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My procrastination habits make me miserable

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Aurelius

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Hi!
Sorry for the edgy teen title.
I have been struggling with procrastination for a long time. I have wanted to create a business since 2016 but I was never able to do it. I always said “I ll do it tomorrow”. Four years in total.
I ve been struggling with video games addiction. But when I was uninstalling them, I would procrastinate in Youtube. Then at some point I would start do something very small, or nothing at all (just brainstorming for my business) then proceed to reinstall my games, then uninstalling them afterwards, then procrastinate on Youtube/Social Medias again. The only “habit” I ve succesfuly been able to put into my life is reading. I read only when I get fed up on games and youtube, but even then, I would only read like 20 min, then give up on it.

I have been severely neglecting school too. I don’t see the shine of passing grades anymore.
I just day dream about me becoming a billionaire who would save the world, and then when I get home, I would either play games/procrastinate on Youtube. Tried every single thing to stop it, but no success. Do I really want to become a successful entrepreneur, or do I like dreaming about it?

If anyone has come through this, I really need some help. I’m failing on every aspect in my life rn. I try to keep an optimistic outlook upon my life, but it gets harder.

Kind regards
 

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broswoodwork

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Hi!
Sorry for the edgy teen title.
I have been struggling with procrastination for a long time. I have wanted to create a business since 2016 but I was never able to do it. I always said “I ll do it tomorrow”. Four years in total.
I ve been struggling with video games addiction. But when I was uninstalling them, I would procrastinate in Youtube. Then at some point I would start do something very small, or nothing at all (just brainstorming for my business) then proceed to reinstall my games, then uninstalling them afterwards, then procrastinate on Youtube/Social Medias again. The only “habit” I ve succesfuly been able to put into my life is reading. I read only when I get fed up on games and youtube, but even then, I would only read like 20 min, then give up on it.

I have been severely neglecting school too. I don’t see the shine of passing grades anymore.
I just day dream about me becoming a billionaire who would save the world, and then when I get home, I would either play games/procrastinate on Youtube. Tried every single thing to stop it, but no success. Do I really want to become a successful entrepreneur, or do I like dreaming about it?

If anyone has come through this, I really need some help. I’m failing on every aspect in my life rn. I try to keep an optimistic outlook upon my life, but it gets harder.

Kind regards
Maybe switch to ubuntu to solve the game issue. I don't know about youtube... what are you watching on there that's holding your attention for more than 10 minutes a day?

View: https://youtu.be/QH2-TGUlwu4
 

A_Random_Guy

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Download some videos related to your interest or any skill-based videos from YouTube and take out your notebook and start watching. For 2 hours a day, keep studying, keep making notes and work. After that, you won't feel guilty of wasting your time anymore. You'll see how those 2 hours become 4 after 2 weeks.

When you start, you'll find it difficult to read books so I prefer watching videos instead. 2 hours isn't a lot but it isn't less either :)
 

GigMistress

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I think everyone is different and so I have no idea whether this will be useful to you or not, but I have found that committing to a small start can change everything. I make my living as a freelancer, so I haven't had to do anything on anyone else's schedule for about 15 years.

I will be honest and tell you that some days when I don't feel like working, I just don't. But, I make that a decision. I don't (though I did at one time) waste time sitting in front of my computer staring blankly at something I should be working on or clicking back and forth between my work and distractions. If it's truly just not a productive time for me and I don't have something specific I want to get done in that timeline, I just decide what else I want to do and walk away from it.

I know some people will say you should never do that, but I found early on that the distraction/procrastination/unproductive game is self-perpetuating. Walking away and doing something else breaks the cycle, whether the something else is your laundry or a bike ride.

When I do want to push through and work and my brain isn't with me, I commit to writing 100 words. 100 words is no real commitment at all. Depending on the type of content I'm working on, I may be able to write 100 words in less than five minutes. There is absolutely nothing daunting about writing 100 words.

Thing is, getting started is the hard part. I can only recall one time in all these years that I stopped shortly after 100 words, and that day I was quite ill and probably shouldn't have been trying to work.
 

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First let's shatter an illusion:

There isn't a single person on this forum who works on their goals or dreams 24/7.

