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Hi all. This is my first time writing a diary entry. Not actually too sure what to put in here though I hope it will be more structured in the future when I get a feel of what to do. Today is the beginning of my commitment to quit games. I'm feeling a bit nervous since I have played games from a young age and have never quit successfully in the past. Today, I'm just trying to get things organised since I have neglected organisation for a very long time. See you tomorrow!

~Rasa

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Hi all. This is my first time writing a diary entry. Not actually too sure what to put in here though I hope it will be more structured in the future when I get a feel of what to do. Today is the begi

Day 3 Dear diary, Today is my second day without playing games but my first 24 hours without watching any game related videos so I'm going to call this day 1 of my 90 day detox! I am replaci

Dear diary, Just checking in today to update on my progress. I've gone 24 hours without playing games but I'm still getting distracted by watching random unproductive videos on YouTube. I'm looki

Posted (edited)

Dear diary,

Just checking in today to update on my progress. I've gone 24 hours without playing games but I'm still getting distracted by watching random unproductive videos on YouTube. I'm looking into installing an extension to block YouTube since I don't use it for anything else.

See you tomorrow!

P.S I just installed Cold Turkey and it's really helping with keeping me off Youtube on my computer. I also ran 3kms on a treadmill. Trying to take back my health!

Edited by Tabula rasa
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Day 3

Dear diary,

Today is my second day without playing games but my first 24 hours without watching any game related videos so I'm going to call this day 1 of my 90 day detox! I am replacing games with learning a language on Duolingo which has lots of game characteristics but has more real world applications and I actually feel productive after learning. Cold Turkey is still working like magic and I haven't hit Youtube for 24 hours now. Also, Forest really helps me when I'm out and about or if I'm just eating to keep me off my phone. I normally just browse my phone the entire time when eating but Forest actually helps so much. It's like my Cold Turkey for phone :D. I'm fixing my sleep schedule and not going past midnight so that's a start. Getting ready to go to bed now. See you tomorrow!

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What language are you using on Duolingo? There are a lot of gamification apps out there, so you are right you need to be careful, but more importantly you need to be mindful or deliberate on why you use them - they should be making mundane tasks fun, not as a substitute for actual gaming or feed your need to escape.

What is Forest? I have found Android's Digital Wellbeing settings perfect for helping me be deliberate with my screen time, is this similar?

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Glad to hear Forest is working out for you! I have used it before and it's been super helpful for me, allows you to focus more on your tasks. Also I have the same question as giblets, what language are you learning? Foreign languages can give you more connections and enable you to interact with more people, also make new friends, depends on how much it is spoken.

Glad you are doing well so far!

@giblets Forest is an app where you can set the number of minutes you want to focus on a task. After setting it, on your screen a tree will start growing, if you leave the app then your tree will wilt. However, if you keep working on that task your tree will grow and you can create this forest of trees. It's pretty neat, and it's similar to the Pomodoro technique. I don't know if it's similar to Android's digital settings for phones as I have never owned or used an android before, but it is available for android devices, you should check it out!

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Posted (edited)

@giblets @royal panda I'm currently learning Chinese since it's quite different to western languages. It feels different to me than playing games because I can barely stay on the app for more than 30 minutes since it's literally quizzing you every second and my brain starts to hurt. Compared to games when i'm sure all of us have experienced, we can play for half a day or more without any difficulty.

Thanks for the encouragement panda!

Forest is exactly how panda described. It doesn't track the time you spend on other apps and the only way you really use it is if you say to yourself you don't want to use your phone for the next x hours/minutes, then you open the app and start a timer. The app will try to discourage you from looking at your phone by reminding you. You will then grow a tree if you successfully stayed off your phone for the period. 

Edited by Tabula rasa
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Dear diary,

Day 2/90 detox

Play games? No

Watch game related videos? No

Learned language using Duolingo? Yes, around 40 mins in total.

I found this android app called AppBlock which essentially does the same thing as Cold Turkey but for phone. It's really helping! Today I collected my belongings that had been scattered across the house into my own room and organised it. I found something I had been looking for, for a while in the process.

