For a period of my life, I wasn’t so productive. I would spend countless hours grinding away on video games like Ark Survival Evolved, and other online role-playing games. I would also spend many hours searching the web, and doing things that weren’t getting me anywhere.
Now we’ve all heard this story of the guy who played tons of video games, and changed his life around, and then gave some generic advice about how he changed his life.
Well, I’m going to go a lot more in depth about how you can be incredibly productive, and not feel like a slave to anything in your life.
Now i’m going to be honest with you, this article is not going to be for some average Joe who just wants to get by in life. This is an article for people who seriously want to take control of their lives, and actually get things done consistently and progress. If you are afraid of giving some things up, then you should probably stop reading now. If you’re okay with that then continue reading.
What Can I Do To Be More Productive?
So the question is, what can I really do then to be more productive? If you want to be on the path to being super successful, then the key is to cut everything you do in your life that is super stimulating.
Yes, sometimes doing less is actually more.
This is not only because super stimulating activities take up a lot of time and are hard to get off of, but also because doing many of these highly pleasurable and stimulating activities can make you lose your motivation, and focus. You lose motivation when you overuse your dopamine receptors to constant unnatural stimuli.
Now, you can still be successful by having some highly stimulating activities, or even some bad habits in your life. But this article is about being optimal, and really speeding up the process.
So let’s look at your life. Say you want to become really good at piano, but you never do it. What do we do here? What we do is pay attention to what we are doing that is keeping us from doing that thing we want to get better at, and cut it out of our lives. If it’s consistently a distraction, you need to stop doing it, or you can go back to living averagely.
Now sometimes we have control over certain things we do, but every person is different. For me, when I listen to music or play video games, It’s really hard for me to stop; as for sugar, I can manage that well. I know my limits with sugar so I don’t have to cut that out completely. Some people can’t control sugar, so they will have to cut it out. But, maybe that same person can manage their time playing video games. Like I said, everyone is different, just pay attention to yourself.
Now this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have fun. You can still have fun for natural activities. Natural activities that aren’t as stimulating such as playing sports, riding your bike, reading, and working out. These aren’t going drift your focus away from things that need to get done, and they will be a lot more satisfying. Not only are the natural activities satisfying, but most of them are very healthy for your brain; they are a lot more healthy than sitting in your room gaming all day, while you also scroll down your Facebook feed.
What Happens Next?
So let’s say you cut out everything in your life that is extremely stimulating, now what happens?
In time, your body will adapt to the lost dopamine and pleasure that it is no longer getting, and you will start to get your motivation back. You may feel pretty bad at first, but it will be worth the pain and discomfort.
Why Are Distractions Bad?
Not only do distractions take up your time, but there are also changes inside of your brain that are happening while you are doing these.
When we spend most of our time doing activities that are highly pleasurable, we are using up a lot of our pleasure chemicals in our brain, and slowly desensitizing ourselves to the point where the simple pleasures in life like riding our bike, and hanging out with our friends (without a phone) aren’t as enjoyable anymore.
Not only are the simple pleasures not as enjoyable anymore, but you also will lose motivation in life for things that need to get done. Many things in life that need to get done aren’t very stimulating, so if we cut out the super stimulating activities we will adapt to the more natural activities, start enjoying them, and have the motivation to get them done!
Think about how you feel when you spend most of your day just playing video games, listening to music, scrolling through Facebook, and so on. After all of these things, we tend to feel terrible, lack focus and motivation.
Even if you don’t spend too much time with all of these distractions, they’re still distractions. The ability to put full focus into your goals is very powerful. When you have all of these other distractions, even straying away from your work every 20 minutes can make you less productive, and make your work not as good than it would be with less distractions in your life overall.
What Are Some Other Distractions?
In the world we live in, there are many distractions. There are distractions we know that we do that are bad, but we continue to do them, and there are even distractions we aren’t aware of that we don’t know are harming us, or are making us less productive.
Some things most people know of that are distractions of your goals are: Video games, TV, Social Media, Drugs, Alcohol, and the list goes on and on.
But what are some things that we do that most people wouldn’t consider to be distractions?
I’m going to talk about a few things that I find can be distracting that aren’t always thought to make you lose your focus.
First off, let’s talk about music. Now music is fun, relaxing, and proven to boost dopamine in your brain, but is it a distraction for you?
Of course, music isn’t always going to be a huge distraction for everyone, but it actually can be one still, so keep that in mind. Take a look at how many hours you are spending with music a day. If you are spending several hours a day listening to music, that’s taking up a lot of your time, and you are constantly pushing the pleasure button so you can keep feeling good. Too much of a good thing is not going to be good for you.
I often see people having their headphones in all day, wherever they go. How are you going to get stuff done while you also have music playing all day? Yeah, you may get work done, but you won’t work as much, and you won’t do it as well. Your focus is very important.
When we multitask, we lose our focus, thus we lose conscious effort. Personally, I find it very distracting to have music on while I try to work. And most of the time, my work is not A+ when multitasking, and I feel like I’m not even using my brain, and am just doing a very poor job. A lot of people know that doing two things at once is distracting, but we still do it.
Why is this?
Because it’s uncomfortable. Doing all of these things at once gives us so much more dopamine, and pleasure than just doing something one at a time does, but it doesn’t get us anywhere. Taking a break from everything, and just sitting down doing nothing till we feel like doing something more productive can really help us here.
The next distraction I want to talk about is the internet. Now, the internet is not always going to be bad. Sometimes we need need to use the internet to get our work done, but some people also use the internet to play video games, scroll through Facebook and other things related; it’s really based on how we use it. The thing is, not everyone knows about everything that is a distraction on the internet. You can do a lot on the internet that is going to keep you from putting time into your goals.
Internet porn is one of the things that can be very distracting. Not only do I think that porn is unhealthy for you, but I also know it’s extremely addicting. Sex is one of the highest stimulating natural pleasures we can get, but with porn, we can get an endless amount of it, at anytime.
With food we get full, but with porn, we can keep watching and never get full, as our brains slowly start to turn to mush.
With the internet, we can now have multiple tabs open. We can search any genre we want, whenever we want. As Gary Wilson says in his presentation on TED Talks “With the internet, we can now have more mates than our ancestors had in several life times” This can actually escalate to an addiction very easily. If you are interested in this in particular, you can check out his book here. Anyways, The more stimulating something is, the more addicting it is. So be aware of what you’re doing on the internet, and how it’s affecting you. There are many other harmful things you can do on the internet, but this is just one important example.
So I hope you learned how to be as productive as you possibly can. Remember, you can still succeed even having some highly pleasurable activities in your life, but it’s best to have none to have success faster, and be happier with life’s simple pleasures. If you can moderate the super stimulating activities, then that’s great. If you can’t, think about cutting it out completely. It all depends on how fast you want to see results, and how much you want to have better quality work.
Thanks for reading!