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Ending the Loop


Pochatok
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Day 198. Woah, almost 200! I guess that's cool 🙂 

Journaling

The last few days have been very productive. I've reframed my entire schedule, and it looks very scary... The image below isn't the whole thing, even

image.thumb.png.c5babebf91a62694f806b19e5892d2af.png

However, this new schedule has definitely lessened my anxiety when it comes to feeling like I am falling behind or do not know what to do; I find it much more fitting for my own lifestyle, and it is much more sustainable and flexible as a system on its own.

Funny enough, this weekend I will be holding a workshop on this organizational system! Hopefully it will not look to dreadful for my attendants. 

I've been also taking better care of my mental health (as it took a big nosedive last week). Journaling physically every day and tracking my negative self-talk and difficult emotion has been incredibly helpful- I'm reducing a lot of bad thinking patterns, and very quickly. 

Gaming

I've been having more significant urges lately, as I'm looking at certain video games in terms of a unique artistic experience rather than entertainment form. This way, they're far more appealing- I love experiencing and analysing art, and there is a lot of nostalgia tinkling, too, as it has been so long since I've played certain games... Revisiting them would feel "fresh" in some ways.
Yet, I should continue to remember that I absolutely don't need to play games to get those experiences; watching gameplay, listening to the games' soundracks, or just reading about them is enough. A couple days ago I spent my lunch time listening to and watching the ambient environments of my favorite games; there are whole playlists on Youtube dedicated to that, apparently 🙂 

Other things from life

Though I'm feeling very positively right now, I must acknowledge that I was just experiencing a strong mood swing that has slowed my day considerably and made me feel exhausted. Anyways...

Positive things from this week:

  • Intramurals have begun! Volleyball and Badminton are super fun to play, I feel like I'm learning and feeling so many good things.
  • I've been able to dive deep into dopamine control strategies, and so far they have been very effective. I haven't watched any TV for over a week now.
  • Academically, I'm still thriving. Though I am not meeting my own expectations fully, relative to my peers, I'm in a very stable position. 
  • I've been improving drastically at my drawing and animating skills! Over the weekend, I hope to create a full short animation (3-5 seconds). 

Struggles from this week:

  • Dopamine control strategies are effective, but some more deeply conditioned habits are difficult to address- I still go on social media for no reason from time to time; uninstalling Instagram helped, but I can do better!
  • Mental health is having ups and downs; my mood swings are much lesser in magnitude, but still happen frequently. I hope to keep getting better!
  • There is a lot of unknows about my future that are causing me anxiety; I feel like there are things I should be in control of, but am not. There is also some saddness coming from not being able to do everything I want to.
  • With how productive I've become, falling asleep and having meaningful interactions with my partner has become more difficult... I simply cannot stop thinking about all the exciting projects I want to undertake. Very frustrating lol

That's all for this week, see you Sunday!

Po 

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Nice schedule! It's loaded but you also have a lot of time for art. Art is definitely the thing that helps me the most against video game addiction, music specifically. It brings me so much joy. I think you definitely need some time in your day to do something that brings you joy and peace.

Anyhow, I really like your schedule. I should do one myself. 

Do you know Lex Fridman? This guy is a mater of efficiency and balance. In this video we go through his daily schedule. You should definitely check it out. 
 

 

Edited by Nico Indigo
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On 2/4/2022 at 11:26 PM, Nico Indigo said:

Nice schedule! It's loaded but you also have a lot of time for art. Art is definitely the thing that helps me the most against video game addiction, music specifically. It brings me so much joy. I think you definitely need some time in your day to do something that brings you joy and peace.

Anyhow, I really like your schedule. I should do one myself. 

Do you know Lex Fridman? This guy is a mater of efficiency and balance. In this video we go through his daily schedule. You should definitely check it out. 
 

 

Hey! 
Thank you for sharing, I found his video interesting 🙂 I am not in a place where I can mimic Lex’ schedule in any way- 4 hour work sessions are simply impossible (and honestly I would find that to be counterproductive). His ability to focus is impressive! I hope to get to that point soon… More on that in the journal entry heh. I’ve been checking out quite a few of your suggested videos in other threads, they’re all quite fun- again, thanks for sharing!

Po

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Day 207. Only 6 months until a full year. Can I make it? More than likely- with my summer looking to be overfilled with internships and personal projects to be outmost prepared for life past graduation, I hope to have the time and space to continuously (inspire to) create the things I care about!

 

Journaling

This last week was extremely productive- my rearranged schedule has been an amazing way to fill in all those gaps in my day. Now I stay occupied with work 100% of my time, except for breaks for food, socialising, and bathroom. On Wednesday and Thursday, I was easily able to go without any social media up until 5pm and 8pm. Starting next week, I plan on eliminating social media entirely except for Wednesday and Friday evenings. 

My focus increased significantly, but I seem to be unable to really stretch myself into longer work sessions without taking a break every 20-25 minutes. I simply cannot sustain absolute focus for longer than that. I’m not sure what’s preventing me from that, but it’s a system I am satisfied with. 

Thanks to a few really sad relapses with some of my worse habits, I began journaling daily. I’ve lost the streak while taking a visiting family over the weekend, and immediately my productivity fell. I got behind on some of my academics, increased social media usage, etc. I totally should plan ahead for situations like this to prevent a loss of productivity. To be fair though, I have been doing much better overall while visiting. It’s a much needed break; I’ve been working nonstop for about 6 weeks.

 

Things that made me happy:

1. Playing badminton- me and my partner faced some really tough opponents. After losing the official game, we kept playing until we began winning! My best game to date by far, I was able to learn so much in just one hour…

2. Better focus and a more productive schedule- I’ve been able to do much more of the stuff I am actually passionate about

3. My partner- we’ve had a very nice week. This weekend we’ve been able to more quality time together than usual, and I really missed that.