The plan for tomorrow is to wash all of my clothes since I haven't for quite some time. I've also ordered something that will help with ironing my clothes. I will also need to study and catch up with school work. Thinking about using a pomodoro app for that.

I need to be sleeping earlier as well. It's pretty late for me atm as i got caught up with all the organising.

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Dear diary,

Day 3/90 detox

Play games? No

Watch game related videos? No

Learned language using Duolingo? Yes, around 30 minutes in total.

Didn't end up washing my clothes :(. Ended up being super distracted by a possible business venture. I seem to lack focus and I need to work on keeping to the plans that I set.

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Dear diary,

Day 1/90 detox

Play games? No

Watch game related videos? No

Learned language using Duolingo? Yes, around 30 minutes in total.

I managed to do some weightlifting today and my workout was for around 35 minutes in total. I found that I have been resorting to distracting myself with TV shows so I'm going to add TV shows to my list of things that I am detoxing from, so now the list is Games, TV shows and Game related videos. I'm starting the detox from scratch! I'm going to sort out a schedule tomorrow, one for days when i'm working, and one for days when I'm at home the whole day. The latter is my biggest challenge at the moment. I still haven't washed my clothes :/. I'll be starting tomorrow by eating breakfast and then writing a gratitude journal entry. Then planning my day using a schedule, then following it.

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Dear diary,

Day 2/90 detox

Play games? No

Watch game related videos/TV Shows? No

Exercise? Yes (30 minutes)

Learned language using Duolingo? Yes, around 20 minutes in total.

I managed to follow what I had planned yesterday, although it was literally only eat breakfast and write a gratitude journal entry. I still haven't planned a schedule or washed my clothes yet but I have done some more organisation in my room and sorted my lecture notes so that I am ready to start studying. Everything is sorted now and it's just a matter of making a start... Pomodoro has been my best friend in the past and I have the app already. I just need to overcome my fear of starting/fear of failure now 😕

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7 hours ago, MuMuMelon said:

Hey @Tabula rasa, I just wanted to say hi and wish you all the best. This may seem like a monumental task at the moment but I know that you can accomplish this.

I wish you strength and peace of mind as you continue at this journey to quit playing video games. 

Thanks so much for the encouragement @MuMuMelon
Today is my 6th day without playing games and i'm actually feeling it. Like complete shit (probably withdrawal symptoms). I slept pretty late, at like 2am and got woken up in the night at around 5am and haven't slept since. I prob need to go to sleep now...

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'Ayyyyy, I was just there! Currently day 13 for me. Yea, it's hard to know whether what you're feeling is withdrawal, or not enough sleep, or not enough sleep because of withdrawal, but... I think it gets better? It feels like it's getting better. And I'm been more motivated to do things I don't normally do, like clean, practice ukulele (my version of learning a new language), ... hang in there.

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4 hours ago, codepants said:

'Ayyyyy, I was just there! Currently day 13 for me. Yea, it's hard to know whether what you're feeling is withdrawal, or not enough sleep, or not enough sleep because of withdrawal, but... I think it gets better? It feels like it's getting better. And I'm been more motivated to do things I don't normally do, like clean, practice ukulele (my version of learning a new language), ... hang in there.

Well done @codepants, keep it up! Thanks for the encouragement. I haven't reached the point where I'm doin thing that I don't normally do, but I have recently started doing the things that I used to do when I lived a healthy life like exercise and not sitting on the computer overnight. I actually used to learn and play the piano but still haven't actually picked that up for a while. Playing music is such a great flow activity!

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Dear diary,

Day 6/90 detox

Play games? No

Watch game related videos/?

No

Exercise? No (kinda a rest day since i'm slowly getting back into it)

Learned language using Duolingo? Yes, around 15 minutes in total.

This diary entry is actually for yesterday. It was a bit cooked but i'll get to it. Why does the detox day say 6/90? I think i'm being a little ambitious by lumping everything into my detox regime so I think i'll just stick to not gaming and not watching game related videos for now as my detox. I watched 2-3 hours of tv shows yesterday which is not very productive and you could call it a relapse into non productive activities.

