Posted by: changheuk | August 22, 2009


There are times when even though you would like to only concentrate and care about your own progress, it is necessary and inevitable to compare yourself to realistic standards that are not confined to your comfort zone. As soon as you realize you are still very weak as is, your motivation and momentum take a steep drop.

Though there are those that go unharmed by this, I admit for more mentally weak people such as myself, this is quite a toll on my mental energy. The will you have and determination just wanes away, and I am desperately needing some way to fix it up…

To some extent, I think the best way would be to simply cut down. I have this thinking that everything is mostly do-able by cutting down. Throw away what you don’t need. I guess in a way, this embodies the 80/20 rule. You know that 80% of your time is only accumulating for 20% of the results, so start throwing away more, and you can possibly end up with better results. Even if this doesn’t happen, you’ll then have a lot of free time after the cut down – just like how Tim Ferris has mentioned that by cutting down most of his clients and focusing on the long-term, more “profitable” ones, he has been able to increase his profits while not being tied down to the 9-5 scheme.

It was certainly semi-realistic to think I could handle so much at once. Workout one day, badminton the other, perhaps even jog every morning (that has certainly failed), and then go to school (and somehow pay full attention all the time, absorbing everything and barely having to review after class for sufficient understanding…), having the rest of the day immersed in Japanese (so here, we have a rapid improvement, supposedly speaking that is…), and all the other free time researching about general things, and finally maybe a game of DotA at night.

Thing is, discipline is an issue, so are my mental energy reserves. Then you have those blue, gloomy days, where you feel like “Fack, just going to take a break… won’t hurt much”. At times like this, I can only imagine that you would get lazy and repeatedly skip out.

On any given day, I usually wake up late. I check entertainment news, blogs, and usually things jump right to a DotA game (because I’m on MSN, and the temptation exists because friends ask). Then there’s lunch. After lunch, it’s afternoon. What afternoon means for me is major fatigue; perhaps this is derived from the energy needed to digest your foods, or there just happens to be a decrease in mental energy anyway. But if I take a nap, my low discipline kicks into action, and I frequently end up sleeping for a few hours instead – which I regard as the biggest waste of time ever. But once I start sleeping, it is quite hard to just make yourself get off the bed.

Continuing into a no-nap afternoon, there is usually an afternoon gaming session. You can now see where this is going. I have been so burnt out by simply trying to keep awake, that the only cure might possibly be gaming. If I’m lucky, I won’t game, but I’ll end up reading useless things on forums, YouTubing, or better, Wikipedia-ing (this is actually quite educationally healthy, but is still showing signs of distraction in effect). Last but not least, Facebook. I’ve controlled myself to only check for no more than 10 seconds, and hell, I could surely live fine without knowing what kind of friends that a friend I don’t even know well went to the beach or dinner with. But, I’m guessing its human nature, and that’s why Mark Zuckerberg is so rich.

Nighttime certainly isn’t much better, but maybe I’ll take out my Rubik’s cube and have an aimless solving session. Usually after dinner, its another goddamn game of DotA. You can probably sense my frustration by the use of profanity just now. At this point, my goals of reading a book a day, working out or whatever, practising the piano, learning Japanese, all go to waste.

And what’s my current scenario? Haven’t worked out in a week, and I feel the need. However, I’m awfully low on mental energy right now. I would probably doze off in 5 minutes of reading the book that’s sitting in front of me right now. No friends to game with, and its good to hold back. I don’t even remember what I’ve been doing for the past 5 hours. This is horrible.

By typing this account of my undisciplined string of daily activities, I have somehow immediately obtained a birds eye view, 3rd person perspective of the failures that have camouflaged in my daily life.

1. I’m making too much demanding immediate goals. “Just do it” doesn’t work everyday obviously, you need a habit. Developing that habit is something else, since it requires consecutive consistency. Something I definitely lack.

2. Gaming is taking up most part of my day. It also happens to completely destroy my mental energy, because there’s a lot of focused concentration involved, and I don’t like playing just for “fun”. After I’m done a game, I’m usually way too tired to do anything else, and that might be the reason for my destroyed afternoons.

3. I’m focusing on too much activities at once, and haven’t gotten used to even doing the one, same activity every day. This is where we need a cleanup…

So let me try this:

Wake up at 8:00 AM (I’ve been consistently natural waking around this time recently for some reason, so it isn’t out of question at all, but something like 6:45 is).

Check all news within 30 minutes (there’s really not much advantage of reading forums and blogs for 3 hours after all, unless its a day that you’ve decided to waste for pleasure).

Workout. I realize if I can’t make myself workout in the afternoon, I’ll just go in the morning when I’m feeling fresh and motivated.

At this point, I wonder if it will be smart to game or start reading a book.

Lunch soon follows, and now we hit the infamous low-energy afternoon…

Nap. 20 minute nap, with double alarms for long-sleeping prevention.

I’ll post an update after I get all the above done once (trust me, the nap part is DAMN hard if you’re feeling really sleepy mid-afternoon).

A more viable solution I am also considering: do not put a desktop in front of my workspace. Having it right there in front of me is an unignorable distraction.


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