MaxWolf's progress journal


#1

So, I guess it’s time for me to make one of these as well! Maybe I should start with a short introduction: Hi, my name is Max! I’m 21 years old and I’m currently studying computer science.

This is actually my second “attempt” at NoSurf, my first attempt happened a few months ago, sometime around last October. To keep this brief, here’s a quick summary:
I discovered NoSurf after realizing that my surfing and gaming habits were getting out of hand. On days where I had lectures, I would go to university, then get home and spent the rest of the day in front of my PC, and when I had a day off, things didn’t look much different. After a little bit of searching around the web, I discovered the NoSurf subreddit, and I was absolutely amazed! An entire community of different people that have the exact same problem I have! I would’ve never imagined that such a community actually exists. So, after lurking for a bit, reading the sidebar and really diving deep into a lot of the posted articles and tips by the various members, I decided to begin my NoSurf journey. And my life changed quickly!
Surprisingly, I had no trouble getting into all the positive habits that were always recommended. I still spent a lot of time indoors, but I spent it actually reading and playing keyboard. I felt great! I was happy.
But then, I slipped back into my bad habits. It’s kind of confusing actually. It happened so gradually, that I didn’t even notice it. I knew something was wrong around December when I found myself playing “Slime Rancher” (PC game on Steam) for about 8 hours a day, even though I didn’t really enjoy it. And before I knew it, I was back to previous self. And more recently, I noticed that it was 3 am and I was mindlessly browsing YouTube and Reddit.

But then recently, after coming to terms with a lot of things in my personal life and again realizing that I need to change, I decided to give this another try and really start to turn things around! First thing I did was create an account here on the forum, so I could actually discuss various NoSurf topics with other people. And now I’m here :grinning:
Actively participating has helped immensely, especially because everybody on here is great and incredibly supportive!

While that introduction went on longer than I wanted it to, it’s perfectly summarizes where I’m currently at. Stuck somewhere between the motivation to change and me being lazy and unwilling to step out of my comfort zone.

I currently have a few major goals I want to accomplish (besides obviously wanting to spend less time on the internet):

  • Get into bodyweight fitness
    A few years ago, I regularly went to the gym and I felt great! The positive effects of working out are so immense that I want to get into that habit again. So when I decided to actually do something of that nature again, I was confronted with a probles: I don’t have a job, and therefore not the necessary money to keep up with a 1 year gym subscription. The way I chose to solve this problem is to just work out in my room. I bought a pull-up bar and a other equipment and intend to workout about 3 times per week. The main problem is obviously self-discipline, so it’s gonna be a major challenge!
  • Study more
    I have a few exams coming up, which I will have to study for. This will probably be one of the more difficult things, as I’m a heavy procrastinator when it comes to studying. But the thing is, and this will sound kind of shallow, but later on, I want to live a good life. I don’t want to be a millionaire or buy several high end cars. I just want to be able to live comfortably without having to worry about money too much. But with the way my grades currently are, I don’t think I’ll be able to get a job, where I’d be in that position.

Currently, I don’t have any lectures or any other regular appointments I need to keep up with (besides a few exams) so until the next semester starts at the beginning of October, I have nothing to do. So what better time to change a few things than right now? In theory, I have enough things to keep me busy during the day, so not spending time no the internet shouldn’t be a problem. But then again, when does our brain ever not tell ourselves that it’s “not a problem”?

I’m not actually sure how I want to “handle” this progress journal yet. Will I update it every few days, weekly, or just when I feel like it? That’s something else I will have to figure out. But I’ll manage it… somehow :grinning:


#2

Hey Max,

Awesome start to your journal! You have a few months ahead of you so you can a ton of progress with self improvement if you stay really focused on your goals.

Just a few pieces of advice:

Write down your goals and be very specific. For example, don’t just say “I want to get jacked” say something like I want to be able to 25 pullups or I want to gain 10lbs of solid muscle by October." Another example would be turning your “Study More” into something more practical and actionable. Like I want to spend “3 hours a day at the library studying”.

