I have a problem: lack of discipline
12 August, 2018
Ok, so today I’m going to talk about a nasty topic: my laziness.
What exactly is wrong
On April 1 I left my stable job in the big city to go back freelancing and making products with my backpack. This was 133 days ago.
It’s been a hell of a ride since then. Mostly good, I could say, but one thing has been getting worse every day: I’m outputting less and less work.
This isn’t just work related, I’m unable to keep even simple routines alive. I can’t keep a morning routine. I can’t add a new habit to my day. My days have become completely hedonic, with no structure whatsoever.
The only work I’m outputting with consistency is the contract ones, because these have scary deadlines I cannot miss. But isn’t exactly cool to be motivated only by fear and immediate rewards.
My history with “discipline”, “focus”, “productivity” and “consistency” has never been exactly good, but this time it feels different, feels like I’m playing defense now.
To understand this new behaviour, I decided to take a look at my own data.
Data doesn’t lie (maybe sometimes)
I use a lot of apps to track everything in my life. Todoist for task lists. Notion for planning, RescueTime for overall time tracking, WakaTime to track coding, etc, etc, etc.
Most of them are connected into a single dashboard called Exist.io, a product bootstrapped by two makers from Australia. Exist gets all these data points and analyses all of them to find correlations and give useful insights.
Here’s what I found that could be affecting my routines and the way I work.
I’ve been replacing IRLing with social media
This isn’t exactly a problem, since Twitter and Telegram have been doing A LOT of good for me, both for my head and for my freelance business.
But check this out:
That’s 213 hours just on Telegram, in the last 90 days. That’s almost 9 full days WHAT THE FUCK.
But I guess this is just one of the consequences, and not the cause itself. The real cause could be that my friends are just more virtual now (specially since I’m spending more time away from home). Still, it’s a bit scary that this social media trend is growing stronger on me.
Maybe I should aim for more quality time with people (virtual or IRL) instead of just more time spent talking with other people.
Not structuring my days is one point to blame
Morning routine consistency makes all the difference. Really.
What you do in the first hours of the morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. The thoughts that cross the mind in the morning sets your mood for the rest of the day. Everything relates on how good you woke up that day.
And my mornings are now a total clusterfuck. This leaves my productivity for the day a random variable, but without consistency and effort to get better, everything tends to zero.
The less consistency, the more effort you need to put in to achieve the same results.
Not having a morning routine anymore is just dumb. The problem now is that my general routine, the place I’m in, the people I’m with, is changing a lot every week.
Which brings me to my next point.
Fast travel is killing me
One day I’m at my parents, the other I’m visiting my brother, in the other I’m flying upstate, in the other I’m in the woods with a shitty 3G connection, and in the other I’m sleeping in a tent inside a football stadium (yeah, really).
Check my travel dates on NomadList:
Longest stay so far was two months, which isn’t even close to what I need to create a new effective routine.
In fact, what I need is a routine that keeps consistency apart from the place I’m in. Possible? I don’t know.
My old (bad) habits only make it worse
I don’t exercise, I eat a lot of crap all the time, I usually don’t care much for the place I’m sleeping. Etc.
In a functional and stable routine, this wound’t be exactly a problem. I would probably just work around these habits with more bad habits. But in a ever changing schedule, not taking care of my body as I should is absolutely insane.
So, what should I do?
I should probably stop with the fast travel hype, and change places only every three months or so.
Also, taking care of my body is a nice idea and creating a effective routine for the day is a must.
I dunno how I’m going to engineer these changes yet, but they must happen. Otherwise I’m pretty fucked.
At this point, I should probably be working something like ten hours a day, sleeping eight hours and taking care of myself in the remaining time.
That’s it! Let’s see if I’m less naive this time. If you have a book to recommend me on the subject (discipline, focus, habits, routines, consistency), shout me a tweet.