Things that made me sad:


1. Not making progress all too fast, as always- some bad habits are making a comeback now and then, and it’s always frustrating to be letting them into my life. Someday they will walk away for good though. 

2. The usual problem with feeling fairly okay about some things and then turning out to be little disasters… happening again, both academically and professionally. There are always so many things to work on, and it’s frustrating to see how much I tend to overlook. 
 

3. I’m so nervous about coming back to school after this break. I have a ton of work to do and I am simply putting it off because I really want to spend a lot of time with my family and simply get much needed rest. Sunday and Monday will be really tough- two large projects, tons of reading, and a performance to get ready for… And, a couple job applications are on the nose too. 
 

that’s all for now! Back to doing family things 🙂 wish y’all a warm 3rd week of February. 

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Day 212. I usually journal on Thursdays, but lat week was filled with uhh disturbances...

Distractions

I've noticed how difficult it is for me to stay away from video game news when they're out. Yesterday, a big update for one of the games I follow had released, and I busted through all my rules and restrictions and spent about 30 minutes on social media. Today was much better- I only started my "social media break" 45 minutes before schedule with some shitty reasoning. I think that I am forgetting that the purpose of these rules isn't for me to avoid gaming, but for me to stop desiring it. Currently, my desire increases throughout the day; I'll keep reminding myself of my long-term motives for these restrictions.
Overall, though, I've been able to dramatically decrease my social media usage in just a single week. The challenge now is to not simply reduce, but not desire any social media. Insta and Facebook are easy to avoid because they are not tied to gaming or other interests of mine; they are only a way to interact with other people and learn. Other platforms are more difficult because they release more dopamine, faster, with lesser effort. I have to remember that what I want, ultimately, is to not be reliant on any quick dopamine "suppliers" that provide no other benefits. Everything in my life I want to be contributing to my ultimate goals in some way; if I cannot see that connection, and the activity brings complicated feelings (like most quick dopamine suppliers), I cease it. \

Efficiency

Ahh, another entry on my biggest craving. Last week was albeit too relaxing, and it took me up until today to get bac into the rhythm. Not blaming my family visit at all, rather all the days afterwards- Monday I was simply feeling tired, Tuesday I got food poisoning and coulnd't work, and Wednesday was filled with some annoying cognitive loops that really got me down. Reminding myself that this is the first time this term I am having a setback rather than evolution in efficiency helps me see how priviliged I am to be where I am already; this is a large accomplishment, too. 
To work against this tendency, I'll have to slightly remodel my mindset when I visit home and relax; there were attempts to do that while I was visiting, but without planning in advance they weren't super efficient and I still ended up feeling "unproductive", gaining stress, and subsequently resorting to quick dopamine as a coping mechanism. 

A set of new systems I am introducing to myself this week:

Goal Visioning to Efficiency:

  1. I do what requires my outmost immediate attention first
  2. Every day, there must be a time when I can sit down at least for 20 minutes and do something that directly contributes to my goals
  3. Once I've completed the step above, the completion of all other tasks (i.e. indirectly contributing to my goals) will be much more efficient
  4. If I fail to do tasks in this order, with step 2 being the step I must complete daily, I accumulate stress, which eventually causes me to stop doing the things that directly contribute to my goals, which in turn crashes the whole system.

Why this works: I can do things that don't explicitly contribute to my goals well only when I have a strong vision and interest for my goals. Vision cannot be done simply in my head; I need to contribute to it on a daily basis so that I can be certain that my goals are both achievable and important to me. So, doing things that directly contribute to my goals every day allows me to retain passion for everything else. Likewise, I cannot stay at my highest productivity when I am not doing something that really matters to me. 

Work - Rest- Reflection Cycle:

  1. For a lot of my daily tasks, sustatining focus for more than 30 minutes without no breaks is very difficult. However, the way I take the breaks is extremely important.
  2. Taking breaks in a way that allows me to recenter rather than distract is key to getting my body and mind recentered, allowing me to notice how I am feeling rather than mask the pain and stress.
  3. Reflection right afterwards is even more important, as after recentering my body and mind I am most able to look critically at my work and identify potential weaknesses and challenges. Skipping this last step creates potential for mistakes and subsequent loss of time and effort spent in fixing them. 

Why this is important to me: when it comes to music and art, and complex academic work like research, I often fail to take breaks often enough to keep my efficiency up and end up working much slower or with higher amounts of stress than optimally. Likewise, I don't really have a habit for reflecting on my work either, and lately I've been noticing how many mistakes I am simply missing because I failed to consider them earlier in the process. I want to eliminate those mistakes, and optimize my work sessions to a higher degree. With my current workload, I simply am not meeting my own standarts, and it has been stressing me out quite a bit. 

 

This is all for now, I have to get to bed! Hope you find some of this interesting- I wonder if any of these ideas are original at all or there are people who have already crafted and optimized these working systems.

Po

 

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"but I seem to be unable to really stretch myself into longer work sessions without taking a break every 20-25 minutes"

This is so relatable, how long are your breaks? Mine are 5 minutes while in a drawing session and 30 minutes beetwen bigger tasks.

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I try not to time my breaks anymore. I started thinking them to build a habit and now I feel like I've got it down.  I more just listen to my body. I do art on days where I don't work. I do drums here and there and exercise 3 times a week. I read sometimes and do puzzles other times. But starting off with timers helped. 

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On 2/18/2022 at 4:05 PM, NesteaDrinker said:

"but I seem to be unable to really stretch myself into longer work sessions without taking a break every 20-25 minutes"

This is so relatable, how long are your breaks? Mine are 5 minutes while in a drawing session and 30 minutes beetwen bigger tasks.

