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Beating Procrastination


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Hi everyone!

My story is a bit different from what you would expect to hear. I quit gaming about three months ago and haven't played since. However I noticed that I started replacing gaming with netflix, listening to music and other things.

Since these things take so much of my time - around 4-5 hours daily, now I need to find a way to beat those habits. Because of this, I will not be writing about gaming here, but about my progress on eliminating those time wasters.

Thank you for reading!

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You think your story is different? Then here you have a company Lol. Quit gaming 5 months ago, still battling with the desire to watch YouTube and telegram. I guess they provide an instant satisfaction while hard working in life hardly provide a satisfaction as strong or as fast.

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Wow, I didn't know there were other people in my position.
 

So I figured that my biggest fear is other people seeing me fail, so I need to somehow put my plans/goals/failures  here so I would get the motivation not to fail.

I recently read a blog post that brought a lot of clarity to the whole instant gratification thing. Check it out, definitely worth it: https://waitbutwhy.com/2013/10/why-procrastinators-procrastinate.html

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23 hours ago, noMoreProcrastination said:

So I figured that my biggest fear is other people seeing me fail, so I need to somehow put my plans/goals/failures  here so I would get the motivation not to fail.

Welcome to the forums! Don't worry; there are a lot of us who are struggling with the same things you are currently. Hell, it is the biggest issue I currently have. Well, I guess it was always a big issue, but procrastination in the form of gaming was outright destructive. I had stopped gaming close to a month before I joined the forums but had a small relapse. Since then, I have not played for more than a month, though. But I am still battling against instant gratification in one form or another. I am not sure if it is because of years gaming that we are so inclined towards the immediate reward or that we gamed because we are naturally inclined to it. Still, I know there is always a way to change oneself. I guess it used to be a beneficial survival mechanism in the past, unfortunately it is not that viable in the modern world, haha. 

 

23 hours ago, noMoreProcrastination said:

I recently read a blog post that brought a lot of clarity to the whole instant gratification thing. Check it out, definitely worth it: https://waitbutwhy.com/2013/10/why-procrastinators-procrastinate.html

That is a great article on the topic. I watched the Ted talk several times by now as YouTube seems to know what I need haha. 

 

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First of all, welcome. I watched the ted talk years ago and I just briefly looked into the article. My take: There is no evidence of such a little gratification monkey insight you. Obviously, this is meant more as a metaphor. But still then, the author makes the assumption that the brains of procrastinators are just a little bit different. You can call it little monkey, your brain or the dark monster insight of you: But even if it is just purely meant as a fictuous metaphor, it all boils down to the same concept: The creation of a wonderful excuse, why you procrastinate! It is not your responsibility that you are procrastinating - you can blame the monkey. Similarily like you can blame the evil computer games for your messy life, you can blame porn for whatever is wrong with you sexually, you can blame your parents for you inability to talk to women (just a silly example) and you can blame the rest of the world for every problem you have. Then you can take it a step further and call it an actual mental disease: Call it gaming disorder, call it porn addiction, call it procrastination- or monkey disorder. 

But that is quite similar like calling it sneezing disorder, when you are sick! What I think is missing, is self responsibility. There is nothing wrong with someone, who procrastinates, similarly like his or her brain is not different from the rest of the pack. Believe me, I know: I was a diehard procrastinator, because I really wasn't interested in the stuff for university. Those annoying articles to read. These stupid tests to learn for. How annoying, when I can game instead and just have fun. Thinking about the new killer to be released in Dead by Daylight or thinking about working on new aerial moves in Rocket League were more interesting than memorizing the different parts of the brain or whatever. Why should I care for that. shit?

However, once I understood that I have the deep desire to become an awesome psychologist, becoming more and more interested in psychological phenomena and exploring a deep interest even into philosophical or ethical ideas, the day just does'nt have enough hours for my to-do list. All the books I want to read, all my ideas, I want to write down, all those simpleminded ted talks to destroy. xD

Let's take the example of my current history module: Former me years ago would have preferred to game, because it would not be of interest for me, what happened in the past. Current me understoods the power of historical knowledge. I finally understand the purpose of writing, conceptualizing my ideas and discussing things. I really dig all of that stuff. So instead of blaming something else, take responsibility, start to explore, what YOU like and what would add meaning to YOUR life and then jump into it. You really can get instant gratification by just writing a couple of sentences for your bachelor thesis, if you have the deep desire to deliver a good project. Youtube videos are nice, but not nearly as important as working on this stuff. I think your current identity, what you like, what is important to you - that is the real deal. Not blaming something internally in your brain and thereby coming up with excuses. Unless you want to make the assumption that by changing my belief systems and perspectives of my own life and taking responsibility, I also drastically changed my procrastinator brain into a non-procrastinator brain. Which is absurd from neurophysiological research perspective.

