(Tutorial included with an immediate solution to procrastination)
Let’s be real, most of the time we’re not really doing anything – and especially not what we want.
Okay let me speak for myself: this is at least what used to be the case for me, and i feel it is what most people would say if they had their hand on their heart.
Watching netflix and youtube all your freetime (or all day) sounds like a good deal to a part of my mind, but i know i feel the opposite at the end of the day. Part of why this keeps happening, even though i remember the consequences, is that i’m not conscious. You see, consequences are imperceivable if you’re not living consciously.
Letting these compulsive cycles control me – also drains me.
I’ve tried so many times to kick off the impulsive habits of doing something more dopamin rewarding – instead of doing something actually good for me (this is dopamine addiction). The good being. something that makes me fulfilled and drives me forward to reach my goals.
These tasks that i didn’t deal with, grew slowly like a tumor, until i lost the option of having to deal with them or not. I like to say that, the things we don’t deal with become bigger than us (and bigger than they actually are). In many ways the problems we don’t deal with become us – we identify with them.
Some people also refer it to feeling like having more and more rocks in your backpack, weighing you down. Causing exhaustion, stress, anxiety, depression… the list goes on.
All in all, postponing is making it harder for yourself, and mind you that your future self is still you, it isn’t a different self from the present you.
Now after years of focusing on getting rid of this monkey, i have finally reached the point were i’m mostly doing what i actually want to be doing!
To start off, you should definitely dedicate time and energy into finding the root of your procrastination and distractive habits, but as a more immediate solution i have this trick for your mac (the place where i want to do most of my work) (yes sorry this is only for apple people – the good people). (I’m sure there is an equivalent solution for windows users)
This is exactly what i used to help my mind get accustomed to not being dependent off of my impulsive habits and easy distractions.
- Open Terminal
2. Paste this: sudo nano /etc/hosts and press enter.
3. You will be prompted to enter your password and press enter (Note that when you type it will not show the characters)
4. Now you have this cute GUI. What you wanna do is, use the arrow keys to go down to the end of the line with “127.0.0.1 localhost”, and press enter to make a new line. In this line you type “127.0.0.1”, then press tab, followed by a web address you want to block.
Eg.: 127.0.0.1 youtube.com
Remember to also add an identical one, but with “www.” in front of it
Eg. 127.0.0.1 www.youtube.com
You can keep doing this to add all the websites you want
5. After you have added the websites you want blocked (adding a new line every time), you press ctrl+x, and then y to confirm. Then press enter, and you will be back to the default terminal window.
6. Now to make your actions have effect without a restart, type this last command in to refresh your changes: sudo dscacheutil -flushcache
After pressing enter, your mac will now not be able to reach the webpage(s) you have blocked.
To do undo all of this (or just remove one address by itself), you just follow step 1 through 3, but remove the address(es) instead at step 4. Then finish off with using the command from step 6 to actuate your changes.
You can actually do sort of the same on iPhone if you go into Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions > Content Restrictions > Web Content > Limit Adult Websites
Here you can just add the websites you don’t want to allow your iPhone to reach. This actually works really well, because you have to go all the way into the settings every time, you want to unblock the sites you have blocked.
A little backstory
When i first started using this trick, i thought that it was too hard to engage and disengage. So i started working on a script to automate it. After spending probably 5 hours, i had an epiphany … the whole point of it being an advantage over a normal “focus” app or plugin, is that it’s hard to turn off. If i can easily click on a script, to turn it off, then i would just do that when the impulse strikes to watch a russian man build a car with a jet engine. This is the problem i have with screentime on iPhone and many other apps – it’s simply too easy to turn off.
So i ended scrapping the script idea, and just using the command steps by itself (which by now after 5 months, i’m sort of quick at turning on and off anyways).
I still using it when i know i will have less willpower or self-control (being less conscious) – but fortunately now i can happily say that i don’t need it