I often work 100+ hour weeks and even *I* don't focus all the time. Hell, I just finished Dracula on Netflix last night.

There's nothing wrong with leisure.

If you're struggling, there's one MAJOR thing you can do which is change your environment.

Do you have a job? When you work specific hours, you are forced to do your job while you're there. It's a different mentality. If that means you have to manufacture it and go to a co-working space or something like that for set hours -- then do it.

Life is short, yes... but life is also long. You don't have to do it overnight -- but if you just make measurable progress every day I think you'll be happy.

One of my favorite books on this subject is the 4 Hour Work Week. It talks specifically about how to increase per-hour-work output not just working for work's sake.
 

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Hey! I use LeechBlock to block YouTube (on Firefox). You should try it!
 

luniac

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I think its due to ur chronic state of distraction.
ur finding it impossible to focus on the task at hand, it feels like pulling teeth right?

I practice Zhan Zhuang standing meditation twice a day for an hour. After doing it for awhile i find its much easier to slow my life down now, and im physically and mentally more relaxed and peaceful.

This helps me a lot to just sit the F*ck down and get something done.
it also helps me to patiently wash the dishes too lol

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOp7wPtE6qA
 

GoodluckChuck

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I have spent periods of my life in a similar place. In my early 20's I had a lot of zero days. A zero day is when you don't do a single thing I that moves you forward...

I haven't had a zero day in many years, but I still feel like I could do more, and I'm right. It's all relative.

When I look back on recent days, weeks, and month, and compare them to other times of my life, it's amazing how much I accomplish each day. I still feel like I need to be doing more.

You know what? I will probably always feel like that, and that's what causes me to keep getting better.

Back when I made the switch, I made a promise to have no more zero days. That's where you need to start.

You need to start each day with something that moves you forward. Start small. Watch one 10 minute video of a course right when you wake up. Then, you can go play video games or whatever for the rest of the day knowing you did at least one thing that moved you closer to your goals.

Just one thing. Don't even worry about anything else.

You'll find that once you do one thing, you'll feel good about yourself. Occasionally this feeling will cause you to do a second thing. After many iterations of this you might find you're doing 5 things each day that move you forward.

Like Steve O said, life is long. You have a shit load of days to figure this out. So, make sure you're taking a tiny step forward each day and eventually you will look around and not even recognize your life.


A note about video games: They are designed to hook you. I've found that it's best for me to just not play them. It's opens me up to treat my businesses like video games which they feel like sometimes.

There are apps out there like Do it Now that turn your daily tasks into an RPG game where you can gain levels and skills by completing takes you set. You can track your progress and see it in graphs and charts just like games.

Perhaps the coolest thing about the Do it Now app is you earn gold from completing tasks. You can set up a store where you can buy things like "an hour of gaming" or whatever.

Use systems like this to set yourself up for success. And remember, you're not a robot so don't be so hard on yourself when you act like a human.

Treat yourself like you would treat a best friend. Be honest and don't be super critical when you fail. Focus on small daily improvements and you'll be golden.
 

Primeperiwinkle

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There are apps out there like Do it Now that turn your daily tasks into an RPG game where you can gain levels and skills by completing takes you set. You can track your progress and see it in graphs and charts just like games.
Can you give a screen shot of this please? I have been thinking about how cool it would be to have an app that did precisely this! When I looked it up I think I found what you’re talking about but it didn’t have ANY reviews.. which makes me hesitate.

Oops forgot to add what I was thinking.

OP, is there any way you’re actually addicted to desiring change? Like maybe you’ve filled your days with dreaming about change and yearning for change because that emotion is your happy place or your comfort zone? Like the boy who looks at the girl in class every day but doesn’t ever get the courage to talk to her because if she’s not the perfect princess in his mind it will shatter all his lovely imaginations about her?

Reality is NEVER as good as your imagination, at least, not immediately. I think you might have to get it in your head that, for you, doing regular things is going to be painful, anxiety-filled, annoying, or just.. well.. a burden. There’s no immediate gratification in actually accomplishing stuff. But if you don’t.. the long term suffering you will experience from spending your time JUST dreaming is going to be much more painful.

