. There are also a ton of non-religious works I'd love to read. Learning is definitely a passion of mine.

Normally, I'd do rock climbing and I had plans for going to some outdoor locations to climb, but due to COVID that's all on hold right now. Hoping that things will become normal soon, although it doesn't look like it.

My wife and I go on a lot of walks as well...

So, as you can see, I have plenty of things to spend my time on 🙂 I think I'm not the typical gamer in that sense. Gaming isn't my identity or community (I play single player 100% of the time), it's more about distraction and (fake) achievement.

44 minutes ago, BooksandTrees said:

Take some time and allow yourself the relaxation so you can have a more level curve of rising and falling.

Yeah, that's an important thing that I think I've been missing as well. I'm always go-go-go, and I have so many exciting projects that I normally don't mind, but I need to just stop sometimes. I think one of the reasons this whole thing happened this time around is that over the past several months, I've been watching a lot of stuff about people in nature. I've really gotten into homesteading channels on Youtube and also a show called "Alone", where people are literally alone for months in the wild. I think watching people's mental transformation through all of that helped re-orient my own thinking. And one of the things all those people talk about is having the time to just think and be with yourself & nature.

I'm lacking that a lot and definitely need to incorporate that into my life.

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I think I read somewhere that the person who invented the tv, said it was a complete waste of time and distraction from life and wouldn’t use it. 
 

I completely agree with your views on any type of screen time. It’s just another escape. Although I do love my YouTube. Sigh.

 

Have a beautiful day friend

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9 hours ago, Erik2.0 said:

Books and trees also rock climbs btw.

??

Edit: sorry, I didn't realize you were referring to a forum user 🙂

9 hours ago, Icandothis said:

I completely agree with your views on any type of screen time. It’s just another escape. Although I do love my YouTube. Sigh.

YouTube is probably the only thing I'd be willing to keep if I was able to use it productively. It has a ton of very useful content and I've benefited from it greatly over the years. The problem, of course, is it's also a major time sink. I don't really know exactly what to do with it. I can't completely ban it, since I use it for work and there are a few channels that I'm subscribed to that I think overall improve my life and put out ~10min/week of content, so it's not a huge time drain.

Edited by karabas
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Day 3

I'm about to head to sleep, having done 3 days without gaming.

On day 1 I went and got a flip phone. It's crazy how scary it was to shut off my smartphone and come to terms that I'm now using this very limited tool. Surprisingly, the biggest thing I miss isn't what I was using my smartphone for most of the time (gaming, checking news, reading random **** online), but the ability to look up the answer to any question right there on the spot.

Getting off my phone has definitely done a good one for me. I probably gained back a good hour or two a day from not reading random crap I don't need online and not spending more time in the bathroom than I need to because I'm on my smartphone. That's a definitely a win.

Gaming also gave me an extra 90 minutes a day, which is great. I haven't really missed it and I hope it stays that way. I've had a few minor cravings, but nothing major so far.

Today was the first day I've put in a full 6 hours of work. I like being consistent, so I aim for 6 days of 6 hours of work each. 6 hours might not seem all that much, but it's pure work. Unlike at a desk job, where taking a break still counts as being at work, I only get paid for the actual time I spend working... so 6 hours is quite a good amount of effort.

I'm going to bed later than I'd like (it's almost 3 am here), but I did have a bunch of stuff that came up today that was unexpected that ate up a bunch of my time.

I did end up wasting time on Netflix. It was the one show I feel OK with watching (Alone from the History channel), but I shouldn't have allowed myself to spend so much time on it or to let it keep me up. I need to create plans in the Focus app to shut all that kind of stuff off once it gets later at night.

In terms of getting distracted, I've been doing really well. I've been using the whole paperclip trick to try to reprogram my brain when I want to distract myself, but it's obviously way too early for it to have any effect.

Overall, I'm surprised with how much focus I have. Not sure where it's coming from.

Hope this continues. I know I have my ups and downs. I need to make use of the ups and create some habits and other systems so that once I get hit with one of my lows, the impact is not as terrible.

And success is only through God! <3

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  • 2 weeks later...

Day 14

Wow, I can't believe I'm finishing day 14!

It hasn't really gone as I planned... My wife and I came down with something (likely covid). Hers is worse than mine, I just have a ton of fatigue. I sleep 12+ hours a day and still get up tired. It's slowly getting worse, but it really wrecked my productivity.

I also made some important life decisions in the last week and, as it always happens with me in these situations, got super excited about planning my future life out. It actually concerns me a bit that I've been living in the future essentially of the past year, maybe more, but in a way, this gives me motivation to keep working towards a goal I really want. That's probably better than not having a goal.

Anyhoo, I'm hoping that I can slowly get back into productivity. In the meantime, I'm getting a ton of sleep! 

I've been using my Focus app to limit my youtube and it's overall been working (i set it to a 45 min timer). I think getting my dumb phone also helped a lot: I'm no longer wasting time gaming on my smartphone or reading news/memes/whatever. I'm pretty sure that's at least 2 hours a day that I end up devoting to something more useful/less harmful.

So that's pretty much it. Hopefully my next update will be a bit more full of productivity!

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