You can make a list of a few goals like this. Then work backward from your goals, how exactly are you going to achieve them? What does the process translate like into in terms of what you have to do each day/week until you reach October?

This is a very pragmatic approach I like to use for goals rather than just making blanket statements that can be vague and offer no practical means of achievement.

Also, it would be wise to make a good reading list for the months coming ahead.

A few good ones to start with:

Mindfulness In Plain English by Henepola Gunaratana
The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
Mindset by Carol Dweck


#3

Also btw, I read in another post that you were looking into BJJ and stuff. I would highly recommend something like that or another athletic pursuit over BW fitness if possibe. From a long term standpoint it’ll net your more social connection as well as develop your body natural, and endow you with strength and athletic abilities rather than purely strength oriented ones.

BJJ, Muay Thai, or Boxing might be good to look into.


#4

Thanks for the advice!

I have, trust me. In the past, I’ve made the mistake of being too vague on my goals, so by now, I always try to be more specific. I wrote them so vague in this post, just to generelize my goals a bit, so my overall intention is clear. I wrote a rough daily schedule with more specific goals, that I’ve got hanging on my whiteboard. Again, the goals are just this vague in the post itself :grinning: One thing I should defintely do though, as you said as well, is to make a more detailed plan on how exactly I wanna achieve some of the goals. For example, my current goal for my exams is to work through one chapter in the texbook per day, but I dont’t really have any plans after I’m done with that :sweat_smile:

I already do Takewondo, so I sort of have that front covered. The bodyweight stuff is just additional exercise.
And I know what you mean by “develop you body naturally”. That’s one of the reasons, why I stopped going the gym a few years ago. A friend of mine, who is an absolute beast, goes to the gym 4-5 times per week. But he always says, that in about 5-10 years, his body is gonna be absolutely fucked. That’s something I paid attention to. I chose a workout, that emphasizes core strength and mobility. It’s not just doing exercises to get ripped. One of the end goals, for example, is doing a freestanding handstand, or other things along those lines. I don’t really wanna do a workout where the only point is getting stronger.That’s pretty boring.

And thanks for the book suggestions! I actually have an excel spreadsheet with about 20 books of different genres that I want to read. “Mindfulness in Plain English” is already on there :grin: Not the other two though, so I’m gonna add them as well :+1:


#5

Update #1:
Things are going pretty… OK, I guess. Some things work great, others not so much.

Let’s start with the positive things:
Studying is going great! Well, decent, at least. I’ve managed to study everyday, for 60-90 minutes. That’s obviously not a lot, but right now, I just want to get into the habit of actually sitting down and studying. I still have 3 weeks until I have my first exam, so I don’t have to pressure myself into immediately studying for 3 hours a day. Eventually, I want to be at a point where I have no problem doing that, but it takes time, and right now, I absolutely have that time. Besides that, that first exam is only an hour long. One hour! Driving to my university actually takes me about 25 minutes; so just getting to the university to take the exam takes nearly as much time as the exam itself :neutral_face:
I actually started reading a whole more as well. After studying, I usually go outside and read a nonfiction book for about an hour, and then, in the evening, I read a fiction book. Because the weather is so amazing at the moment and I can read in my hammock, which is undoubtedly one of the best purchases of my life, and just relax. It’s quickly becoming something that I really look forward to.
Btw, the nonfiction book I’m currently reading is “The Shallows”, by Nicholas Carr. It gets recommended all the time, so I decided to check it out. I’m only in chapter 5 so far, so I’m not that far into it currently, but so far, it’s really interesting. Looking forward to finishing it!
The fiction book I’m currently reading is “4:50 from Paddington” by Agatha Christie. This is the third book I’ve read by Agatha Christie. In fact, the first book I read that’s written by her, which was “Murder on the Orient Express”, is actually the first book I ever actively read. The other one I read is “And then there were none”. So far, I’m really enjoying the book. I’m about halfway through and it’s just a “simple” (not meant in a negative way) detective story with interesting characters. The time period and location the story takes place in (England in the 1950s), is really refreshing as well, as it’s such a big contrast to todays world. It’s incredibly easy to read as well; so if anybody reading this wants to get into the habit of reading, so far, this is a book I can highly recommend!