Now, go clean your bathroom. It’s icky..but you’ll have done one thing today to relieve the horrible burden of inactivity. You’ve got to reverse your habits from 99% dreaming and 1% activity to 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration.

Seriously, just start small.
 
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GoodluckChuck

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Can you give a screen shot of this please? I have been thinking about how cool it would be to have an app that did precisely this! When I looked it up I think I found what you’re talking about but it didn’t have ANY reviews.. which makes me hesitate.

Oops forgot to add what I was thinking.

OP, is there any way you’re actually addicted to desiring change? Like maybe you’ve filled your days with dreaming about change and yearning for change because that emotion is your happy place or your comfort zone? Like the boy who looks at the girl in class every day but doesn’t ever get the courage to talk to her because if she’s not the perfect princess in his mind it will shatter all his lovely imaginations about her?

Reality is NEVER as good as your imagination, at least, not immediately. I think you might have to get it in your head that, for you, doing regular things is going to be painful, anxiety-filled, annoying, or just.. well.. a burden. There’s no immediate gratification in actually accomplishing stuff. But if you don’t.. the long term suffering you will experience from spending your time JUST dreaming is going to be much more painful.

Now, go clean your bathroom. It’s icky..but you’ll have done one thing today to relieve the horrible burden of inactivity. You’ve got to reverse your habits from 99% dreaming and 1% activity to 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration.

Seriously, just start small.
I believe it's only on Android but I'm making a similar browser based app that can be used from any device.
 

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MrStoic886

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You can try all the tips and tricks you want, motivational videos, taking action with exercise or meditation or productive tasks, reading books on new productivity systems, etc.

I'm sure you've tried many of these already though.

They do work for some people, but you've come here because you need something that will force you to succeed.

I suffered with the same problem for years, and ended up depressed many times due to my addiction to "digital escapism". After trying all kinds of methods and apps to limit/block my usage of digital distractions, I found only a select few things actually helped.

If/when you're serious about quitting procrastination, you will make it impossible for yourself to get caught up in distractions.

There are certain apps out there which allow you to completely block distracting apps or websites. However, a lot of them are very easy to disable, which means you're still relying on willpower to resist the instant gratification in the moment.

So these are two blocking apps which actually stop you from disabling the blocks:

Cold Turkey - The Toughest Website Blocker on the Internet (For Windows)
Stay Focused - App Block (For Android)

If you don't have Windows or Android, I'm sure there are other options out there for you.

Once you work out the right settings for you, these two apps will make it pretty much impossible to get stuck in a habit of procrastination.

After a couple weeks of strict blocking, you will no longer be (as) addicted to technology. Your brain will stop being so desensitised to dopamine, you'll have more motivation to succeed, and you'll of course have more time to spend on doing the important shit in life.

---

+ Recommended reading/watching - these will explain why procrastination is causing you to be miserable, as well as how to transform your mindset:

How To Be Happy

"Most people are unhappy for one of two reasons (possibly both):

– They’re slobs squandering their best resource, their time. If you slob it up for a month you may be happy because you enjoy the moment’s pleasures. But when a year passes, then two, and you catch even a moment to look back and compare yourself now with who you were then – and you’re not better than that guy – you’re the same guy or worse yet, you’re inferior to him, that shit is going to hit you like a ton of bricks. You are going to be miserable because you’ve let yourself down.

– Their ambitions far exceed their stature and their lack of status causes them to put so much pressure on themselves that they can’t even breathe and just enjoy the simple things. The sun on their face, the air on their nose etc.
"

&

Becoming a Man of Action Via The Dopamine Detox - [Must Watch]

If you have a big procrastination problem, this video and the rest of his MoA content will be life-changing for you.

See the description for the Metascript Method (free download) - this will help you reprogram your mind.

I will leave you with a quote by him:

"If you’re a male internet user, the #1 thing standing between you and the life you want is your ability remove distractions, resist temptation, and focus your attention."
 

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lowtek

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Maybe switch to ubuntu to solve the game issue. I don't know about youtube... what are you watching on there that's holding your attention for more than 10 minutes a day?