My breaks are 1-2 minutes. I quickly evaluate how well I have been doing so far while refilling my cups of water (instead of a waterbottle, I keep a bunch of cups, so that I take a longer physical break from sitting in front of screen). If I am doing fine, I keep going. But if there is something in my way, I take 2-3 minutes to either practice mindfullness, journal, or go for a very short walk. Then I'm back for another 20-30 minutes. 

At least so I do on paper. I am still pretty bad at timing myself when it comes to doing Art or Music.

Thanks for asking!

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On 2/22/2022 at 5:27 AM, Pochatok said:

My breaks are 1-2 minutes. I quickly evaluate how well I have been doing so far while refilling my cups of water (instead of a waterbottle, I keep a bunch of cups, so that I take a longer physical break from sitting in front of screen). If I am doing fine, I keep going. But if there is something in my way, I take 2-3 minutes to either practice mindfullness, journal, or go for a very short walk. Then I'm back for another 20-30 minutes. 

At least so I do on paper. I am still pretty bad at timing myself when it comes to doing Art or Music.

Thanks for asking!

Looks like you and I we're not so different. 😄

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Day 220. Nothing new in terms of gaming- had minor urges to be more involved with gaming-related social media, but no urges to play. 

TL;DR: This entry is mostly about appreciating the the changes in behaviours and habits I've recently experienced. Life's been kind of smooth.

Changes in Understanding of Video Games
     Funny enough, I'm planning on taking courses in Video Game creation in the next couple of terms. And, I'm pretty decided that I want to work in the gaming industry as a sound designer/composer. Yet, I have absolutley zero desire to play video games! Funny enough, I've been drawing heavy on video games as an artistic medium, spending more time learning about how certain games were made, looking into creative processes... I'm not sure what to make of this contradiction- do I really want to work in the industry, or am I confusing myself? 
     Another point of interest is that my urges are gone, entirely... Since I've taken out any "fast dopamine" activities like Youtube, social media, masturbation, snacking, etc., I've replenished my schedule with more slow-rewarding activities like reading, gunpla, cleaning, listening to podcasts. It has had a tremendous effect on how I view the world; I feel like I still have a lot to unpack in how much my perspectives have changed. Overall, I feel more disconnected from gaming than ever, while also being very interested in Gaming Industry for career opportunities??

Decline in Dopamine?

It's very odd to know that the first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning is no longer "check my phone". That thought barely goes into my head at all, actually. There are still issues of me wanting to check socials more often on certain days (when gamedev diaries come out, for example), but it happens once a week at most. I'm actually finding listening to podcasts rewarding and interesting, and so is for all other of my "replacement" activities. But, that thrilling feeling of excitement and stimulation is definitely gone; what I'm doing now feels good, but in a very different way. I know I don't want to go back though- right now I'm in a more balanced state and the stress I have to deal with comes in lesser amounts on average and doesn't stay for long.

It's funny to think that just in January I would be on my phone right before bed and right after I'd wake up; I would be feeling extremely stressed and tired for hours, and I genuinely enjoyed watching TV shows and Youtube. I can't say that what I am doing now is necessarily "better" or "healthier", as I still feel pretty stressed and unhappy at times. But, I have finally started to journal daily, work on my relationships with people, and go after my passion rather than what's required. This is a period of very turbulent and rapid change, it seems, and I just have to push through it, hoping that something coooool is waiting on the other end. 

My Goals~

Short Term

  • Finish my animations for Scholarships by end of next week (AAA this gives me anxiety but I know I want to do it 🙂)
  • Finish the term with all "A"s (So far, it seems like I'm on my way there for 2/4 classes, eek)
  • Create a full composition by end of March. I've been learning small things about Composition every day, and have a lot in the works. There is some purpose and direction to be improved, though

Long Term

  • Become an independent sound designer/composer in video games/animation! Not film- too large, expensive, commercialized of an industry. Indie scene in film is just something I have not immersed myself into at all so far...
  • Spend much more time doing things I'm passionate about- not just do them daily, but let them define my day. 
  • Have more courage and control during stressful situations, and learn and focus faster! I've made tons of improvement here, with my performance in Intramurals Volleyball getting so much better in the last couple of weeks, except for serving uhhh. There is a lot to work on though- being able to make no regrets when in a difficult situation is extremely important to me.
  • Be in a much better place with my partner. We're just fine at the moment, but I know there is a lot of "triggers" that could set off in the long-term future. I want to deal with these issues head on, before they become overwhelming.

That's all, enjoy your weekend kind reader ❤️ 

Po

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Posted (edited)

Day 227... I think that I should switch to weeks at this point, but counting is satisfactory. 

Distractions

This week is both high and low. My overall urges for social media have decreased substantially, but I've also been spending a bit more time on it than before. Funny, eh? I think that I will quit using news sites entirely with a couple exceptions:

  • Thursday Evening (9:30-9:45PM) of every other week: a devlog for one of the games I'm still following comes out. It's a very enjoyable read.
  • First Saturday Evening of every month (9-9:15PM): Check updates on the other two video games I still follow
  • Weekly Friday Evening (9:30-9:45PM): Check FB for general important community updates (my parents only post there), and same for Insta
  • Monday of every Week: Post on Art Instagram; delete Insta right afterwards

Besides these, this is the kind of media I want to still keep in my life:

  • Non-casual podcasts: topics like career building, important global issues, artist talks, etc. . Anything but the things that are simply "fun"
  • Board Game Plays in my Native Language: it's a great way for me to keep my 1st language in good shape, and reconnect with the culture and social structures of my homeland. And fun
  • Inspiration Material: GDC talks, amazing singlehandedly-done Animations, etc. .