I also ended up not going back to sleep so i pretty much stayed awake from 5am or so until I eventually slept due to exhaustion at 6pm. I slept the whole night until I had to get up at 7:30am today.

Before i went to sleep though, i did some research online since I felt that games were not the root of my problems. I stumbled upon this article: https://blog.iqmatrix.com/instant-gratification which i related to a lot. I didn't buy the package thing, nor do i think it would be particularly helpful.

The root of my issues seem to be being dependent on instant gratification and the dependence of those quick dopamine hits, rather than long term satisfaction and long term goals. I literally will try anything to avoid important tasks. Awareness of this has really brought a new light on things for me. It's about being aware and staying away from constantly stimulating myself, as well as always focusing on consequences of your actions, like how does looking at your phone constantly, or how does avoiding tasks, help you or hurt you? 'Dopamine' and my physical responses to it are the core of my problems and this will be my prime focus moving forward.

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9 hours ago, Tabula rasa said:

The root of my issues seem to be being dependent on instant gratification and the dependence of those quick dopamine hits, rather than long term satisfaction and long term goals. I literally will try anything to avoid important tasks. Awareness of this has really brought a new light on things for me. It's about being aware and staying away from constantly stimulating myself, as well as always focusing on consequences of your actions, like how does looking at your phone constantly, or how does avoiding tasks, help you or hurt you? 'Dopamine' and my physical responses to it are the core of my problems and this will be my prime focus moving forward.

This was my problem when I first started too. What helped for me was time blocking and doing your best to avoid unimportant things and remembering why i am doing what i am doing. It was easy for me for gaming because I realized that when you play a game over and over, like a MMO or a never ending game or just your favorite game in general, the task you're doing is always progressing to the same goal, never a new one. Even if you have achieved the end goal before it's still always reaching for the same goal. Which I believe a lot of people are addicted because, they want to be able to achieve goals in real life, but they are afraid of failing and don't want to fail, or they are afraid of what others may think of that goal, so they don't even try and resort to games, because that at least makes they're brain think they are accomplishing a goal, even if they already did it for that game. So that realization made the urge for instant gratification not as bad for me. For my phone though, that's a different story.

For you, I recommend time blocking, avoiding unimportant things, and filling time with hobbies. As the urge for instant dopamine can be destructive when you give into it.

Good luck!

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Dear diary,

Day 7/90 detox

Play games? No

Watch game related videos? No

Exercise? Yes (push exercises)

Learned language using Duolingo? Yes, around 10 minutes in total.

Once again, this diary entry is for yesterday. It was actually a pretty jam packed day where I had work during the day, studied for the first time in what seems like forever on my way home on the train for around 30 minutes, then got home, ate and WASHED MY CLOTHES. Been putting that off for so long lol. I then went out to shop for some food and came home and exercised before bed. I slept a little past midnight but this still ensures i get 7 hours of sleep.

@royal panda
by time blocking do you mean like scheduling and planning your day? I hate schedules and have never really ever madr one for myself but i'll look into it. I'm definetely doing the other things you mentioned though :D

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Hey @Tabula rasa 

First I'd like to say thank you for your response.

Secondly, I mean time blocking like writing down what chores you have to get done or writing down what you wanna do hobby-wise for the day and putting times next to it to deter time from video games. So kind of like a schedule.

I understand now that you hate schedules but sometimes they can be helpful. I'd recommend time-blocking your day for a few days or even 1 week, and if you hate it still then find something else or if you find that you enjoy it keep doing it. I'd recommend trying it first though, as much as you hate scheduling.

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19 hours ago, royal panda said:

I understand now that you hate schedules but sometimes they can be helpful. I'd recommend time-blocking your day for a few days or even 1 week, and if you hate it still then find something else or if you find that you enjoy it keep doing it. I'd recommend trying it first though, as much as you hate scheduling.

I also hate schedules, at least for my non-work time (in my line of work having a schedule is required for your work hours), but they really do help for doing things you wouldn't normally do. If you block out a two-hour chunk of time to clean the apartment, what else are you gonna do? Watch a movie? No, that's scheduled for 7...