View: https://youtu.be/QH2-TGUlwu4
At the risk of sabotaging your suggestion, gaming on Linux is more viable than ever with Steam/Proton. Some flavor of BSD might be better for nuking that bridge, but I digress.

On topic, my only suggestion is to start lifting and stick with it. Discipline in one area will quickly start to bleed over into others. It won't be an overnight solution, but over the months you'll start to recover.
 

Bekit

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I was in the same boat. I came up with an unconventional solution for myself.


If nothing else, it might help to spark your own creative ideas of how you can approach this.
 

Imgal

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There's been some great advice in this thread on practical ways to get you moving forward so I'm not going to focus on that, but more on the mental side.

Procrastination, at least in my case, comes from not having a clear goal in sight. If I have something that needs to be done then you're not going to be able to stop me... and all the problems I have with wanting to eat all the snacks and watch crap TV during the day disappear.

Find something that you can be passionately motivated about to focus on and move you forward. Positive is better than negative, but believe me trying to get the money together to pay rent so I'm not kicked out is far more motivating to get me moving than the cash to get a concert ticket / latest gadget.

Like others have said gamify it for yourself. I work in social media and when I want to just F*ck about then I'll set myself stupid targets - like once I get a post XXXX likes then I can go and kick back and do nothing. Believe me that gets me spending a lot of time engaging with people to get a post moving and motivates me to do anything I can to get an uplift on it. Sometimes also the post F*cking bombs which actually is the best motivation of all as then it gets a surge of adrenaline to figure out what the F*ck happened and I forget completely about the want to procrastinate.

Targets and goals. Big and small. Those are what will get you where you want.

And be accountable to others if you can't to yourself. Set up an accountability thread here and get going.
 

luniac

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lol my Zhan Zhuang posts almost always get ignored.
if you practice for years you can eventually learn to move like this:
View: https://www.facebook.com/yiquan.academy/videos/2525850970827760/UzpfSTEwMDAwMDU4NTk2ODg2NTpWSzoxMDE1NzUwOTY4Mzc0MDQ0OQ/



I think we tend to overcomplicate this whole procrastination thing.
The core issue is simple, theres work to be done, u know u have to do it, but ur not doing it.
day after day, week after week, months and years go by, and the work is still not done.

This obviously means u are trying to write a check ur body can't cash.
For whatever reason ur mind/body is not capable of willing oneself to get the work done.

The solution to this problem is not intellectual, its physiological!
Transform who you are and one day you will wake up capable of doing the work.

Its a chicken/egg scenario. What came first, you doing the work and thus becoming disciplined and successful, or you changing yourself and then literally feeling capable of doing the work?

I believe an "original" human being untainted by civilization is naturally ambitious, an adventurer, etc.
Look at young children, they have infinite curiosity and energy to just do stuff
The only difference between your inner child and the lazy person you are now is the big pile of social conditioning and physical trauma you've absorbed over the years.

I believe Zhan Zhuang practice reverses that conditioning, and restores the magic of the inner child.
It's a very subtle effect at first, in my experience you start to slowly realize that you're overall calmer, more patient, less anxious. Eventually you have more energy, u don't feel as tired even after a long day.

These are the types of factors that affect your motivation to do work!
if you feel great it makes you wanna participate in the world, its that simple!

It just takes time, lots of time, months and even years, but i think in the long term this gentle Zhan Zhuang approach is the way.
 

elina_nazarova

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Hi!
Sorry for the edgy teen title.
I have been struggling with procrastination for a long time. I have wanted to create a business since 2016 but I was never able to do it. I always said “I ll do it tomorrow”. Four years in total.
I ve been struggling with video games addiction. But when I was uninstalling them, I would procrastinate in Youtube. Then at some point I would start do something very small, or nothing at all (just brainstorming for my business) then proceed to reinstall my games, then uninstalling them afterwards, then procrastinate on Youtube/Social Medias again. The only “habit” I ve succesfuly been able to put into my life is reading. I read only when I get fed up on games and youtube, but even then, I would only read like 20 min, then give up on it.