On 5/11/2020 at 6:32 AM, noMoreProcrastination said:

However I noticed that I started replacing gaming with netflix, listening to music and other things.

So ask yourself this: Why is netflix or gaming so important to you? Certainly there must be something annoying about it, because you feel that you should do something else instead. Don't try to beat procrastination. Don't blame netflix for being a bad thing. I watch it quite daily and really enjoy it. Currently I am watching Orphan Black. Good shit! But what is missing for you, when doing those things? And more importantly, how would your life look like, if you would not do these things? Where do you want to end up eventually? I know that is not that easy to answer, but it is worth to consider. 🙂 

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On 5/11/2020 at 9:07 PM, noMoreProcrastination said:

I recently read a blog post that brought a lot of clarity to the whole instant gratification thing. Check it out, definitely worth it: https://waitbutwhy.com/2013/10/why-procrastinators-procrastinate.html

The article is an very interesting read! I can relate so much to it. One thing I found it useful so far, is something Tim urban also mentioned, to create the 'Panic monster' on purpose (oh I love his illustrations!). 

@Alexanderle Let me reserve my thoughts on your belief of the non existence of gratification monkey, which I believe it does make a visit after prolonged periods of procrastination (in any form including gaming) in the past. One thing you tap into that I can also resonate, is finding the things one loved to do to replace those things that are not so loved. This is like an 'active defense' I will call it, or defense by attacking. It gives you a sense of control and confidence, because you are making choices rather than dealing with the balls that life throws at you. Confidence also boost our possibility to win the battles against procrastination.

Edited by BgK
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 @BgK I highly agree with you that once you "achieved" something, it will give you tremendous control and a feeling of confidence. Jordan Peterson speaks of the idea to clean your room. Once you have done something like that, you now understood that you are more capable than you thought. And then you slowly build it up. I was for months only focusing on my diet and avoiding sweets. That gave me confidence. And just like that, I actively decided to stop gaming a couple of months later. It was no problem at all.  But if you don't feel that something is meaningful, you will not do it. Period! Then there won't be some little monkey, who magically pulls you away into useless things. This little monkey is just you! It is you who is unwilling to do other things, either because you consider them not as meaningful or because you don't really know how. 

My take for all these things: Experiment, what works for you. Maybe start with something simple. Gain confidence by that and understand that you are capable to achieve amazing things. Maybe start to clean your room and to make your bed. Cook regularly or go for a nice walk every day. Just something easy. Then make bigger steps towards your personal greatness.

1 hour ago, BgK said:

Confidence also boost our possibility to win the battles against procrastination.

And then you don't have to fight a battle at all. You just don't do things, because they don't fit in your life anymore. Keep in mind that you only do things, because they fit your current life ideals and beliefs. Changing your actions makes no sense, if your belief system is still the same. That is like being in deep love with sweets and then trying to not eat them anymore. Sure, you can switch to vegetables, but you still love the sweets, hence still desire them. And you can eat vegetables all day long for months, but if you still like sweets, just one day after another you might be eating way too much sweets again. But once you see that sweets are unhealthy and don't fit your ideal of a healthy you, you might not eat them anymore, without any internal fights at all!

Most people here at gamequitters have not stopped gaming, because they commited to some 90 day detox, which magically burned the areas, which were intoxicated in their brain, but because they finally understood that gaming should not be a part of their life anymore. They changed! They became non-gamers. Why, should a non gamer bother with gaming?

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Wow I didn't expect so many replies in this thread, thank you everyone for participating! I'm definitely making some progress - last day was pretty productive, reduced my regular time wasters to around 1-2 hrs. Still not as productive as I want to be but I'm getting there!

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Wasn't too productive lately. I found that I can only eliminate one bad habit at a time. I joined the NoFap forum to deal with my porn addiction and I've been successful in dealing with it last couple of days but instead of using my free time in a productive manner, I was watching Youtube. I think I will be able to take control once I get used to my new restrictions

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  • 2 weeks later...

Strictly productive throughout the whole day might not be a good plan. I try to reward myself with some sort of high dopamine activities after a day with low dopamine activities. That balances things up and is more doable for myself. I think it’s ok to not be productive all the time and we shall not beat ourselves too hard for failing to be productive some time.

Edited by BgK
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