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The Amazing Effects of a Weekend Without Television and the Internet

The Amazing Effects of a Weekend Without Television and the Internet

Recently, I was overwhelmed with the constant presence of electronic devices in my life. I realized that I could hardly get through an hour, much less a day, without checking my email or Facebook. And than I decided to carry out the experiment and spend the whole weekend without TV, the internet, mobile phone, games and so on. I wanted just to forget about this stuff and try to find the alternative. My friends and I went to the countryside so I have a lot of time to think about my life, my time and my experiment. In the beginning it was extremely hard not to check emails or call somebody. But then I started using this time to think over so many things in my life. That’s what I had in result.

Being uncomfortable without noise in the background

In the old days, there were only three, four, or five channels, which meant you had to go entertain yourself in some way because watching TV was too dull. But, over time the TV has gained more channels, music is easier to get, and video games have become more fun than real life. Bringing up children on TV and nasty after effects can start to appear in later life. For example, kids watch cruel cartoons and movies where the murders, chases, accidents, divorces happen so often that in time, they subconsciously set themselves up to the worst. I think children should believe in fairy tales, miracles, that good defeats evil.

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But unfortunately, there are so many people that feel incredibly uncomfortable in silence. It is not a new thing, but it is far more ingrained and damaging than most people give it credit for. You are going to find out just how bad you have this “no silence” condition when you try going without TV, the Internet, music or video games over a weekend. Just how uncomfortable you become is unclear, but you may be in for a very big shock as you realize just how lonely and uncomfortable you feel.

You may find yourself talking incessantly on the phone, to which people will become annoyed because they have TV to watch, video games to play, Internet the explore and music to listen to. When you do discover just how bad you have this “no silence” condition, it is up to you to start curing yourself. This weekend without TV, the Internet, music or video games could be the wake up you need so that you are no longer hooked on electronic entertainment. It could be holding you back far more than you realize.

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Having nothing to do because it is harder to waste time

This is another big problem you are going to face that is second only to the point made above. The TV, the Internet, music and/or video games are great because they help you waste time without fuss and effort. Without them, you will start to feel as if you have nothing to do. You will start to feel restless or feel time start to drag.

Time drags and you feel bored and restless because you are removed from the time-vampires that are constant electronic entertainment. Your job is to work through these feelings to free yourself from electronic-entertainment reliance. Lose the reliance and you will start to realize other aspects of your life that you have been neglecting, such as planning for your future, your family, your house, your friends, your kids or your health.

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The uncomfortable feeling of having to think

On the Simpsons, someone turns off the TV and Homer says, “Well turn something on, I’m starting to think.” Though they were making a joke, you will find that you do start to think. The things you think about may not be very good. People have a tendency to be very negative about themselves and their experiences when they are thinking alone.

Furthermore, such a long bout of having to think without cessation may also make you realize some things about yourself. You may realize just how little you are doing with your life, or just how long ago it was when you played with your pets. One hopes that these realizations will prompt you into action so that you change the way things are going.

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The nights are often the worst

You are probably going to be okay during the day. There are often numerous distractions around the house and outside the house that will help you take your mind off the fact you cannot use your TV, the Internet, music or video games. But, at night it starts to sink in that you have very little to do. It is not that you truly have little or nothing to do; it is just that you are so used to having your electronic entertainment that it has blinded you to the other things you may do.

Actually going the distance needs to be done

If you cannot go a full weekend without TV, the Internet, music and video games then you are in trouble. It means you are far too reliant on electronic entertainment and it means your state of mind is not too healthy. A starting point may be to wean yourself slowly away from the TV, the Internet, music and video games. You can start slow and wean yourself off them over time. Replace them with other, more productive, activities.

Just remember that you are in serious psychological trouble if you cannot go the weekend without your TV, Internet, music and video games. It means your reliance on electronic entertainment is filling a gap in your life that you are not addressing. It means that you’re trying to find a refuge but do the opposite. Scientists call this disorder the Internet addiction. It also indicates that you have a compulsion–if not an actual addiction to electronic entertainment. It is not as uncommon as you think, as many people have a legitimate Facebook addiction.

Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/marcelograciolli/ via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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