I have been severely neglecting school too. I don’t see the shine of passing grades anymore.
I just day dream about me becoming a billionaire who would save the world, and then when I get home, I would either play games/procrastinate on Youtube. Tried every single thing to stop it, but no success. Do I really want to become a successful entrepreneur, or do I like dreaming about it?

If anyone has come through this, I really need some help. I’m failing on every aspect in my life rn. I try to keep an optimistic outlook upon my life, but it gets harder.

Kind regards

Create your daily plan and stick to it. If you want, you can keep 1 hour a day for gaming and 1 hour for youtube if it's really interesting for you. And ta-daam, you still have 10 hours for smth useful.
 

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Then stop procrastinating.

What does that mean? It just means, when your brain tells you that it's time to do something, LISTEN TO IT and DO IT. The habit of procrastinating is the habit of listening to the voice in your head that says 'You don't have to do this now. Come on, let's jerk off!'

People who don't procrastinate have a habit of listening to the voice in your head that says 'Hey buddy, you gotta do this thing, let's do it now!'

Both voices are talking to you at several different moments of the day. Which one do you listen to?

From there it becomes about building good work habits. But the first habit you gotta get into is listening to the voice that wants you to achieve your goals.
 

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Congrats Aurelius on being brave and sharing what for many is a difficult issue.

If anyone has come through this, I really need some help. I’m failing on every aspect in my life rn. I try to keep an optimistic outlook upon my life, but it gets harder.
If you don't mind me asking, how is your private life? Situation at home? Are you bored? What feeling accompanies you daily? Is there any activity in your life that makes you feel alive? Or a thought about this activity?


You can PM me if you prefer or don't answer at all of course.
 

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lol my Zhan Zhuang posts almost always get ignored.
I think it's because you often give advice which requires you to stand still for hours on end. Nobody has time to do that.

I understand what you mean about meditation, I practice mindfulness, however sometimes I simply don't have the time.
 

luniac

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I think it's because you often give advice which requires you to stand still for hours on end. Nobody has time to do that.

I understand what you mean about meditation, I practice mindfulness, however sometimes I simply don't have the time.
Its a commitment for sure.

40 minutes a day is good enough for improving health though.
if that's too much then wat can i say.
plus when u become extremely healthy u need less sleep naturally, so in the long term ull have more time.

But hey besides, the OP clearly got time.
 
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Mario_fastlaner

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I recommend you “the slight edge” (book).

The secret is in small, simple action you do everyday
 

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Black_Dragon43

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It's simple, you can't focus and do what you truly want (become an entrepreneur) because there is a part of you that loves comfort and prefers to think about the joys of entrepreneurship from the sidelines.

Why does this happen?

You don't have a strong enough WHY, a fire burning your arse. So keep being lazy, one day the fire will get so hot that you'll start taking massive action.

When it comes to motivation, the push is always stronger than the pull.

lol my Zhan Zhuang posts almost always get ignored.
Perhaps it would be useful if you tell us how Zhan Zhuang helped you defeat procrastination in your own fastlane journey?
 

Mario_fastlaner

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It's simple, you can't focus and do what you truly want (become an entrepreneur) because there is a part of you that loves comfort and prefers to think about the joys of entrepreneurship from the sidelines.

Why does this happen?

You don't have a strong enough WHY, a fire burning your arse. So keep being lazy, one day the fire will get so hot that you'll start taking massive action.

When it comes to motivation, the push is always stronger than the pull.


Perhaps it would be useful if you tell us how Zhan Zhuang helped you defeat procrastination in your own fastlane journey?
So do we have to wait until the motivation hit us? This is very risky, could waste plenty of time in the meantime.
 

Black_Dragon43

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So do we have to wait until the motivation hit us? This is very risky, could waste plenty of time in the meantime.
The alternative is to find a strong enough WHY so that you'll get off your butt and start working.

There are some strategies for doing that, but they don't always work. Very often, this one gets recommended.

Visualise what will happen if you keep being lazy. See your life fall apart, and everything that you love and care about collapse around you. Think about how you'll feel when you see the bill come in through your door, only to check your account and realise that you don't have money to pay it. Etc.

