So, I'm sure no one's reading this unless I have some sort of silent following (lol) but either way. I had a plan that failed again or more than failed, it's been procrastinated. You see starting january 1st I was supposed to turn off my computer and internet for the month, then it was the 3rd, then it was the 5th, then it was the next day... for 5 days till today which was again supposed to be the day. But you can always find an excuse to stick with your addictions, can't you?
So with every passing day I've become increasingly aware of just how addicted I am, not to anything specific... just Computers and the Internet. In fact I'm a little bit like a junkie now that I think of it. Part of the reason why I wanted to do all this was to prove to myself that I'm not addicted, but well, shucks, I have a problem. I guess addiction can subtly sneak up on you like that. Just because I seize every opportunity to go hang out with other people doesn't make me any less addicted, because I can still get my dose even if I spend a bit of time with other people, and in fact after spending time with a gathering of people (like parties, say around christmas) I get this need to just go back to my computer, I used to think it was just fatigue from being in a social environment, but now I've realized, it was just an excuse to go back to the computer for a whole day. What a shocker.
Anyhow this does not discourage me at all, this helped me identify a problem. One that I already know how to fix, you see I helped my friend get out of drugs, and I'm not talking about some dabbler, the guy was a hardcore drug addict, just about the only thing he never tried was shooting himself up because he had enough sanity and intellect not to do that somehow even if he was dumb enough to try drugs in the first place (I suppose it stemmed a bit from the young age he was when he first tried) anyway, he'd walked the whole 9 yards in the criminal underworld and everything. But I helped him out, of drugs, and then helped him realize that he had to contain his drinking too (see he's an alcoholic as well, we established that once we got him off the drugs) but there were 2 key elements I noticed that determined his success almost completely. The 1st and kinda easier one was that he cut off all contact with anybody who he knew was doing drugs, and he went the whole way with this, he cut off his facebook account, his phone number, everything and then he got a new phone number and skype which I can contact him by. Even one of his previously closest friends (whom I also know) he cut off just because he suspects he's doing drugs again (last I met him he was 'quitting'). That's how serious he was about quitting and following that advice which I gave him. It didn't go super easy, I mean he sometimes met people by accident who dragged him down again but over about a year he's managed to overcome all such hurdles.
Luckily that's not gonna be a problem for me seeing as I've only got about one more friend who is actually addicted to computers (ok I lie, I've got more, but they're just a little addicted, i.e. they prefer being outside and hanging out over the computer) and I barely talk to the guy anymore even if he was my best friend for a long time, we drifted apart when he managed to finish college and I endured trauma in my first year of college which spiraled me down this path I'm on where I couldn't complete college, god damn it, what a mess. It was a mild trauma, it was inevitably gonna happen because it was more like a 'relapse' than something new.
Anyhow, moving on, the other thing that I noticed was just as important for him overcoming his addiction was finding another hobby something else to spend your time on. Now I fully realize that I can't just 'quit' computers, because I actually need them to realize my dreams, quite ironic, the thing I need to be without is also the thing I need...
But I'm beginning to see why I'm not able to just turn this bitch off. Besides the long term commitment (you know, full month), it's that while I knew a ton of things I could do besides the computer... I didn't have any sort of actual plan, I had a loose plan, but not a solid plan, there was no 'I'm gonna do this'.
And thinking about it, trying to figure out what I should do, I realized a procedure that might revolutionize my chances in life. Our minds have a way of finding ways to do things, to get things and to get things done, they're almost like a gun, you point them in the right direction, squeeze the trigger and they'll do the rest of the work for you (I'm not joking, we underestimate the semi-automatic powers of our mind all the time, give it a target, something that is within reach, or 'close enough' and it'll work tirelessly to get it... As long as you focus on it and don't get distracted)
I've many times encountered scenarios where I think I want something, then a couple of months later I realize 'wait, I have it now? oh.' so it wasn't entirely conscious of me to get something I'd dreamed of having a few months prior. For a long time I've wanted a phone upgrade, but the first week of this year or so, I managed to make my phone my own, now I don't want a new one, I just want the one I've had for more than a year now, because I've fully customized it to my exact liking. It might not have all the system security updates I'd like to have admittedly, but everything else it owns. I installed a virus on it yesterday, I'm not joking, I got stupid with some apk file. And you know what? It was unable to do anything, because xprivacy asked me 'do you want to give it internet access?' and I was like "... nope." so it snuck into my app list under the name 'file manager' I found it in the system app list and uninstalled it, no harm done. So I have security measures against that even if I'm not dumb enough to install suspicious looking apk files (the problem is my head wasn't on straight when it happened).