Mental Health

Overal the last two weeks there was a significant drop in my mental health stability, but this week has been good. It's so hard to tell what was exactly the trigger of that instability, but it started right after the weekend I spent at home with my family. I'll attribute it to the series of unfortunate events following- getting food poisoning, and then being overly restful and falling behind academically. The set of triggers towards my productivity and efficiency had upset me and triggered me further into poor coping mechanisms of social media and general procrastination. This week, I could say, I have finally recovered, but there are still a number of ongoing stressors that I have a strong desire to adress:

  1. It is still extremely difficult for me to enjoy the things I enjoy. Whenever I make Art or Music for longer than 20-30 minutes, I begin getting frustrated and self-doubt a lot. I will have a meeting this weekend with a life coach, maybe it'll help?
  2. Being 100% focused at all times is still very difficult. I no longer get distracted by social media and can work for longer without taking breaks, but my thoughts still easily fly to distant lands. I am not super sure how to deal with this, perhaps I should do some reading over the weekend.

Relationships

I've hung out with a bunch of people in the last week (two). It seems that I'm getting much more comfortable with being around people I find physically attractive (as in, I just don't think about that lol), and am less anxious about the quality of the hangout- I will have a good time if I am open, honest, and in the present moment. 

everything below is written 3 hours later

So, I just had a major burst of social anxiety following a slightly awkward first convo with a person (they're so coool, but not I'm anxious that I've ruined the whole thing lol). I proceeded to spend ~20 minutes on news sites, scrolling through (not aimlessly, at least- I learned some stuff) intstead of addressing my anxieties. Afterwards, I made the efforts to lessen my anxiety and journaled about it here and physically. 

Self-Assessment Analysis

It's been two months since I've made my own wellbeing tracker on Google Sheets + Notion, and I wanted to sit back and sort through! The general framework is: every week, I quantify each area of self-assessment based on the comparison to the previos week- better, worse, or the same. I will usually move the tracker by only one digit (+/- 1) unless there was a significant change. 

image.thumb.png.bced75a509d949e1da846be7b3e4eb7d.png

A couple trends are fascinating:

Weakest Qualities: the orange and bottom yellow lines are the lowest, but fluctuate quite a lot. Those are my evaluations of physical activity and proper resting (i.e. focusing fully on myself rather than using an external means like social media to lessen stress). There has been an inconsistent but incremental improvement across both; next week, I'll attempt to further stabilize these two. 

Strongest Qualities: Time (top yellow) and Stress Management (purple) have overall been great, but that's old news. It feels good to be managing my stress better, but I know that I can still do significantly better than that. 

Most Consistent: Continuos Learning (red) and Stress Management (purple) have not seen much fluctuation. I wish to improve my ability to learn new interesting concepts every week, but I am very happy with where I am today compared to just a couple months ago; my ability to take notes and remember info has improved a ton 🙂

Most Improved: It seems that balancing rest and work (grey) has had the most steady improvement. A few other areas have had bigger leaps upwards, but only to be followed by a decrease. And, the gut tells me that when thinking two months back, I had much more trouble resting up when needed and didn't have the healthiest practices in general. 

Interesting Patterns:  The most fascinating week was that on Feb 14th- it's funny how some areas dipped down while others sprung upwards. Specificallt, those that stayed up had to do more with self-care and rejuvination- Rest, Priotitizing Relationships, and Sleep, and those that dipped where of the productivity and efficiency. It's funny that I remember that week as the "worst" in my term, when in fact I was simply trying to re-balance my resting and working skills/habits (my overall score dipped, but not to the lowest, by far). Wish I made this observation sooner!
Overall, there are definitely qualities that are mutually exclusive- if some of them improve, the others are compromised. The larger goal for next two months is to learn to balance all of these areas together rather than have them clash with each other. All are a part of a whole, and all are capable of working together!

 

I have more thoughts to share, but I think I'll just journal physically... Hope you found some of this helpful/inspiring! Thank you for reading ❤️

Po

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Day 229. 

In the previous entry, I've written about how I want to quit distractions altogether. Today, I've noticed how much I've been re-ingraining them into my life in very small bits of 5-20 minute breaks. Together, they add up to 1-2 hours every day, where the number I am aiming for is 30 minutes or less. It is frustrating to be going back into "quick dopamine" as my "resting" activity. I've quit twitter, stopped checking out various subreddits, reduced instagram usage, all only to re-introduce social media in slightly different ways. I'll try to set more strict rules and be evene more aware of how I define and do "rest". 

Po

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Day 237. It's been a super fascinating week!

re-structuring the format:

I want to make this a bit less chaotic and more continuos, so that journaling here serves a specific purpose to both me and the GQ community. 
First, here are the sections I want to have for each week: Recap of the Week, Gaming, Concentration, Relationships, Passion.
2nd, I want to be looking more into the future with every entry, and then reflect on previous entries as well. 

Recap of the week:

Last week:
"My overall urges for social media have decreased substantially, but I've also been spending a bit more time on it than before"

Funny enough, this week has gone by much better! I think that has partially to do with how busy I was, but my media use is nearly zero. I check Youtube once or twice a day, and a couple days a week I remember to check twitter/instagram. Reading books is far more satisfying than ever before, and I finally can just lay down and relax without the urge of grabbing my phone.
I have continued to listen to podcasts and check FB on a daily basis to keep up with my family members- they've been active there b/c war in Ukraine (NO TO WAR!!!)

This week has been challenging. I've managed to catch two diseases at once while completing Finals, but I believe that despite the circumstances, I've done my best. I've played a bit of Badminton with my partner, and we faced a team so much better than us- I suddenly know how much I have to learn! The weather has been annoying, and it's not helping at all with my sickness- I have some unidentified infection that causes strong chills and fevers, and also have shingles?? Such an odd disease. Other than that, I've been trying to get myself more opportunities for the summer, specifically in gamedev- I'm getting more and more sure that this is a career path that will suit my artistic interests best. 