Then visualise what will happen if you actually get your life together and start taking action. How your life will turn out, how you will get what you truly want, how you will help others, how you will be a pillar of your family and community, etc.

This is the backbone of many of the strategies used by Tony Robbins and also Jordan Peterson when it comes to motivation. But it doesn't work for everyone. Nothing works as well as a real fire behind your arse.
 

luniac

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Perhaps it would be useful if you tell us how Zhan Zhuang helped you defeat procrastination in your own fastlane journey?
its real simple man, Zhan Zhuang makes me feel better which makes me more motivated to work on my business.

but hey it doesn't cost a dime to do it.
Try it yourself 10 minutes a day for a week or 2 and then report back.
 

garyfritz

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Then stop procrastinating.

What does that mean? It just means, when your brain tells you that it's time to do something, LISTEN TO IT and DO IT. The habit of procrastinating is the habit of listening to the voice in your head that says 'You don't have to do this now. Come on, let's jerk off!'
Not everybody is the same. Brains are wired differently. It may be easy for you but that doesn't mean it's easy for everyone. People with ADHD have a MUCH harder time focusing on long-term goals. Their brains are wired to go for the immediate win -- watch that cat video, play that video game, yeah I know I have to do X but... later. That's the way their brain works. Sure it's possible to beat it but it's a MUCH harder uphill struggle than it is for someone who's not wired like that.

It's not "just" a habit. It's an inherent property of how they're built. Saying "just stop procrastinating" to someone like that is like LeBron James telling a 5'0" guy "c'mon dude, slam that ball, just jump!"
 

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I would echo @Kung Fu Steve and say the best thing you can do is change your environment. I started taking my goals seriously when I moved out of my parent's house and started working a full time job.

When you only have around 3-4 hours a day to work on your business, you take it very seriously. Suddenly, all of the distractions you wasted laughable amounts of time on in the past lose their appeal.

If you have a surplus of free time, and are in a comfortable spot where rent, food and other bills are taken care of, forget about it. It's over for you before it even started.

2nd thing - make sure you define what your goals are. Write them down, every single day. There's progress journals available for purchase that will help keep you on track. Or, just create your own.

Get hungry, and then get to work. Best of luck, you got this!
 

robust_money

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Oct 22, 2019
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Yes, you need the HUNGAH! What you also need is to wean your brain off instant gratification. Meditate, stop eating sugar, stop watching porn, et cetera. Effectively become a monk for a little while and you may have a chance of breaking the cycle of addictive behavior.
 

RazorCut

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You really need to get a schedule together. Otherwise you will just bounce around and achieve very little.

The simple fact of the matter is:

if you are prone to procrastination you will accomplish tasks that have a dead line attached and everything else that you find unsatisfying, distasteful, or you simply don't care about, will get put off indefinitely until forgotten about. Simply swept under the carpet. Out of sight, out of mind.

So you either have to have a framework (a schedule that keeps those items front and centre) so they are always there to nag at you, and stop your RAS reticular activating system from deactivating them so they become unseen.

OR

You find a way to care about the things on your list and set deadlines in place to accomplish those tasks within a set period of time. Having a goal in life, a plan, something to work for, will help with that because your tasks should lead you towards a life goal.

You can do all the usual stuff like blocking apps, setting times for working on tasks, Pomodoro sessions, changing your environment etc., but if you are not invested in working towards an end goal it will end up being futile. All you will ever work on is the stuff that gives you pleasure or instant gratification.

So
  • Find a purpose in life that you are passionate about and build it into a burning desire
  • Schedule everything so each and every task has a deadline
  • Use programs like 2Do, Awesome Note, Todoist, Trello etc. to keep those tasks front and centre
  • Create a reward system so you get to do the fun stuff AFTER you have worked through one or several of those tasks you have listed
  • Prioritise each task so even if you fail 90% of the time you get the important task(s) done that day so you are still moving forward
  • And finally make your bed. Yes, every morning, first thing. Have it on your task list. Make your bed and tick it off. You will then have only been up a few minutes and already achieved something worthwhile. It creates a positive mental attitude and you will be amazed how that simple win can set you up for the day.
 

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