Two Things I “Quit” to Be More Productive (and Happy)

Quick intro: I’m a redditor and a gamer.

The past few weeks have been one of the better times of the year 2015.

I’m going to share with my lucky readers how to be more productive by quitting two of my favorite things.

What’s changed?

I don’t reddit as much, and I’m not on Steam as much. Two huge, time-consuming “hobbies” of mine – I quit them cold turkey.

Okay I lied, I still reddit and I still play games.

Changing My Reddit Habits

The difference now is that I limit my redditing time to 30 minutes max per day on useful, informative, and educational subreddits like /r/Entrepreneur, /r/startups, /r/smallbusiness and /r/cscareerquestions. Of course, the local subreddit /r/eesti is visited daily as well.

I reddit the not-so-serious stuff during my commutes to and from work (~20 minutes one-way).

How I Managed to Actually Change My Reddit Habits

It’s simple. I log out of reddit. I manually type in my browser:
I then scroll through the front page of the subreddit, click on something I find to be interesting and read.

Why I “quit” reddit and the reasoning behind my method:
Again, there’s simple reasoning behind the simple actions. If I log out of reddit, I’m less inclined to comment and participate in threads (which can be time consuming).
Of course, I can simply unsubscribe to the less productive subreddits, but I can also use a break once in a while. I put emphasis on “once in a while” for two reasons: 1. I’m not sure if I can quit cold turkey, and 2. I want to have “mindless” fun sometimes. I’m only human.

The thing about the “mindless” fun subreddits is that time really does fly. Take /r/videos for example: there are 25 links on the front page of that subreddit. Each video can be 10 seconds long or 10 minutes long – on average that’s about 5 minutes per video, totaling over 2 hours. That’s longer than an entire movie! The thing about reddit is, you always want to check the comments section too – after all, that’s half the fun! I’m not going to do the math but that’s another hour down the drain on reading comments from /r/videos. Fuck that.

Changing My Gaming Habits

I just play less games. This past week, I’ve played less than an hour and half of games. I’m at a point where I don’t know if I can call myself a gamer now.

How I Managed to Actually Play Less Games

It’s simple (we’re reaching a pattern). I stopped running the steam client on my computer.
I also made sure the steam client doesn’t save my login information so it makes it more of a hassle for me to log in.

Changing the way I see gaming was a huge step. I’m not saying all games are bad, but if a game is more stressful than fun to play, why waste time playing?

Why I “quit” gaming and the reasoning behind my method:
Dota 2 is the prime example of a “bad” game for me. It’s an excellent game when I’m winning (ie – having fun) – but if I’m losing, it’s a nightmare. It doesn’t just affect me during the game, but it affects me outside of the gaming environment as well. I’m more angry, sensitive and generally grumpy. And no one likes a grumpster.

Besides all the emotional factors, there’s also the time factor. Each match can last anywhere from 25 minutes to 1+ hour. I’ve had a match that lasted 1 hour 21 minutes and 19 seconds – and my team lost. Dota 2 takes some serious dedication to play and when you lose a match that lasts 1+ hours, your mind begins to melt.

On top of these long matches, it takes time to start a match. It takes about 10 minutes to start each match from pressing “Find Match” to you actually being able to move in-game.

What I Gained by Quitting Two of My Favorite Things

Time. Lots of time.
I think one of the things in the world that can’t hold value is time. And I just gained 4+ hours of it per day!

With the extra time, I can do things. Productive things. Take this personal blog for example. I’ve registered this domain name in March, 2013. It took me over two years to launch this blog – are you fucking kidding me?! (I previously used the domain for testing purposes FYI)

I also started learning how to play the guitar. It’s been about a week and I can play 5 or 6 chords by heart, without having to look at the guitar. It’s such a small accomplishment but I feel so damn good about it.

So here’s the rundown: quit doing time-consuming, mind-numbing, stress-inducing activities and invest the time on yourself. Learn something, create something, do something.

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