Gaming

Nothing- I'm getting less and less interested in gamedev b/c little is happening. I believe that fun things will begin happening soon, but right now everything is quiet. I have been listening to OSTs a lot though- my new favorites are "A Short Hike" and "La Noire". 

Concentration

"Remeber to always be in the present moment"    "What do I want to strive towards in the next 30 minutes?"    "I want to be my best"

These are the three mindsets I've been living by in the last week. The 2nd one I've discovered on Monday, and it has changed the way I focus a lot. Super helpful approach. The last one I've tried to adopt in a way that promotes growth without shame, and I'm suprised at how much energy it gives me every time I repeat. 
With the sicknesses, however, it's been much more difficult to stay concentrated. I am generally slower, and get distracted easily. I've been trying to limit my exposure to internet, but that's very opposite to my existing habits, so progress has been slow. 

Relationships

Though I've fully quit pornography (since February? Or end of January?), I still sexualize women's bodies and pay more attention to "what" rather than "who". It's very frustrating and infuses fear whenever I interact with someone who has a woman's body, but I'm trying to replace the fear with love, and focus on the person I am speaking to rather than my internal anxieties. 
Other than that, I've been doing fine with my partner, though I wish we could see each other more. This term has been so busy that we've not been spending much time together at all, and it doesn't seem like we will spend much of our Summer together, either. 

Passion

I've finished my Art project, but it still completely unfinished for the competition I want to enter. I have been trying to re-center myself around the things I really enjoy, and I've been doing that in every area of my life, from leisure to learning, fairly well... Except for actually doing the things I am passionate about! There is such a long history of discomfort and anxiety around treating things I feel passionate about seriosly, and it is getting in the way quite a bit. I am improving, however, and hope to get more and more into it soon. I think that I lack inspiration (not motivation) due to not using reference- I want to be an animator, but I don't watch any animations. I want to be a video game composer, but I don't play video games (though i've been debating on whether I really need to...). I hope to continue improving in this area, as this is one of the most important changes I've done in my life, imo.

That's all I have for this week, thank you for reading 🙂 

Shoutout to all the people who continue to stick around and stay commited to journaling here (@BooksandTrees looking at you, among many others)

Po

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Day 248. What, it's been nearly two weeks?! Well, let me tell you...

Recap of the week:

Last week:

On 3/13/2022 at 4:33 PM, Pochatok said:

my media use is nearly zero.

On 3/13/2022 at 4:33 PM, Pochatok said:

Reading books is far more satisfying

I think that both still stand true, despite the fact that I've not been nearly as "busy" (as in, having my schedule filled). I think that looking at my phone is no longer rewarding when a direct need isn't met. Just checking Insta for the sake of doomscrolling isn't fun, neither is looking through Youtube's suggestion page for a couple minutes. There's been days where I'd not use any socials at all, but not all- some triggers like long trips and severe, urgent stress remain. 

Overall, this week gas been extremely good, but also growingly pessimistic about the future. Staying at home has been both enjoyable and very busy- I get to be around my family, which is super nice, but there's so many household responsibilities I take on (cuz I want to and because I feel like I need to to keep the house sane and quiet). My family is not in the best shape- we're Russian and have a lot of friends and friends of friends that are heavily affected by the war. While we do have the privilege of not getting targeted by bombs or losing access to medications and information due to , the emotional and cognitive toll has been great for my parents, especially in the first couple of weeks during the war. 
I have lined up a mentorship with some industry professionals working in sound design for video games, but it's not going to be in person or take up a lot of my time... I have to get more! I applied for a gaming summer camp (only a week long too, though), and am continuing to bother smaller companies for opportunities. During a meeting with a career advisor, I realized that my current goals have been pretty insufficient; I need to be more networking-oriented. The focus should be on the people, not on what they can offer. My next round of outreach, starting Monday, I will structure around this core goal of simply making friends in the insustry first. 

My summer is looking to be rather uneventful so far, and that's bothering me a lot. However, if I continue to pour in more work and thought into preparations, I should come out just fine. I also have to remember to not work for anyone who isn't valuing my time and efforts.

Gaming

Nothing different this week- no urges to play, though I might end up actually playing some as I'm learning more sound design. My relationship with video games and other simply-pleasuring activities has been altered so significantly that I'm not worried about this, however. In case I do end up playing, I will make sure to end the counter 😞

Concentration

On 3/13/2022 at 4:33 PM, Pochatok said:

it's been much more difficult to stay concentrated. I am generally slower

Completely true to this week as well. Being at home is an extremely noisy, busy environment. Setting 30-minute goals is difficult because time moves by so fast (though it is entirely possible and I should do this in the next few days), and high amounts of concentration simply require a bit too much time (though if I were to put a bit more effort, it would be possible too). I am continuing to grow even more determined to be doing my best, and the little work I get done is focused. I'm not feeling too bad about having decreased performance here because I am on break, but starting tomorrow I will have to get much more focused. The break is about to end. 

Relationships

On 3/13/2022 at 4:33 PM, Pochatok said:

been doing fine with my partner, though I wish we could see each other more

Well, this has only gotten worse since it's Spring Break and we've spent the last week a couple hundred miles away from each other. But, I've been spending a lot of time with family members, and that's great. One of my biggest goals right now is to spend good time with family, and I'm meeting it 🙂

Passion

On 3/13/2022 at 4:33 PM, Pochatok said:

I think that I lack inspiration (not motivation) due to not using reference

Still am not using reference, but have been doing much more work! I don't think that not using reference was the main issue, but having something to be inspired by and/or learn from is very important- I'm continuing to read interviews and occasionally watch fun animations. I'm not relying on inspiration to feel motivated to do work, but it is helping me define my goals more clearly. 