YouTube still fucking sucks. I don’t waste time on it as much as I used, not by a long shot, but sometimes, I still lose myself a little bit. It exclusively happens in the evening. I assume it’s because I don’t have a whole lot to do at 9pm. I usually read a bit later, around 10pm, so there is this one hour where I’m kind of lost. I started doing bodyweight fitness during that time, as it’s not as hot in the evening so it’s a bit easier to do, but I only do these exercises three times a week; I still have the tendency to fuck around the other four nights. I think I need to find a hobby; something I can do for about an hour, so I have an alternative to just sitting in front of my PC. Maybe I could start playing an intrument? I’m gonna find something.

To be honest though, the YouTube thing doesn’t bother me that much, as it’s something I will be able to eventually; one thing that does bother me however, is the fact, that I haven’t done a single thing to meet new people. Nothing. It was one of the three things I mentioned in my first entry; so not doing anything to fix that, really sucks. My problem is definitely not being able to step out of my comfort zone. I’m also not really sure how to fix that. Just force myself to do it? That seems to be a reasonable way, but will I be able to do that? I’m thinking of enrolling myself in clubs in nearby cities, to meet new people, but I don’t really know what exactly I want to do. I guess I’m just gonna look online a bit, and see what activities I can do that aren’t that far away.


#6

Update #2:
The last time I updated this journal was 9 days ago?! I seem to have lost my sense for time. Who knew that having no regular schedule, and nothing to do in general, would lead to that :roll_eyes:

Whatever. I finally have an apt reason to update this progrss journal: The way I’m currently doing this, isn’t working.

I wish I could write a more positive update, but, sadly, I can’t. The internet has tightened its grip on me, after things have been going pretty good for a while.
I feel like I have then tendency to be overconfident about the amount of control I have over my surfing habits. I frequently find myself on YouTube, watching a video and thinking to myself “I’ll only watch one. I can control myself.” In those moments, something in the back of my mind seems to actively fight that sentiment. But I continue to ignore it. And that leads to spending hours online that just aren’t necessary.

So, after getting frustrated with the way all of this is going, I thought a bit about my habits and my way of thinking. And I came up with something. It’s simple, but it’s something I really didn’t wanna do up until now, but I realize that there is no way around it: A (mostly) complete detox. It’s simple, right? I’m just not gonna use my PC and most of the internet for 30 days and just see where this detox takes me. But why didn’t I just do this earlier? I mean, it’s not really a new idea. Taking a longer break is pretty common and seems to help a lot of people. So why not just do it earlier? Well, there’s a specific reason for it: I was scared about the consequences.

Let me explain:
As I’ve written in the very first entry of this journal, this is my second NoSurf attempt. My first one went pretty great… for about a month or two. After that, I gradually slipped back into my old habits. At the time, I didn’t know why it happened, and I didn’t care for the specific reasons a lot. But by now, I’m pretty sure the reason for that is how I changed my surfing habits. I went complete cold turkey. Just from one day to the next, complete disconnect. By using this approach, I didn’t give my mind a lot of time to adapt to these new circumstances. That’s why I’d love to do this entire NoSurf “thing” a bit “slower”, because I don’t want to fall to experience that same relapse again. But then I realized something else as well. I remembered, that this cold turkey approach has worked once before. Not in the context of anything technology related, but I still managed to change my life like that before.
One day, I came across a special way to keep track of new habits you’re trying to get into. I really liked the idea behind it and was motivated to try it. So I tried to think of a challenge. And I came up with one: No more artificial sugar. No sweets at all. Only fruit. So, from one day to ther other, I just stopped eating sweets. Beforehand, I was really curious how it’d turn out. Would I be able to do this for 35 days in a row. Turns out: I could. And it was surprisingly easy as well. And after these 35 days, I didn’t even want to stop. It’s a habit I’ve managed to keep. I make an exception once a month, on special occasions (for example, when I’m out with a few friends and we eat ice cream), but those occasions are controlled by me and not the result of a sudden, mindless urge to consume sugar.

