Jump to content
×
×
  • Create New...

How to be productive? I feel like I have unlimited amount time


Vojta
 Share

Recommended Posts

First of all I’d like to say I am grateful for any tips or advice.

 

My school closed a month ago. So I am stuck at home bored! When I actually have to write my thesis and study for super-final examination (I am at my last year of university). Ofc I would like to work on myself, my own projects too. But I keep doing nothing. Quarantine changed my day so that I have literally 24 h of free time every day…

  1. No motivation, no pressure, no deadlines, feeling of unlimited amount time, comfort
  2. HUGE task ahead of me (thesis and revision of 3 years of uni studies)

And btw I doubt about what to do after my uni. So actually procrastinating and then extending my studies by one year is a large relief... During the month I tried several things, always relapsed back to this state 😕 What would you suggest please?

 

Gaming window: I downloaded Leauge of legends (I quit a year ago) and thought I will use it as reward for being productive (and to fight isolation), worked for 3 days, then I went competetive, spend a week playing and realized I am in it again. Ended up deleting my lol acc forever.

Edited by Vojta
added (), amount
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have the feeling that you are regretting your choice from the university because of that:

3 hours ago, Vojta said:

And btw I doubt about what to do after my uni. So actually procrastinating and then extending my studies by one year is a large relief... During the month I tried several things, always relapsed back to this state

The solution is really easy. Go to a study advisor, maybe talk with your parents and try to find out, why you are concerned about the future. If by any means, you find out that this is the wrong job path for you that it is a huge mistake, isn't it? So why bother and waste money? Instead, you should start to find out, what you want! Otherwise, you are wasting your life. And don't be afraid that you wasted your time before. The only thing that you can change, is the future, not the past. I studied latin and biology from 2011 until 2015, but in 2017, I decided to start over and started to study psychology. BEST CHOICE EVER. Just thinking back at my old studies creates pain in my stomack. I am so glad, I did that. I would have made a terrible mistake. There is another indication that there is something wrong here:

3 hours ago, Vojta said:

I downloaded Leauge of legends (I quit a year ago) and thought I will use it as reward for being productive (and to fight isolation), worked for 3 days,

So, I don't have to download a game to reward myself to learn for university. Why? Because I want to become a very good clinical psychologist. I want to learn as much about human psychology as possible. About diseases, problems, positive psychology, fads, ethics and philosophy. It is rewarding in itself. And university is really not a place to waste your time and to just get a degree. You are educating yourself (search what studere means in latin). You are trying to find out, who you would like to be and how you could be a valuable part for society. When I read a piece of ethics, I don't just read it. I mark it, make my comments. I ask my own questions, I question the claims of the article itself, I am basically changing my whole identity and I am a different person after each module. 

I am not saying that you need to find a study that is fulfilling for you as psychology is for me, but I am telling you that you should find out, who you would like to become. What is your desired identity? What kind of person would you like to be? Is part of that identity to study, what you are studying right now? Is part of that identity to sit at home and to do nothing? Is part of that identity to play league of legends? You have to find answers to those question. I think, it is the most important notion to start your journey towards your dreams.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, Alexanderle said:

I have the feeling that you are regretting your choice from the university because of that:

Really? Who are you that you can easily tell (I get it after reading the rest). You are right, every issue I have stems from what to do and I actually left uni but my parents did insist on me completing it. Well now I just want to finish it. I am in 6th out of 6 semester to get my bachelor degree. I hoped for some 'current' productivity tips, not to start from the ground. To finish uni is my goal now.

 

I cant stress enough how much I agree with you and I am happy that you live this way. I actually know about my desired identity more or less (I have multiple).

 

17 hours ago, Alexanderle said:

search what studere means in latin

If anyone is interested 🙂  Verb studeō: I dedicate myself (to), direct my efforts or attention (to), strive after, I am attached or favorable (to), favor, support [wiktionary].