That's all for this week- I hope to get more focused and productive in the coming days. Let's see how well I can get there!

Po

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13 hours ago, Pochatok said:

my media use is nearly zero.

I read the other post seeing context of this being social media but does this also include video media like movies / tv series / youtube / etc?  Good job either way that's great stuff.

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On 3/25/2022 at 10:06 AM, goodvibes said:

I read the other post seeing context of this being social media but does this also include video media like movies / tv series / youtube / etc?  Good job either way that's great stuff.

Yes- it all fits into the same box for me in terms of how it affects my thoughts, concentration, and feelings/emotions. I quit reddit and twitter first, then netflix and instagram, and now I've quit essentially everything else that produces similar effects- gamedev diaries, podcasts, etc. . It's not that I am avoiding media usage completely, but I do it very occasionally and intentionally rather than passively/habitually. This seems to be the best model for me at the moment. 

Hope this helps!

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Ty very nice!  I had tried once to totally unplug one time and it didn't work out so I'm here taking notice you found balance by being more intentional with media consumption I think that is a very good goal.  What are the best suitable replacements you have found to relax and unwind with instead?  I am supposing books to be one do you often practice speed reading or do you more often take your time?

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/25/2022 at 5:31 PM, goodvibes said:

Ty very nice!  I had tried once to totally unplug one time and it didn't work out so I'm here taking notice you found balance by being more intentional with media consumption I think that is a very good goal.  What are the best suitable replacements you have found to relax and unwind with instead?  I am supposing books to be one do you often practice speed reading or do you more often take your time?

To me, reducing any dopamine-inducing media usage (following things that are entertaining or interesting but have no other value and/or very time-consuming media usage like scrolling through comments) via certain apps AND replacing that with more meaningful media interaction has been key.

To reduce usage of unwanted media, I installed apps like Stay Focused for my phone, Screen Time for Ipad, Cold Turkey + UnDistracted on PC, and made them as strict as possible, and extremely extensive. All of the sites I spend too much time on get restricted in some way on all of my devices with very little exceptions, like having FB on Ipad (but not in the form of app, just via browser). Also, I simply unfollowed all of the content on Insta/Youtube/Facebook that I felt was not serving any purpose. At the moment, I only follow friends on Instagram (and only those that post rarely haha), and am subscribed to only a couple YouTube channels that also post infrequently.
My logic is that if I am really curious about some content creator, I can literally find them anytime. There is no need for me to be constantly up to date on what they're doing.

For creating better media habits, I focus on following content that adds directly to my goals- on Youtube, it is art tutorials and music podcasts, and on Facebook, it is local sport meet-up groups. Everything else I only check when needed. 
My logic here is that the only content I should be seeing is that which I will actually remember and/or make use of in the near future. Anything that will fade from my memory quickly or not be utilized right away is not something I should follow. For this reason, I avoid subscribing to art tutorials- most of them I will watch and forget; only a couple channels offer continuous value with each upload.

 

As for books, I just read them for fun! It is a way for me to transition into mindfulness and force myself to rest fully. I have a large problem with never resting... 
Other than that, I've been listening to podcasts, gunpla (I do it very slowly so it stays affordable haha), and literally just laying on the floor and doing nothing. That last activity has been super important to me; I've grown to appreciate the world around me so much more by just being immersed in my environment through doing nothing. 

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Posted (edited)

Day 257. I've been extremely busy the last few days, so the journal entry is Oa bit late. A lot of stressful changes in this week, but to be expected 🙂

Recap of the week:

On 3/24/2022 at 8:06 PM, Pochatok said:

this week gas been extremely good, but also growingly pessimistic about the future

Eh, this a bit pessimistic. But, I also realized that I don't need to stuff my summer with tons of opportunities to do the things I want to do. Learning to do cool things on my own is important too.

On 3/24/2022 at 8:06 PM, Pochatok said:

I applied for a gaming summer camp

Got my interview for Wednesday! Super excited.

On 3/24/2022 at 8:06 PM, Pochatok said:

My summer is looking to be rather uneventful so far, and that's bothering me a lot.

Somewhat true now. It seems that I will be able to get funding for quite a few of my indendent projects from the school; that covers a lot of my worries and anxieties. The rest will be resolved by continuing to pump in more effort and time into networking and opportunity search.

This week has been tough. I loved spending time with my family, and being back on campus is, suprisingly, decreased my productivity. I am not sure why, but at home I was so incredibly productive it blew my mind. This week, however, I have been getting much more easily immersed into leisure activities and generally lacked direction. A part of it has to do with me being in a more isolated environment- being at home is extremely sporadic, and I have very little time to get work done. On campus, there is the illusion of having more time. 
Other than that, a lot of my social anxieties have resurfaced, but that's nothing new. I feel much better about them already, and that's great. 
Large projects I've undertaken during break has pushed a lot of my plans back quite a bit; I'm already behind in some classes and personal projects. Frustrating, but I'm catching up.

Super excited to be learning more sound design, animation, and composition. Will share things when they're ready 🙂

 

Gaming

On 3/24/2022 at 8:06 PM, Pochatok said:

though I might end up actually playing some as I'm learning more sound design

Nope. YouTube videos is enough. I will game when I feel like it, but at this point there is enough drive simply from memories of play and watching gameplay. 

 

Concentration

On 3/24/2022 at 8:06 PM, Pochatok said:

I am continuing to grow even more determined to be doing my best, and the little work I get done is focused.

Somewhat true. Monday and Tuesday of this week I completely lost the determination, but since then I've been getting back at it! Focus has improved a lot, but I want to keep growing.