It’s absurd. It really is. Not eating sugar and stopping my surfing habits are two completely different things, but the reminder that I’ve managed something like this before, was enough to convince myself to try this approach again.

So, know that we have all of the boring explanations out the way, the more important question is: How am I gonna do this? I thought a lot about it and here’s what I came up with:

  • I will block access to most websites on my iPad and PC
  • The only exceptions to this rule are the “obvious” ones: I can still check my emails once per day, online banking, this forum,…
  • Two not-so obvious exceptions are Netflix and videogames. I do not have a problem with either of them, as I can just play something for an hour, or watch an episode of a show and then stop. So both of these should be fine. If I notice that I do use them too often, I will stop with these two things as well
  • I will do this for 30 days. Afterwards I’ll see how what other changes I have to do, to make this detox become a permanent state of life

I made a rough schedule for myself, so I have specific times to study. Besiedes tha, I made a list of activities I can do without my PC. I wanna keep up my exercising habits, and increase my amount of study time. One other thing I wanna get into is writing. When I was in 7th grade, I occasionally wrote short stories and I remember that I had a lot of fun doing that so I want to do that again. Besides that, I don’t have any creative outlet currently, so writing helps me with that aspect. Oh, and I also recently found this in our basement:

I inherited that from my grandmother and completely forgot we still had that. Can’t wait to try it out :grin:

At the end of the day, I’m just curious how this detox is gonna turn out Will my desire to use the internet drastically decrease or will it make things more difficult? Who knows. I guess, I’ll find out.


Designing a modern typewriter to begin a new golden age of writing
#7

Max, I wish you all the best. It‘s great that you took the time to really think about this bad habit of yours works. You now know better where to start and that will hopefully make a world of difference in the outcomes.


#8

I hope it all goes well and you’ll be back with a great plan :slight_smile: I know it helped me as well, adjusting my blockers and getting a clearer image about my internet use.

Just a question to your sugar challenge, did you just stop eating sweets or everything with artificial sugar in it? I’ve tried to cut my sugar intake as well since I feel like sugar is really awful mostly; I can really feel the blood sugar crashes, it furthers inflammation and makes me feel more sluggish and my body hurts more when I eat more of it. But it’s everywhere, I can’t believe how much sugar we’re putting into everything, no wonder everyone is hooked and we crave sugar so much. I once read you should consume a maximum amount of 25g of sugar per day; even just a small ALDI vanilla yoghurt has 26g. That’s not even filling, and we’re eating far more than that yoghurt in a day. :exploding_head: pasta, bread, sauces, bread spreads, cereal, sweetening tea or coffee, soft drinks… no wonder diabetes is on the rise. I ate a big glass of Nutella each week before becoming allergic to chocolate as well :thinking:


#9

I completely stopped eating sweets and I tried to cut out all artificial sugar in my diet but I‘m pretty sure I didn‘t cut out all of it. As you said, artificial sugar is in absolutely everything and as long as you don’t bake your own bread, make your own pasta and all that, you‘re bound to consume some sugar. But I didn‘t really worry about that too much. My initial goal wasn‘t to make my life 100% sugar free, but rather to stop eating unnecessary sugar, for example chocolate, chips and „fruit yoghurt“ (there‘s so much sugar in these so-called „healthy“ yoghurts).

I never really felt sluggish or anything along those lines, but it‘s probably because I ate a shit ton of fruit. Your body needs sugar, so you should just give it natural fruit sugar. I eat some fruit in the morning after eating breakfast, then, if I‘m a bit hungry sometime during the day, I‘ll eat something small, like an apple. And then, after dinner, I‘ll eat some fruit as well.
Eating a lot of fruit is important, especially when just starting out because just abruptly reducing your sugar intake isn‘t good for your body.