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ok, I sense some negativity here. If I offended you that was not my intention. The fact that you mentioned your doubts about university let my alarm clocks ring, because it can be quite a nasty place to be in, when you are having doubts about your study subject. I know that quite well. For me, it became unbearable. If you feel that it is right to continue doing it than that is fine for me. I think at least having a job later, which fulfills you to some degree (there are always annoying parts), that seems to be an important thing, at least for me. 

3 hours ago, Vojta said:

I hoped for some 'current' productivity tips, not to start from the ground. To finish uni is my goal now.

Fair enough. I get that. But this is, why I started to talk about the importance of meaning, identities and "studere" 😛. We know, what to do in order to be more effective. To study effective. Stuff like: Regular sleep, breaks, active reading, regular learning instead of binging before exams. All of that - but is it actually helpful in your situation? We all know these things, we all know what to do to lose weight, but we still are struggling despite the knowledge. So knowledge is not always the issue. But if there is some meaning and some perspective for the future, there usually also is the motivation to work, independent of deadlines or corona. And I am sure that corona is not really helping the situation. So therefore, I was wondering about your subject of the university in the first place. Running in the wrong direction, whatever that is, seems to be a terrible choice, no matter how fast you are running. 

But what are tips for productivity?

- Clean your room and be the master of your own situation.

- Find a way to workout (yoga, meditation, bodyweight exercises, some workout videos on youtube, weight lifting, I don't know, what you like.)

- Eat good food (not junk food or excessive amounts of sugar)

- have a daily schedule and set your own deadlines

- good to bed on regular times and try to wake up a little earlier than you are doing right now

- don't change too many things at once, because that can be quite hard

- don't work all day long (have breaks in between)

- Have a mourning routine (shower regularily, brush your teeth and shave)

- Drink enough water

- Find opportunities to leave the house to get some fresh air

- find ways to talk to people (telephone, online, in person...)

...

I am sure there is a lot more. But it might be a starting point.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Alexanderle said:

If I offended you that was not my intention. ... For me, it became unbearable. If you feel that it is right to continue doing it than that is fine for me. ... I think at least having a job later, which fulfills you to some degree, that seems to be an important thing, at least for me. 

Dear Alexanderle, no and pardon me if it sonded like that. I was just suprised how random stranger can so quickly see my inner doubts (when others like the closest ones dont). It got ubearable to me too and I was hiding it from myself. It's strange how inluence of others can change your thoughts in a way that you reject your true thoughts and feelings. I think at this stage - one step (leap) from getting the degree - it would be stupid not to finish it.

 

1 hour ago, Alexanderle said:

We know, what to do in order to be more effective

You are right. On the other hand I was capable of doing school stuff before quarantine and during its first one or two weeks. But now, when I have literally 24 hours each day free. I dont value time, I dont feel any preassure. Thus I cant fight procrastination. Everything that brigs even slightiest joy is far away from those difficult things like writing a thesis. To be closed at home with all the time, with no routine, with all distractions. Going to a library or back at dorms it would help me so much but I cant.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Vojta said:

I was just suprised how random stranger can so quickly see my inner doubts (when others like the closest ones dont). It got ubearable to me too and I was hiding it from myself.

Well, you kinda told me, right?

On 4/12/2020 at 4:15 PM, Vojta said:

And btw I doubt about what to do after my uni.

And honestly, it is important to talk about these things. Not necessarily with me or other strangers, but maybe your family. Tell them, what exactely makes you doubtful. Maybe sometimes it is just a minor thing that, once taken care off, releases the pressure and you are fine again. But I understand, what you mean about the necessity of finishing now, so close before your degree. You should absolutely finish it, since it is valuable to have a degree. I just hope that you will also find a job that suits you.

 

14 hours ago, Vojta said:

But now, when I have literally 24 hours each day free. I dont value time, I dont feel any preassure. Thus I cant fight procrastination.