But I digress, what did I discover that's so important?
I've been circling around this idea for a while now but never really nailing it down.
We can't manage our time, we can only manage our focus, this is something I learned earlier this year. But there's a thing about our focus... we're not good multitaskers. I like to think ahead, a bit much further ahead than is healthy, I know what I wanna do now, and I know what I wanna do next, and what I wanna do after that, there are a few blanks but I basically have the big picture of how I'd like my life to go, yet I don't move on it. Why?
Part of it is distractions from the internet, but the bigger culprit is that I'm thinking about all of them all at once... So what I realized is that I have to narrow my focus down to one, maybe a maximum of two things at once. I should write down my long term plan, what comes first, what next, etc, etc, then plan out months ahead and insert specific days (say the start of every month or every third month or something) where I evaluate if I should shift my focus to something else or keep doing what I'm doing.
So how this plays out for example is that I want to do:
Work out and diet
program these other things
learn to do this
learn to do that
learn to do that so I can
List goes on, and I've always got all these things at the back of my head. But how I could organize it is
This is what I want to do now:
Work out and diet
This is what I want to do next:
Learn better programming
This is what I want to do later:
What this would allow me to do is push EVERYTHING else than what I want to do NOW out of my mind completely, I have it written down somewhere, put it in a box maybe, these 2 things I want to do now are my 2 primary directives. Ideally I should just focus on one directive at a time, but well yeah, now that I'm talking about directives I'm starting to feel like some sort of robot lol (who's to say that we aren't?).
I think this is what focus management should look like.
Make long term plans, be prepared for it not to go down entirely like you planned (there are always blanks to be filled and plans that go awry), then pick the next one or two steps in your plan, and forget about everything else until it becomes relevant. You can only focus on so many things at once without losing your focus and with it your control. When you have a 100 different things you could do, all of which you probably should do, you enter a state we in Iceland call valkvíði, it basically means you get nervous about which choice to make and can't decide, you can't 'pick one' because you're worried it might not be the best choice.
Now with a 100 choices to pick from that's gonna be... every time, no question about it. So what happens then? You procrastinate, you will just 'oh man, maybe I'll just throw myself down in front of the TV and let these choices work themselves out for me'
Yeah, you'll "wait" for life to unravel for you... But as the past 6 years or so have taught me, it doesn't work like that, you either act and have things happen, or you don't act and nothing happens. When you spend every day in your home pretty much there are not enough variables for things that could happen differently, much less new things that could happen.
But at least in theory, if I narrow my focus like this, my chances of success in each task should skyrocket as I can now work on them just one at a time. I'll be far more difficult to distract.
But there's one key element I didn't mention yet. You need to make yourself a long-term plan, essentially a life plan for your next several decades potentially... But in order to succeed there's one thing you must be rid of, and that is doubt. Do not question yourself or your plans, that's a waste of energy, just follow it all through and see where it leads because the truth in life is that no matter what you plan to do and no matter if you go through with it all or not, you can never know where you end up. Do not doubt yourself, and after a couple of years, do not doubt your past self, trust in your plan, blindly, like religion. And trust in your ability to execute it. There will be hurdles, things not as easy as you initially thought they'd be, but you will always find a way through even if it'll take a bit longer than planned. Time is not the most precious commodity, your focus is. The less time you spend thinking about things that don't help you in any way, the faster and greater your success will be.
This isn't the complete story yet, and I have yet to test this system I just devised for myself (I'm sure it's nothing new tho, others have had the same idea I bet, but it's hard to sift through all the bullshit time and focus management systems to find the tried and tested things that really do work isn't it?) there are other elements (such as delayed gratification efforts) but that's for another time because this is the basics of it all I believe.
Let's see if I can turn off this bloody computer now that I've realized this.
Listening to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lz0BGyq8Utw
Watching: Luke Cage
Playing: Planetary Annihilation: Titans
Eating: Healthy food
Drinking: Wet stuff