After a while, you really you won‘t crave sugar at all anymore, especially not when you‘ve discovered all the different kind of fruit that you can get. For example, before I started eating a lot of fruit I didn‘t even know what Asian Pears are (Sind in Deutschland als „Nashi-Birnen“ bekannt), but they are without a doubt one of the best things ever :heart_eyes:


#10

Interesting! I’ll definitely try out some other fruits and I’m always open to recs, since I wanna do vegan snacks and also I need to try out if anything aside the regular old fruits work for me. My allergy against grass / birch pollen expanded to a lot of fruits over the last 10 years, and I’m always grateful to find stuff that works (at least temporarily… I ate avocado 10 times and it went from fine to almost shutting my throat…). Any other recs for fruits and vegetables we usually don’t buy because it’s either filthy expensive or sounding too weird? :stuck_out_tongue:


#11

Honestly, just try everything. I would‘ve never found out about Asian Pears if I didn‘t just randomly buy them. When you see something that looks interesting, just try it!

Don‘t buy fresh berries though. From my experience, they‘re incredibly expensive and you have to eat them the same day you buy them, as they go bad incredibly quckly. I‘d suggest just buying frozen, unsweetend berries. You cam eat them frozen to cool down (espcially helpful with the current temperatures in Germany :persevere:) , you can thaw them and eat them or you can throw them in the blender with some milk and a banana or two to make yourself a smoothie :+1:


#12

Update #3:

I‘m currently on the fourth day of the detox. And while not being on my PC for several days still feels kind of weird, it‘s incredibly liberating as well!

My desire to go on YouTube and Reddit is surprisingly low. I guess if I‘m not on my PC, I kind of don‘t care about it. This feeling underlines my assumption that visiting these sites was nothing more than a reflex and the content itself was never the goal when going to these sites.

Currently, I‘m filling my new found free time with a few different things:

  • Reading is obviously one of them. It‘s also easier for me now than, say, 5 weeks ago. I don‘t think it‘s directly linked to my lack of PC usage but rather the fact that I‘ve made reading a regular habit over the last few weeks. I can now lose myself in a book for an entire hour; sometimes even more than that!

  • Sudokus are an intereresting one as well. I printed a few of them — as a last minute idea— and solving them is surprisingly fun but emphasizes how unconcentrated I really am. On multiple occasions, it‘s happened that I wrote down a number that I thought was correct, only to, a few minutes later, find out that I‘ve written down the same number twice. I guess this is one of the most prominent effects the internet has had on my brain, but with the help os this detox and regular problem solving, I‘m positive I can get my concentration back on point!

  • Working out is going great! Haven‘t missed a workout and on my off days I like to do a few mobility exercises.

  • Initially, writing was something that I wanted to do on a regular basis, but I havent really followed through on that yet. I‘m really interested in it though, so I‘m gonna put regular writing on my daily schedule; if I want to or not doesn‘t matter. I‘m just gonna write at least half a page everyday. BTW: I‘ve managed to fix the olf typewriter that I posted before, and I actually wrote the „first draft“ of this post with it (see picture down below), as writing on an iPad without an external keyboard is pure hell. I‘ve also found out that typewriters are really loud, so I won‘t be able to use it after like 9pm. I guess I‘ll use good old pen and paper when it‘s getting late and I want to write something.

  • Studying is going meh. The biggest problem I have, is the fucking massive heatwave that‘s troubling Germany at the moment. Because my room is nearly directly under our roof, there isn‘t a lot of disparity between the tenperature outdoors and indoors, which makes it incredibly difficult to properly focus. I guess I‘m gonna set up some kind of desk in our basement, as it‘s the only place in the house, whre the heat is somewhat managable.

One problem I face occasionally is utter boredom. I don‘t have a job currently and don‘t have any lectures to attend, so I don‘t have a whole lot to do. The other problem is that the train station in my town is „out of order“ at the moment ( due to some general maintenance) so I‘m, to put it a bit more dramatically, trapped.
I‘m definitely gonna have to figure something out, especially because making new friends is one of my overall goals, but that‘s not really possible in my hometown.

That seems like a big problem, but hey, I‘m on day 4 of 30. I still have a lot of time to figure things out :+1:


#13

Hi Max! If you want some cheap recreation, you can get up early and visit a local berry farm to pick your own. They last way longer when they are freshly picked, and you’ll feel accomplished by picking your own food. :sunglasses:


#14

Wow, that‘s a great idea actually! I‘ve never thought about that. I‘m not sure if there are any berry farms nearby, but I‘ll ask around a bit and see what I can find. Thanks for the suggestion :smile:


#15

Update #4:

Wow. I mean, I did say that I was gonna update this journal “whenever I want” but 14 days is a bit ridiculous.

