I’m currently on day 8 of my challenge to remove all of the restraints and time wasters in my life (television, IM, idle web surfing, alcohol etc) and I have to say, things are going very well. I’m finally happy with what I’m managing to get done each day and my productivity is through the roof.
I actually can’t believe it has been over a week already. It seems only yesterday that I wrote the original blog post. If the following five weeks go this fast, this challenge could turn out to be a lot easier than I expected.
Quick Run Down
Every Friday I will give a little summary of the things I am cutting out of my life and how they are going.
Alcohol – I can happily say that I have not touched a drop in the last eight days. I’m certainly not reliant on alcohol to have a good time, but I do like to have a drink when I go out with my friends. They did bust my balls a bit for being the sober one this weekend, but it didn’t make me slip up.
I was used to not drinking for long periods of time in South Africa while partying so it is not like I’m wading in unknown territory. I did have a slight desire for it but it was easy to overcome.
IM – IM refers to Instant Messaging and the two programs I use for this are Skype and MSN Messenger. I use these to talk to friends who are in other parts of the world but still decided to cut them out as they waste a lot of my time.
I have not even thought about signing on to MSN Messenger which surprises me. I admit that I did sign on to Skype two days ago but purely for business reasons to discuss something that I’m working on. This lasted less than 30 minutes and then I closed it again. Again, somehow, this aspect of the challenge has been a lot easier than I expected.
Television – By far this has been the hardest thing for me to cut out and I have not been completely successful in all honesty. If I walk around the house somebody has a television on somewhere and I always catch a glimpse. Again, family meals are always around the box as well which makes things more difficult.
I will be living on my own for the next 3 weeks though so will remove television completely from my life. No excuses. I honestly haven’t found a good way to replace the time yet though; there are only so many books I can read each day.
Idle Web Surfing / Online Games – In the original post I mentioned how I was slightly addicted to a particular online game. Well, again, I haven’t missed it in the slightest. Thinking about it now, I suppose it would be cool to play, but I don’t have to play.
As far as idle web surfing goes, I have caught myself out a few times. This is worse when I have Tweetdeck open as people are always posting different links that you “must” click on. Cutting out the idle surfing has massively increased productivity but has been far harder than cutting out the game.
There are a few changes that I’ve implemented this week. I predict that as I get further into the challenge, this list will get smaller as I should be in some sort of routine.
Sleep Schedule – Typically, my wake up time would be around 11am or even noon and then I wouldn’t go to sleep until 3 or 4 am. Because of my challenge, I want to have more time in the mornings to get things done and then hopefully be tired earlier in the evening.
Right now I’m waking up between 9am and 10am and then going to sleep at around midnight. I find that this is a much more natural schedule and my body is already waking up at this time without an alarm.
Dutch – I’m sorry to say (for all the people that feel let down) that I have decided to terminate my goal of learning Dutch in three months. I have spoke to Diggy and we may be cutting short our time in Amsterdam, so I don’t really see the point anymore. The original aim was actually to have something constant in my life as I was wasting a lot of time in other areas, but honestly, work has taken over and it is much more enjoyable.
I did feel a bit anxious about how people here would respond, but then I asked myself “Would you rather quit because you want to, or continue something you don’t want just to keep other people happy?” Ultimately, I decided to go for what I want to do. In the two weeks I was learning Dutch I managed to pick up:
- All of the colours
- Most of the numbers
- A large array of animals
- I could say things like “The man with brown hair is young and he drives an old yellow car”
The Rosetta Stone program is still excellent in my opinion and I was surprised at how much I have learned, but that challenge stops here.
Reading - I have read two books already this week due to the extra spare time I have found myself with. I don’t think I had read one in the whole month prior to this challenge so that is quite a change. There is only so much I can read each day before I start getting headaches or just plain tired of it, however.
Sedona – I have added the Sedona Method into my schedule again. There was a time when I did this daily for months, but it has not been in my daily plans for quite a while. The Sedona Method is a releasing program which is great for dealing with issues in your mind. Instead of trying to solve things or go over them constantly, it offers a way to let go of them and be free from the emotional and physical side effects.
Green Tea – As I have been reading a lot more (which includes eBooks on my laptop) I have found myself getting slightly addicted to green tea. It’s nice to have by my side when engrossed in something. It makes me feel very relaxed and healthy which I love, but I don’t want to implement caffeine into my diet. I’m going to see if a non-caffeine alternative still has the benefits and if so, I’ll continue drinking it.
Otherwise, I’m going to finish my box of 100 bags (about 60 left) and then leave it.
A Small Request
I would say that the week has been a total success in terms of both productivity and focusing on things that matter to me. As it’s getting closer to moving to Amsterdam and I start video blogging, I have a small request to anyone that has a microphone on their computer:
Could you please record yourself saying “PluginID” (Pronounced: Plugin EYE DEE) and send it to email@example.com. I’m looking for sound only, no videos. This is for my video intro that I’m putting together. If you would like to have your voice heard by over 100,000 people, you know what to do.