Most of us say – “I don’t have enough time to do this or that”. But have you ever considered what you spend most of your time per day? I Did. Here is what it turned out to be. Warning, this might surprise you.
Youtube has been one of my favourite places to hang out online for a very long time. I have been so proud to say I don’t watch television. Which is known to waste people’s time. Statistics claim that average person watches 5 hours per day or whopping 35 hours per week. Imagine if you could put this time to work and get something important or productive done instead?
Step 1 – Identify A problem
I have a problem. If I don’t feel like I’m learning a new skill, developing a new talent or going forward – I start to feel very depressed and demotivated. It is much easier to try and numb this feeling rather than get on trying to create something awesome. Some go out and drink excessively and party. For me, that time has passed already. However, recently I found myself spending way too much time on youtube. It has been the place to learn and develop myself for many years.
So Whats Up With it?
Lately, I found myself watching youtube videos for extended periods of time. Most of it for entertainment purposes. Quality time app on my phone shows that I watched 10 hours on average on weekly basis. How crazy is that? It doesn’t include my laptop use either.
Step 2 – Time To Change
I knew I had to change but I kept on saying – one more day, one more video. Which dragged forward and forward. I was wasting time and I knew it. Finally, on the 26th of September, I sat down and said to myself – “What one thing do I have to stop/limit in order to be more productive?”. The answer was clear. Limit youtube.
I sat down, drafted a piece of paper with 30 days checklist ahead of me. Created a few simple rules to not put me at a disadvantage. For example allowing myself to watch education material which will be applied on the same day. And then went along with it.
Step 3 – Follow Through With Your Plan
Starting was hard. I had a huge void in my daily life which had to fill with something. First 3 days were quite a struggle. I had to keep myself away from clicking that youtube logo on my smartphone. I kept on thinking and constantly reminding myself that I shouldn’t watch it. “Do something productive” I kept on repeating. No matter how tired or bad I feel today “I must work on my goals”.
Step 4 – Embrace the Results and Sustain It
Work I did. Short after I started reading audiobooks – I finished 4 in 4 weeks. Wow! I started looking at business opportunities and met a few friends of mine outside of work. I forced myself to wake up after 7-8 hours every single day no matter how tired I felt. I knew I could push through the day. My entire mindset had to shift.
No wonder there is a saying – success is hard. It requires a constant effort and willpower. It requires maintenance and sustainability.
A simple trick of identifying my worst habits and limiting or completely reducing them have helped me be my most productive self to this day.
I am back to the gym, performing well at work, starting my business venture and being more productive.
I hope this effort can be sustained and if so I will be able to achieve more than ever in these few months. It is too easy to waste time and not get a lot done. Then keep feeding myself excuses why I couldn’t do a certain task or keep a promise.
If I want to stand out I must do what others don’t. The only way to do that is by overcoming my biggest concerns and struggles.
What have I learned From Fighting my Obsession?
The conclusion of this essay is simple. I had a problem, identifying it and admitting it was my first step forward. Then my second step was to come up with a solution to overcome this problem. My third step was to execute and follow my plan to work through the struggles. My fourth step was to embrace the result and sustain it.
I will finish with this thought – no matter who we are and what we do, we always can and will find reasons why we shouldn’t do what we want to do. Our comfort zone is too comfortable and we don’t want to move. That’s how people get old and then regret not living their dreams. Would you like to die with regret about your past? I doubt it, me neither.
Imagine a crab – it leaves its shell when it grows bigger because its shell becomes uncomfortable. If the crab would stay in his shell the crab would never grow as the shell would prevent it from changing size. Only by leaving its comfort zone and going into the unknown to find a bigger shell allows the crab to grow larger and stronger. We are not as fortunate as crabs and are not forced out of our comfort zone. So do yourself a favour and give yourself that necessary push.
I am not saying you should burn your bridges, of course not. Just push yourself out of your comfort zone and do what you dream of. Then see what happens. If you screw up, rinse and repeat. This might very well be your best and most successful experience or it might bomb big. But you will never know unless you go out there and do it.