Saving 4 hours every day

 Writing daily worked well for me a couple years ago, and seeing that I have made a lot of mistakes in the past 7 months, I'll see how it will help me again.

I hate to restart the blog on a bad note, but today, I will talk my very strong and bad habit of watching YouTube. I cannot past an hour without typing in the address bar. Because I can easily find ways around any, literally any, blocker for YouTube, I recently redirected all YouTube addresses to the IEEE Transactions on Electronic Devices. With this "setup", I find myself instinctively ended up on the IEEE site, and then immediately going to the address bar again to type in repeatly for 2 times. That's how bad this habit of mine have become.

The surface reason my bad habit was formed is quite typical. Firstly, watching YouTube is very low friction. Secondly, I was able to maintain the baseline of my life with the 4 hours that I lose entirely every day. My mind has to work the least when watching YouTube, I don't feel bored, and I don't feel disgusted enough by the consequences. The consequence being that I understand my academic material of device physics less deeply and not being able to work on side projects.

I think myself as a man of action on the spectrum of doers and thinkers, and I tried a lot of change in processes to mitigate this problem of mine. I tried deleting all Google products including gmail, I tried separating work and play areas, I tried telling myself how I disgusted I am every time I'm on YouTube, I tried scheduling YouTube hours on the calendar, I tried a timedout blocker so there is an act of blocking YouTube in each study session, and all the normal attempts like blocking YouTube, advices from online. 

I think those processes didn't work because I am a very impulsive person. If I want to do something (like finishing a program, typing out notes, refactoring codebases), no one can stop me. And if I decide to give up, no one can convince me out of it. 

And now I think about it, watching YouTube is linked to another symptom that I have. The corollary to this bad habit is that I have is that I rarely am able to focus on a task. I always get distracted by myself. 

It is getting late, so I'll jump to a semi-conclusion. The next solution to the problem is a mental one. I will start to be more conscious of my I'm doing. And I will internalize the constructive goals that I have. I will be more deliberate on why I'm doing each thing that I am doing. And writing a daily diary would help me hold myself accountable. I need to fully internalize the fact that I'm in control of my output. If I steer a car into a wall, that's the end of the story, and there's no story of a tragic hero, nor there is a story in the first place. I just have to do better.

And to end on a more positive note, tomorrow, I will be talking about one of the numerous fascinating topics about transistors that I learned in the past 3 years. 


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