Whatever. Let’s get to the more interesting part:
The time after my last post was pretty good. I didn’t do everything I set out to do (I still struggle with making writing a regular habit) but I managed to get a lot of good-quality studying done and even wrote an exam, which went pretty good, except for the fact that due to a complete lack of basic brain functionality that day, I waited in front of the wrong room and noticed my mistake five minutes after my exam officially began, so I had to sprint from one end of the campus to the other. Thankfully, when I entered the room, the exam just started, so I didn’t miss out on a lot.

That’s how things went for a week or so. The last few days however, are a completely different story.

I’m currently going through what you could call a rut. I’m extremely unmotivated and spend my days in ways that I really shouldn’t. The culprit: Reddit (and me, obviously). I was looking for a new hobby and found a few suggestions. Then I did, what I always used to do, when looking for information on a new hobby or something of that nature: I looked for the subreddit of that particular thing. And then it started.
A vicious cycle, that ended with me spending a lot of time on Reddit. Not on my PC though - I haven’t done anything on my main PC for the last weeks - but rather, on my phone.
It’s weird, I never looked at Reddit on my phone. Never. Until recently. I guess it’s because my brain knows that Reddit on my iPad, PC and laptop is a no-go, but I didn’t enforce a lot of rules on the usage of my phone, as it’s never been a problem before. But now it is.
Spending endless amounts of time, looking at random posts, even though they’re about something that I have no understanding of. I haven’t studied for days, haven’t updated my bullet journal, my diary or even this journal, and working out is something I don’t do nearly enough.
And that’s why I decided to update this journal. Writing this journal, or keeping a journal in general, is great for reflecting on what’s been happening. Writing everything down, having to think about it and reading it, really emphasizes everything I do and think. So, I guess it’s time to get serious again. It’s time to start reading again. It’s time to start studying again. It’s time to work out again. It’s time to fucking finally start writing everyday.

How am I gonna accomplish that though? I mean, just going forward with this attitude won’t help. That alone hasn’t helped the last time either, so I guess it’s time to start taking this a bit more serious. Here’s what’s gonna happen:

  • I’m gonna download a blocker on my phone. As much as I wanna tell myself that I’ll be fine without and that self-discipline is all I really need, it’s clear that that approach doesn’t work. So, I guess I need help! Not sure what app I’m gonna use though. If anybody reading this has a good suggestion, let me know :grin:
  • I’m gonna use my laptop more. Now, hear me out. This sounds strange, sure. But as I’ve established I want to start to write. And as much as I love my typewriter, regular use of it is difficult. It’s clunky and so loud. So I’m gonna start writing on my laptop. I use it for studying as well, so increasing my use for it to writing, shouldn’t be a problem. I downloaded Ghostwriter, a distraction-free writing program. It seems like just the thing that I need. It also has a “Hemingway Mode”, which deactivates your ability to use backspace or edit any part of your document, thereby imitating the use of a typewriter. I’m gonna use this mode, when I just wanna write something unimportant, like any contributions to moderator-related stuff for this forum (lololololol, I’m sorry)
  • Not sure how I’m gonna approach working out. Do I actually need to do something? I’m pretty sure the main reason why I stopped doing it, is because I spend so much time on Reddit. So maybe this will just be “magically” solved now. Probably not, though. I’ll see what I can do.
  • Now: Writing. The thing that I mentioned in my very first journal entry and that I still haven’t started yet. So this requires a bit more “force”: I’m not gonna eat until lunch until I’ve written at least 500 words. This may seem extreme, but considering that I have about 2 hours of free time before lunch, that goal seems realistic. Just write a bit with the aforementioned Hemingway Mode turned on. I mean, I don’t wanna write fucking “War and Peace” during that specific time, but rather, just get into the “flow” of writing. That’s also why I wanna turn Hemingway Mode on: I just want to write and not worry about what I wrote or how I wrote it. Obviously, if I wanna write more “serious” stuff, I’m not gonna use that mode, but when I’m just gonna write something, I think it’s fine.