So procrastination is the result of no pressure? Therefore, when you are pressured, you are productive? I assume that this is external pressure from deadlines, upcoming exams and resulting grades right? I think that something, which is helping me, is that I also have this inner pressure. Workaholics like me tend to want to be the best, finish everything close to perfection and just be amazing in what they do. So, they have their own deadlines and external motivation is not necessary. Perfectionism is not always valuable, but maybe this is something that you should now find in yourself: Internal pressure. 

Create a schedule for tomorrow. Consider, how tomorrow should look like that you will be in a better state than today. And than be a bit pissed about yourself that you maybe only hit the schedule with around 70 %. And than try to adjust the schedule the next day to become more effective. Forget the grades and deadlines. You are own master! You decide, how to control your own engine. What do you think about this approach? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, LordFederickRamsay said:

Votja, do you go to Cardiff University? Were you a part of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead? 

Are you asking if I played a theatre in Cardiff? No I am not from UK, but I do (did)  improv. Why did you think?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/14/2020 at 10:41 AM, Alexanderle said:

Well, you kinda told me, right?

A little bit, you understood it quickly. Good prerequisities to become great psychologist.

On 4/14/2020 at 10:41 AM, Alexanderle said:

And honestly, it is important to talk about these things.

Definitely. This is what you should start with. Interesting thing is I got so manipulated that I am sometimes not sure with my own thoughts.

On 4/14/2020 at 10:41 AM, Alexanderle said:

What do you think about this approach? 

I do this. But I am half a phlegatic and it's not really working. I often  find myself in 'nah' condition and with kind of comfort in my head I skip the task for some pleasure. I feel regret or anger at the end of a day, but thats too late. Actually I am a perfekcionist but I am lacking the will to even start. I do not know how it happened but the isolation, sitting at home, made me the most lazy ass. I've never been in such a state.

Hats off for following this thread with me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Vojta said:

A little bit, you understood it quickly. Good prerequisities to become great psychologist.

On the one hand, I agree, on the other hand, it might be useful to listen a lot and let people express themselves and even guide them into coming to their conclusions rather than forcing my conclusion towards them.

2 hours ago, Vojta said:

I do not know how it happened but the isolation, sitting at home, made me the most lazy ass.

I really think you are not alone. It is a totally new situation. I think, if you structured your day before the situation regarding deadlines, outer structures and schedules, this could be a challenging situation now. It might be easier for a person, who always did follow his or her own schedules and deadlines. But the good news - this will not last forever. 🙂

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a dopamine excurse somewhere here on the forum. I don't want to go through the science again, but I have with the dopamine hypothesis. Sure, it is involved in learning and wants to trigger us to do something "good" again. But once we have learned that thing, dopamine levels decline.

Now, the biggest problem with this approach, what I see is that people can blame all their problems on dopamine. But it is never that simple. You can't just say: It is just a transmitter in my brain. I know that neuroscience is trying to accomplish that. But every single time, it turns out to be extremely complicated afterall. The brain is complicated. And it is very easy to fall into the trap of fads: Fashionable ideas and trends, which sound promising but have no substance. At the late 1900s, people believed in phrenology, which basically said that brainbumps and brain areas can tell someting about your personality, your soulmate and your dreamjob. Became a big thing and a gigantic industry. But it ultimately turned out to be a gigantic pseudoscience. I see those tendencies today as well. Nofap is a good example: Most certainly a big pseudoscience with a placebo fallacy. Critical thinking is important.

I quit sugar stuff and sweets over a year ago. Never ate ice cream or stuff like that ever since. According to the dopamin idea, this is just the result of me getting away of some dopaminergic activity. But then there is a different approach:  I hate sugar, I hate the sugar industry. I feel that it is very bad for me. And more importantly, I think that it has to do with the identity, I discovered for myself. I see myself as a very ripped and muscular person in the future. I have this new life approach, which I am not intended to change. I have no desire to ever eat icecream in my life again. So, I doubt that it is all due to dopamin. What about motivation? Identity? Personal meaning of life?