 

On 10/12/2020 at 9:28 PM, Tabula rasa said:

This diary entry is actually for yesterday. It was a bit cooked but i'll get to it. Why does the detox day say 6/90? I think i'm being a little ambitious by lumping everything into my detox regime so I think i'll just stick to not gaming and not watching game related videos for now as my detox. I watched 2-3 hours of tv shows yesterday which is not very productive and you could call it a relapse into non productive activities.

I think it's fine to have some non-productive activities. Even Cam advocates for that, he calls it "resting activity" in Respawn. Especially when you first quit I think it's fine to do something equally as unproductive as games, but less rewarding (dopamine-wise). I definitely binged TV for the first week I quit. Now my brain has adjusted a little I'm hardly watching any TV at all. Might not be the same for everyone, but, food for thought.

Also, I'm not going to look up research on this right now but I would bet my PC (ha) that some amount of do-nothing time is good for us.

 

On 10/12/2020 at 9:28 PM, Tabula rasa said:

The root of my issues seem to be being dependent on instant gratification and the dependence of those quick dopamine hits, rather than long term satisfaction and long term goals. I literally will try anything to avoid important tasks. Awareness of this has really brought a new light on things for me. It's about being aware and staying away from constantly stimulating myself, as well as always focusing on consequences of your actions, like how does looking at your phone constantly, or how does avoiding tasks, help you or hurt you? 'Dopamine' and my physical responses to it are the core of my problems and this will be my prime focus moving forward.

Are you on social media? I quit years ago and I think that has really helped with my need for instant gratification. I sometimes catch myself checking my phone every five minutes and that's what I know it's coming up again. But changing my routine from boot up PC > check email > check facebook to something more mindful ("What's my intention with booting up my PC right now?" > do that ONLY) really helped.

I'd also encourage you to check out mindfulness if you haven't already.

 

Edited by codepants
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Dear diary,

Day 8/90 detox

Play games? No

Watch game related videos? No

Exercise? Yes (running)

Learned language using Duolingo? Yes, around 5 minutes in total.

Once again, this diary entry is for yesterday. I had work during the day, and studied on the way home for 30 mins again. I also washed my clothes and did some interval running for 12 minutes (goal is 20 minutes).

@royal panda
I'll def look into scheduling for the days when i'm home the whole day because i have found that those days are usually super unstructured.

@codepants

I am on social media but funnily enough that's not the activity i spend the most time on (i hardly spend any time on social media). Youtube was a big one for me in the past before i blocked it.

Edited by Tabula rasa
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Dear diary,

Day 9-10/90 detox

Play games? No

Watch game related videos? No

Exercise? No (break day)

Combing diary entries for 2 days. Been watching a fair bit of TV shows and not too many productive activities. I feel like I'm losing myself a bit. Self motivation is quite a challenge for me atm. I did go through an entire linkedin course on Motivation though and took 2 pages worth of notes. They are very actionable notes so I will implement them now.

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Dear diary,

Day 11/90 detox

Play games? No

Watch game related videos? No

Exercise? Yes (leg exercises)

Learned language using Duolingo? Yes, around 10 minutes in total.

This diary entry is for yesterday. I woke up fairly late but I started studying at home. I'm using a pomodoro 50-10 and I did 3 of those sessions so that was around 2 hrs and 30 minutes of studying. Focusing is no longer an issue for me now and I fully intend to ramp it up. I also helped with chores around the house like the dishes for both lunch and dinner.

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Dear diary,

Day 12/90 detox

Play games/watch game related videos? No

Exercise? Yes (running 5km)

Study? Yes (8 hours)

Duolingo? Yes

Sleep time: 2:30 am

Woke up at 11am using an alarm and slept for a good 8 hrs. Immediately started studying while eating at the same time. Ended up studying for 8 hours today using a pomodoro 50-10! I'm adding studying to my list of dailies since it's something I intend to keep on a streak. I haven't run 5 kms for so long and I'm finally back. That's usually what I use as an indicator for my level of fitness.

Something to improve on: sleeping time. I need to dial it back to pre midnight. I think it's a good idea to track when I sleep to hold myself accountable for that.

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