So, that’s where I’m at and all the changes I want to make.

It’s kind of weird. When I started this detox, I actually expected things to go better; an unrealistic expectation as I’m noticing know. But at the beginning, everything was fine. I mean, considering that my total time spent on my PC the last 2-3 weeks is probably about 2 hours, things are actually looking pretty great. I just didn’t expect that new problems would arise in that time. But I guess that’s just kind of naive.

BTW: I’ll update this journal more frequently now. I mean, two fucking weeks?! Holy shit.


#16

#17

#18

I’ve been sitting here for about 15 minutes, trying to come up with a proper introdcution to this post, but I just can’t. How do you start a journal entry, if your last entry was in the middle of August? Whatever, it’s not about the way you start; it’s about how you end it. I guess. Maybe. That actually sounds like pretty bad advice now that I think about it.

Why did I not update this journal in such a long time? I just didn’t really feel like it. Why? Who knows. Maybe it’s because this journal is terrible. Seriously, I posted a new entry every other week and my goals and habits, that I wanted to establish, changed with every single entry. That’s not exactly helpful.

But let’s not dwell on the past. I need to get into the habit of writing again, so this is a pretty good place to start! I intend to update this journal whenever I feel like it. Great schedule, I know.

Consider this the “Fuller House” of NoSurf progress journals: the sequel nobody asked for.

So, let’s start with how my progress is going:
Studying is going fucking great! For the last two weeks, I’ve been at university daily, always spending about 9 hours of my time there. Not all of those 9 hours are spent studying obviously, but I still get a lot of stuff done! There’s no doubt in my mind that the last two weeks have been the most productive weeks of my entire life. The only (obvious) downside is that I wan’t to die at the end of every single one of those days (I’m obviously exaggerating). Spending that amount of time sitting and solving all kinds of bullshit equations, programming problems and learning about the most retarded programming languages that are known to mankind (who the fuck uses Haskell) is incredibly draining. This current schedule will lead to me acing every single exam this semester but I’m afraid it’s gonna lead to me getting burned out as well. I’m currently trying to think of something to prevent this but I’m not sure what to do yet. I guess I’m gonna keep that schedule for next week as well and see how things go.

Something that is going not so great is my time spent on the internet. I’ve had pretty much zero restrictions when it comes to YouTube, Reddit, Spotify and all the other time vampires. As I’ve written in a previous comment, I came up with a “system” to keep myself from spending too much time on these websites. Sadly, due to my exhaustion at the end of most days, I wasn’t able to keep that habit up, which lead to me wasting time online. I knew that it was time for more drastic measures.
Initally, my plan was to setup a “NoSurf OS” as the main Operating System of my PC (I’d still keep Windows as well, in case I urgently needed it). I wanted to install a Linux distribution on my PC and block Reddit and YouTube (my main problem sites) and, if necessary, block more programs/websites as well. But after finding out that I didn’t have another key for downloading Windows 10, which means that there’s a chance I’d have to buy another Windows key, I scratched that plan. Instead I just deleted Spotify from my PC and used ColdTurkey to block YouTube and Reddit. This was probably about 100 times easier to setup.

As I mentioned above, I usually ended these journals by listing about 5 different habits I want to get into, only to abandon them a few days later, but because I’ve dubbed this a “sequel” to my previous posts a few paragraphs ago, I’ll try not to. Besides that I don’t even know what I’d want to improve, as I don’t really know if I even have enough time for any new habits. But with that being said, there are a few things I want to do:

  1. Read
    There are days where I read a lot and days where I don’t read at all. I want to make this a regular thing so I’ll try my best to read everyday before I go to bed. Now, that I have blocked my access to Reddit and YouTube, this shouldn’t be to hard to do (he said, overconfident as always)
  2. Try to speak more clearly
    Weird goal, right? But this is something I’ve had problems with for years. I have the tendency to mumble or talk too quickly. I talk faster than I can think. I hate it and I wanna try to improve myself. I just have no idea how I’d actually to that. I’m gonna see what information I can find.
  3. Working out
    Oh boy. This is the classic self-improvement habit. The first one to get ignored. And it’s not any different in my case. Except this time, I’m more realistic about it. I’ll try to do some exercises at home, but right now, it’s not high on my priority list. If I have a few hours of free time, you can be sure I’ll exercise a bit but I’m not sure how I could work exercise into my weekly schedule. I’m certain I will eventually find a way to do it, but right now, I just don’t have the time.
  4. Writing
    I’ll try to write daily. There’s honestly not a lot more I could specify here. Even writing for 20 to 30 minutes is enough. I just have to actually do it. There’s no system to help me with that.

And that’s it for now.

Honestly, writing this was more fun than I expected.


#19

The parts about this being the Fuller House of journals and also retarded programming languages made me laugh out loud.

Your writing is actually really good, good flow and rythymn. This was enjoyable to read, I’m looking forward to updates. Although I don’t think you have to put the pressure on yourself to write everyday unless you want too.


#20

It’s pretty incredible how fast a week can go by when you’re busy every day. I’ve maintained my all-out university schedule of 5 days a week. It’s still exhausting but I seem to enjoy it more and more. Well, I guess “enjoy” is the wrong word to use here. “Tolerate” maybe? That sounds too negative though. Let me put it this way:
Coming home at about 7pm, after being productive for (pretty much) the entire day is immensely satisfying. I don’t have to worry about any assignments I didn’t do or blame myself for being lazy. No, when I get home, I have done everything I could possibly do. When I realize that I failed to summarize a previous lecture, something I planned to do that day, it doesn’t really bother me because I, again, did everything I could do. So why blame myself when there’s no reason to do so?

My internet usage has been under control pretty well. Well… kind of.
During weekdays, when I get home in the evening, I don’t use my PC a lot. I use it to check my E-Mails and this forum but that’s it pretty much (I also use it to write but I’ll get to that later). Because Reddit and YouTube are blocked, I don’t really have a reason to use it. And besides that, I don’t really have time either. I still “have to” read, write and do some other minor stuff as well; browsing Reddit and YouTube takes up time that I could use for something else; something more important.
But as I’ve found out today, this is not the case during weekends. Today, I wanted to listen to some music so I disabled my blocker to go on YouTube “a little bit”. Oh boy. That, predictably, resulted in me spending about 3 hours on YouTube. So, lesson learned: I’m an asshole.

Let’s talk about writing: It’s going pretty ok. Today I’m writing this post, two days ago, I wrote this thread, and yesterday, I didn’t write anything because I was home for about 20 minutes. Not great progress but considering that I previously didn’t write anything at all, it’s a step forward.

I didn’t spend any time working out. I’m not really disappointed about it though because, as I said in my previous entry:

That’s pretty much it as far as progress goes, but I want to end this entry with something I recently realized:
As I wrote previously, when I blocked Reddit and YouTube, I also uninstalled Spotify. This may seem odd but trust me when I say: I really needed this. Before I uninstalled Spotify, I wouldn’t really use it to “listen” to music. I would play music but I wouldn’t “listen”. It was only background noise. I would also barely listen to an entire song! I would play a song, then halfway through, I’d skip ahead to the next one. The only thing this did, was keep my brain busy. Ignore the silence. Keep your ears busy. It was similar to the “headphones” that people wore in Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (Fantastic book btw). It’s only “sound” to keep your brain occupied. It doesn’t serve any other purpose.
But after uninstalling Spotify, I couldn’t listen to it that way anymore. I only had the app on my iPad. So when I want to listen to music, I plug my headphone into my iPad and take some time to really listen to the music. That sounds pretentious, I know, but it’s so eye opening. I don’t do anything else, I only listen to the music and really “experience” it. (That’s cringe inducing writing right there!)
So, if you have a similar “problem” with music, try it out: Set aside some time to listen to some songs and only listen to the songs. Don’t use it as background noise. Really focus on it. It’s fantastic!