You can detox from "dopamin", which is tough to measure, all day long. If you still think that you are a couch potato, like sweets and binge watch netflix, how likely is it that you get rid of these "dopaminergic" activities and instead go to the gym? And what about a bodybuilder? Did he just changed the level of dopamin for working out? Or did he just develop an increased flow of dopamin towards heavy weights? What about me? I can sit all day long and read psychology articles, work on my thesis and watch lectures. Did I just develop some resistency against dopaminergic activities like gaming or watching movies? I still like them. I would also like to watch them while I work. But I want to become an excellent psychologist. I want to have very good grades. And I work my ass of to accomplish that. So certainly, dopamine is involved and might be a factor. As well as acetylcholine, catecholamines, norepinephrine or my motivations and identity.

This is why I am also heavily against the idea of gaming detox. It really is not about getting rid of some bad gaming dopominergic toxins, which computer games put into our brain cells. Instead, I believe that it is important, to observe yourself, see what you want in life, who you want to become and how you see your future. It is not that you quit games by not doing it for 90 days and than you become a new person. You actually become a new person, by discovering a new aspect of yourself on the way.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Hi Vojta!

A few years ago I faced a very similar issue and I relate a lot to feeling this way during like every summer of my life. 

I am currently 20 y.o., 2nd year in University. In high school I struggled with gaming greatly, and had to push myself incredbily hard to keep my grades from plummeting into the 60-70% range. Once I joined university, I left my gaming PC at home (which allowed me to focus on academics more) and discovered a lot of new things I enjoy doing. However, gaming addiction did not go away until nearly two years later, as every time I would go home I'd be back gaming. But now, I am typing from that very trouble-bringing gaming PC, and I have no urges to play games whatsoever. How/why did that happen?..

It happened because I:

  • Forced myself away from gaming (although leaving my access to gaming didn't eliminate the addiction, it was very helpful). I also installed many, many apps restricting social media and screentime. DM me if you want to know what they are 🙂
  • Created a routine of self-care, which I initially hated/didn't do right. This means that every day, I do something that is actually good for myself, from getting enough sleep, to exercising in some way, to eating in a balanced way. 
  • Threw away self-imposed labels. Before, I used to think "I am not good at social stuff" or "I am not smart enough to get good grades". This is what largely kept me at bay, addicted to games, not having passion for other things. Noticing and correcting such ways of thinking has enabled me to become a better person. Now, this is likely the most difficult thing on the list. But, there are lots of resources to help you with this: for me, it was "PsychoCybernetics". 
  • Don't force myself to do things I do not like and that are unnecessary, such as eating healthy/unhealthy food too much. Contrary to @Alexanderle, I believe that a "healthy" diet does not make one happy; we do not choose what foods we like; but we do have the ability to find ways to eat both foods we like and foods that we need, or even combine the two. 
    • In other words, step away from activities that do not make you happy (even if they are labeled as "good" by yourself or others), reflect on why they make you unhappy and what you can do to change that. Give yourself room to breathe. 

Other things I recommend:

  • Make a planner, set deadlines for yourself! This has been super crucial to me, as I also would just not do things because they weren't really necessary. I did the schoolwork during the year, but in the summer I was just free 24/7. Making a planner, and setting personal deadlines for myself helped me stay productive and gain discipline. Even simple things like "do laundry by __" or "read to page __ on Tuesday" matter.
  • Create and expand routines. Start with something simple, like drinking 6 cups of water every day, that is incredibly easy to accomplish but still doesn't just "happen". Do something that requires a bit of discipline and attention to yourself and the world around you. Once you can maintain that activity, add something else on top; repeat ad infinitum.
  • Do things gradually. It is impossible to change in one day. Always remember that. But even the biggest cloud (sorry love clouds lol) is made out of thousands of tiny raindrops. The building block to success is taking things one step at a time, in a pace that you can keep up with no matter the weather.