 

Relationships

On 3/24/2022 at 8:06 PM, Pochatok said:

One of my biggest goals right now is to spend good time with family

I'm so happy to say that this was one of the better breaks. I've gotten to know my mom so much better. In general, I feel super good about how much time and passion I've poured into my family. My partner and I have remained a bit distant, sadly- we're just busy and don't need each other as much anymore. It is sad, but not upsetting.

Passion

On 3/24/2022 at 8:06 PM, Pochatok said:

I'm not relying on inspiration to feel motivated to do work

Has been a problem on Tuesday and Wednesday- I've spent too much time looking into inspirational material, to the point where it clearly turned into leisure. My motivation and inspiration have improved a ton however, I am super thrilled to be learning and creating more every day. Yay!

 

That's all for this week; next week, I hope to share some exciting news- fingers crossed I'll hear back from the tons of people I'm reaching out to.

Edited by Pochatok
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Day 265. Not sure if I should reset or not... More on that below!

 

Recap of the week

On 4/2/2022 at 7:59 PM, Pochatok said:

I'm already behind in some classes and personal projects.

Still somewhat behind, but I've decided that classes matter less than my personal goals. The two are not in alingment, sadly, and doing what I value is more important to me; I believe that it will change the world. My classes are merely a supplier to my passion. I will still do my best, but won't cut any time away from working towards my goals.

On 4/2/2022 at 7:59 PM, Pochatok said:

I have been getting much more easily immersed into leisure activities and generally lacked direction

Leisure is still difficult to control, but I'm most definitely back to working as much as I want to and only taking breaks when they feel appropriate. Many of the achievements with efficiency I've reached last term were at the expense of my health; I want to steer away from that, and sacrifice being a perfect worker bee towards a more flexible, human schedule. 

On 4/2/2022 at 7:59 PM, Pochatok said:

my social anxieties have resurfaced

Social isolation was very much present in last week, yes, but I've been feeling so much better since. I've noticed what my anxieties look like, what they make me do/think, and have been taking active steps towards re-structuring those behaviours. Have already seen a couple friends recently, hope to spend even more time being social 🙂 

Other than that, I've been continuing to reach out to more people, and one of them has mentioned the possibility of an internship! Not sure when or how, but that would be an amazing offer- the person has worked with Grammy winners 😮 My summer is looking more and more exciting. I will continue to do my best!
One of my pets has passed away, and I've been trying to spend more time with my family to help deal with grief. Will call them tonight. 

 

Gaming

On 4/2/2022 at 7:59 PM, Pochatok said:

I will game when I feel like it

Yessir. Been playing games for sound design education (literally opening/making games to implement sound into them), but it is nothing like playing an actual game imo. There were some... tingles that felt very interesting, but I don't want to play games. There are some games I hope to try out in the future, but right now I still want to learn to balance other leisure activities better. I am not reading enough!

 

Concentration

On 4/2/2022 at 7:59 PM, Pochatok said:

Focus has improved a lot, but I want to keep growing.

After more reflection a bit earlier this week, I've decided that focus has been taking up too much of my attention, to the point where I would fail to enjoy the activity and subsequently not make much progress. Focus is important, but I should set a benchmark and not worry about it instead of continuosly raising the bar. Being more flexible is key to growing my passions, and for the last couple of months I've absolutely steemed away from that haha. I'm happy with what I achieved, but it's not sustainable long-term. 

 

Relationships

On 4/2/2022 at 7:59 PM, Pochatok said:

My partner and I have remained a bit distant

Working on this! I've noticed that I am not sharing nearly as much about my own feelings and not communicating enough in general. And, whenever there is some conflict, I avoid bringing it up, putting the expectation of "reading my mind" on my partner. Dumbo dumbo. Hope to improve more in this area next week!

 

Passion

On 4/2/2022 at 7:59 PM, Pochatok said:

I've spent too much time looking into inspirational material

That continued to be a problem for a couple more days, but all of this week I have been zeroing-in on just doing the thing itself. There has been, as always, a lot more difficult changes, but I'm super excited to have reworked my flow for animation and composition. Can't wait to start outputting results that speak to me more soon 🙂 

 

That is it. Hope you all are doing well, and thank you for reading my journal. Stay awesome and beautiful 💛

Po

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Day 272. Feeling pretty bad the last couple of days, but a great week overall. 

Recap of the week

On 4/10/2022 at 1:28 PM, Pochatok said:

My summer is looking more and more exciting.

Yep- got accepted into working at an amazing summer camp! Continuing to build connections and look out for opportunities.

On 4/10/2022 at 1:28 PM, Pochatok said:

I've been trying to spend more time with my family to help deal with grief

Been calling my family more often this whole week; realised how much I miss home, too. Being on campus and doing work for my own career is great, but nothing can replace being with my baby siblings and parents. We're a very odd bunch and often don't get along but I appreciate them greatly and every visit feels too short. 

--

This week I've finished up a lot of preparations for summer opportunities... Hope to hear good news soon. I got to hang out with some friends (which made me pretty happy), but also had to deal with some emergencies that have completely messed up my sleep schedule. I have been very sluggish for the last 3 days, and today my motivation has plummeted hard- I just want to rest. Hopefully, next week will be less stressful and I'll be able to stay more energized and excited. 
Today has been special: I've actually slept for a good amount, spent my morning with my partner, but since have been feeling rather sad. Hopefully, it's just because I'm giving into the stress and tiredness. I want to feel better soon. 

 

Gaming

On 4/10/2022 at 1:28 PM, Pochatok said:

I am not reading enough

Been reading every night! Games haven't been a problem at all. I don't think I'm interested in any forms of entertainment at the moment, especially gaming- so pointless. 

