Help me help you
November 19, 2009 9:21 AM   Subscribe

HabitualRobotFilter: I am looking for some ideas to start becoming more active. Naturally, this is the first place I decided to look.

Recently I have gotten myself into a routine or rut consisting of nothing but unproductive activities. I was never concerned about being active in the past, but lately I have had the sneaking feeling that I am wasting my potential in life. I seem to only participate in habits that require little to no mental effort or critical thinking, such as video games. Since I have been somewhat lazy for lack of a better term, I now feel very sluggish and slow. In addition to that, I am now feeling a sense of urgency start to build and need some help as I'm not sure where to start.

I would really like to start applying myself to more product habits, or different opportunities that are beneficial to other people. I am going to start volunteering as a firefighter as I recently completed my EMT courses, but I need more avenues to branch out on. Which activities give you a sense of satisfaction? I am looking for any suggestions from reading to kids to yoga classes to whatever it is that the hivemind uses to stay sharp. I just need to get out of my foggy/hazy rut.
posted by SharkLangasta to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The best success i've had in changing habits and being more productive has been from changing my environment. If you lack motivation at the moment of action, plan your routine in such a way as to force yourself to commit. Sell your video games. Get rid of cable tv, internet at home. Forbid yourself from getting home past a certain hour. Check out Freedom.

Just like with quitting smoking, the easiest step is to simply forbid yourself from buying cigarettes.
posted by Vhanudux at 9:30 AM on November 19, 2009

Seconding the video game solution, though I'd probably never sell mine. Whenever I'm in a rut similar to yours I disconnect all of my games and put them in a box where I forget about them for a few months. I find other things to occupy myself and generally feel better about life. There's really nothing in particular that you have to do, just put the video games away and you'll find something new to do.
posted by scrutiny at 11:00 AM on November 19, 2009

I had to uninstall all the video games on my computer.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:12 AM on November 19, 2009

Here's what I did: I divided my life like a pie chart: Spiritual, Relationships, Financial, Career, and Health. Each "slice" was equal, none outweighed the rest.
I then started thinking about what I'd like to accomplish in each slice - I went crazy and brainstormed dozens of ideas in each slice, nothing was too boring, too weird or too difficult. I then chose two in each slice to start off with, and help me gain momentum.
I broke it down into small, daily habits that would help me accomplish each goal.
As I am a new iPhone user, I purchased the "Habit Factor" application to help me track the daily habits.

To more specifically answer your question: You start where you are. What things are you doing now that you don't want to do any more? If you remove those from your life, I bet you'll have a lot of spare time left.

Don't just take away or remove bad habits from your life, make sure you have some positive habits to replace them.

Good luck! Go get 'em!
posted by willmize at 11:25 AM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

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