Lastly,

  • Discover things that you can be a part of to keep yourself accountable. By having your actions impact others or having other people be aware of your actions/goals, it will be easier to hold yourself accountable while also staying connected and having a bigger, more meaningful impact on the world around you. 
    • No one can become super successful on their own. "Join communities, create and do things that impact a lot of other people, not just yourself"- that has been my way of becoming a better person, at least. Not saying this is what you need to do, but recommend to try it out.

This is all, hope you find something here new/helpful. Best of luck on your journey, you will succeed! Maybe not today or tomorrow, but you will 🙂 

Po

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...
On 4/18/2020 at 3:12 PM, Alexanderle said:

I had a dopamine excurse somewhere here on the forum. I don't want to go through the science again, but I have with the dopamine hypothesis. Sure, it is involved in learning and wants to trigger us to do something "good" again. But once we have learned that thing, dopamine levels decline.

Now, the biggest problem with this approach, what I see is that people can blame all their problems on dopamine. But it is never that simple. You can't just say: It is just a transmitter in my brain. I know that neuroscience is trying to accomplish that. But every single time, it turns out to be extremely complicated afterall. The brain is complicated. And it is very easy to fall into the trap of fads: Fashionable ideas and trends, which sound promising but have no substance. At the late 1900s, people believed in phrenology, which basically said that brainbumps and brain areas can tell someting about your personality, your soulmate and your dreamjob. Became a big thing and a gigantic industry. But it ultimately turned out to be a gigantic pseudoscience. I see those tendencies today as well. Nofap is a good example: Most certainly a big pseudoscience with a placebo fallacy. Critical thinking is important.

I quit sugar stuff and sweets over a year ago. Never ate ice cream or stuff like that ever since. According to the dopamin idea, this is just the result of me getting away of some dopaminergic activity. But then there is a different approach:  I hate sugar, I hate the sugar industry. I feel that it is very bad for me. And more importantly, I think that it has to do with the identity, I discovered for myself. I see myself as a very ripped and muscular person in the future. I have this new life approach, which I am not intended to change. I have no desire to ever eat icecream in my life again. So, I doubt that it is all due to dopamin. What about motivation? Identity? Personal meaning of life?

You can detox from "dopamin", which is tough to measure, all day long. If you still think that you are a couch potato, like sweets and binge watch netflix, how likely is it that you get rid of these "dopaminergic" activities and instead go to the gym? And what about a bodybuilder? Did he just changed the level of dopamin for working out? Or did he just develop an increased flow of dopamin towards heavy weights? What about me? I can sit all day long and read psychology articles, work on my thesis and watch lectures. Did I just develop some resistency against dopaminergic activities like gaming or watching movies? I still like them. I would also like to watch them while I work. But I want to become an excellent psychologist. I want to have very good grades. And I work my ass of to accomplish that. So certainly, dopamine is involved and might be a factor. As well as acetylcholine, catecholamines, norepinephrine or my motivations and identity.

This is why I am also heavily against the idea of gaming detox. It really is not about getting rid of some bad gaming dopominergic toxins, which computer games put into our brain cells. Instead, I believe that it is important, to observe yourself, see what you want in life, who you want to become and how you see your future. It is not that you quit games by not doing it for 90 days and than you become a new person. You actually become a new person, by discovering a new aspect of yourself on the way.

This is really fascinating.  Whilst I'm not against the idea of gaming detox, in my experience I think people place too much emphasis on it as a cure all.  It's a great idea to shelve the habit as much as possible so that you free up some time to figure things out, I'm very keen on the ideas of habit stacking, changing your environment and like you say, deciding what identity you want and working towards that.  Atomic Habits is one of my favourite books.  Somebody bought me it earlier this year and I've been trying to follow many of the ideas and principles in it.  I know Cam does talk a lot about rebuilding your identity in his videos and respawn stuff and doesn't really push the detox too much as an endpoint.  I think a lot of people see that as an easy fix with their frazzled brains and think it's as simple as just giving up, but we should all be compassionate on ourselves and each other right?  It's a long learning process.  Let's be hear to encourage and catch each other when we fall.

Link to comment
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
 Share