 

Concentration

On 4/10/2022 at 1:28 PM, Pochatok said:

I've decided that focus has been taking up too much of my attention

Part of the issue this week has been too little attention to efficiency- I've remade my schedule and feel very happy about it, but I think that I don't have enough goals to follow to make the most out of day so far. As such, my focus has been struggling. Today especially, I cannot keep my mind from wondering every minute or two. 😞 

 

Relationships

On 4/10/2022 at 1:28 PM, Pochatok said:

whenever there is some conflict, I avoid bringing it up

Well, we've been arguing much less for sure. I'm also trying to be a better listener, and hold more fun and socially acceptable conversations. This week, I've connected with so many people- some that I never met, some that I know well... but I felt much more confident and comfortable throughout. I have been getting more socially anxious in the last two days, but I know that it will get better soon- weekends are aways a bit more socially isolative for me. I want to keep improving my social skills and make more and better friends. I stil say some really weird or just inconsiderate stuff daily.

 

Passion

On 4/10/2022 at 1:28 PM, Pochatok said:

to have reworked my flow for animation and composition.

Welp, I've not been doing any visual work this week. My Sound Design and Composition side of things is doing great, but not animation. I want to make more than just entertaining stories, but do not dedicate much time to developing my storytelling skills. I've been continuing to do animation practices, but inconsistently; without a larger goal, they feel purposeless. Hope to address this soon, and start working on larger projects.

In general, I've ought to write out my goals more frequently.

 

See you next week, kind reader 🙂

Po

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Day 275. Originally, I wanted to journal here every Thursday. I'll try to be consistent and do it every Friday instead. 

Recap of the week:

On 4/17/2022 at 6:36 PM, Pochatok said:

Hope to hear good news soon

Nope! Did not get that scholarship I was applying to... Still, feeling good, knowing I put my best work into it. 

On 4/17/2022 at 6:36 PM, Pochatok said:

my motivation has plummeted hard

Feeling better, but last week was understandably draining. I'm getting to that point again, sleep deprivation is not helping... Will take a nap a bit later today, and try to prioritize better.

On 4/17/2022 at 6:36 PM, Pochatok said:

I want to feel better soon

Wish been granted!
--
Overall, a good week so far. I do feel nervous about having completed a large chunk of projects- it's time to look for new opportunities, again. I don't know why there's so much fear about learning more about totally new things, but I'm excited to overcome it and move forward! Can't wait to call my family tonight, and tell them some more good news. Intramurals yesterday went pretty poorly, but it was incredibly fun and I managed to learn a lot. 

 

Gaming

On 4/17/2022 at 6:36 PM, Pochatok said:

haven't been a problem at all

Still the same. I don't think I'll ever look at games the same way again at this point. Feels great to be so free from that particular addiction.

 

Concentration

On 4/17/2022 at 6:36 PM, Pochatok said:

too little attention to efficiency

Getting back at it! I'm trying to strike a healthy balance where improving my efficiency is still a part of the overall process, but it's not causing me anxiety or stress. 

 

Relationships

On 4/17/2022 at 6:36 PM, Pochatok said:

I'm also trying to be a better listener, and hold more fun and socially acceptable conversations

Don't know... This week in particular, I've not been hanging out with that many folks. Had one great meetup with an old friend of mine, but besides that it's been mostly my partner and occasional meetups during lunch/dinnertime. While my social anxieties are improving every day, some situations remain difficult. Excited to keep learning and improving!

 

Passion

On 4/17/2022 at 6:36 PM, Pochatok said:

I've not been doing any visual work this week.

Been making some art every day since Tuesday. I want to build an even more consistent schedule going forward, but this is a strong start. I do need to post on Insta, however... I barely use social media so its a bit difficult to stay active; this has to be a more intentional goal of mine! 

On 4/17/2022 at 6:36 PM, Pochatok said:

I've ought to write out my goals more frequently.

Speaking the truth- I gotta write them out at least a couple times a week, all the way through. Every day, I do start out by thinking of who I want to be, but that's not specific enough. 

 

That's it for this week... Except for one more post below 🙂 
Thank you for reading, and have a relaxing weekend!

Po

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Super extra: Personal Tracker Update!

Last time I checked it out was end of February; it's been nearly two full months since! 

image.thumb.png.1c8c57fa81a6dc20ca296c38ebf61710.png
It's getting rather lengthy...

Anyways, let's take a look at some DATA:

Weakest Qualities: Rather suprising to see full resting such a deep dive down in late March. It is my main way of addressing stress (which makes a bump in "stress management" all the more unexpected), and that week was particularly stressful. It's coming up steadily, but it's nowhere near being a routine, though I perform mindfullness daily.

Strongest Quality: Prioritizing relationships also took a nosedive at the end of March, but since has resurfaced at an all-time high! I've been putting consistent effort and attention to this aspect of my life, and it is paying off. Leading up has been continuous learning- with how much I'm listening to podcasts, looking up tutorials, and journaling about working in game audio, I've been learning something new nearly every single day.

Most Consistent: Ehh, too early to call it yet. The week of March 28th was a very strong dip in most areas, from which I am still recovering. It's hard to tell what has been stable, if anything. 

Most Improved: Since that dip a month ago, my working environment has been continuing to improve! That is a rather vague area that I should attempt to define better... But in general it is about how well I am able to structure the environment around me for enchancement of focus and efficiency. My own room has been getting significantly better in that regard, and I've also been taking the opportunity to get out of my room and work elsewhere when appropriate. 

Interesting Patterns: Proactivity took a huge leap upwards late March, but then has been steadily going downwards... Essentially, this is the quality of my metacognition minus how much I overthink. Metacognition has been getting better and better, but so has been overthinking. This week, I've been told a few times to stop overthinking (during Intramurals -_-), and since then have been more actively trying to get Proactivity under control. Hope to keep improving here!

That's it, hope you were able to find this somewhat fascinating! 
P.S. the link in the title is interactive- you can highlight individual lines :)

 

 

 

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