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  1.  (9071.1)
    I went through a major life hack back in 2001. I had read A Hackers Diet and put myself on a 1000 calorie a day diet, lost a bunch of weight, eventually started going to the gym once I thinned up some. I also got a job, license and a car which were big changes for me. But bit by bit it kinda fell apart on me. It really crashed over the summer. I think I burned myself out doing a crap load of comic conventions and trying to be as productive as possible at work. I've stopped going to the gym and my will power to stop eating junk food as been demolished. After work I've no desire to do anything but surf the net, play spider solitaire and watch Crime shows. Law and Order: SVU being my favorite. I've started projects and haven't been able to finish them. I've also had issues sleeping too and I'm coming to work looking and feeling tired everyday. I'm seriously thinking about quiting or at least looking for another job. Or just being unemployed sounds good. In short, going through a depression.

    Mentally I know what has to be done, as I've done it before. I know I need to do it eventually because only bad things will come from staying on this course. Still have no real desire to get on the horse and do it.

    Part of it is mixed emotions. When I was thin I had multiple women at work I've zero interest in hitting on me which made work life difficult. I've no desire to go through that again and the extra weight is protecting me from some of that now. So it feels like a lot of starving and suffering just for some bad stuff, but I know what the benefits are too. I also think I'm perhaps too insecure about my weight and should just learn to not be so bothered by it. Lots of people around me are heavier and they don't seem so worked up about it. When my dad made a snarky comment about my weight gain I had a "so what, fuck you" reaction which I still think is the proper one to have. Nobody's perfect and I'm allowed to have flaws.

    In a week though my work schedule will change, I'll have weekends off and I'll be ending later at nights so there will be less bullshit from the family disrupting what I want to do. I'm starting to get some different work to do which will be better for me. I'm probably going to chose a new gym that's open 24 hours which will be better. We'll have to see.
    • CommentAuthorErisah
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2010
    @Oldhat: Oh man, I did that a couple of years ago. I used to live in this little country town where everyone had known everyone since birth, and since my parents hadn't been born there (they moved there like a month before I was born) I was generally (possibly subconsciously) viewed as not being from the town. Because of this I spent a lot of my school years on the fringes watching all sorts of metaphorically incestuous (I think the closest actually related were second cousins, but there was plenty of partner-swapping going down) kind of shit going down, and often learning a lot more than I ever wanted to know about several of my peers.

    I'm still facebook friends with a lot of them, and I actually communicate/have coffee with about once or twice a year with a few of them, but otherwise, once I left for uni, that was it.

    God that was a good feeling.
  2.  (9071.3)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    @Jamie Collville don't quit the job!! no words can explain why to someone in your frame of mind but I have done that exact thing from a similar place you are at in the past and I guarantee you would be regretting it within days, specially in this economic climate. If you think you feel bad imagine now, how bad you will feel asking for your job back a week later?, knowing you got 0% have getting it back.
      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2010
    @ oldhat - yeah, I pretty much ditched everybody a few years back and I don't mind it at all. I still have a few GOOD friends but the blood-suckers and time-wasters went right into the bin with no regrets.

    Exercise - I say get a bike. It's a very cheap mode of transport that's good for you, doesn't hurt the little plants or the tiny animals and if it's a cool bike (*ahem* like mine), you'll meet people (to possibly replace the people you've binned) or at least get appreciative looks from strangers, especially children. (I've lost count of how many little kids look at me riding my bike and point and clap or even just say "Cool bike.") I could never go to a gym (too expensive, I'm too much of a misanthrope to bother and I'm also almost as lazy as Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski, which puts me in the runing for Laziest Man on Earth) but bike riding? Man, that's a dead cert.
  3.  (9071.5)
    yeah, getting abike is how i ramped up to going to the gym. i was SOOO out of shape before that signing up for a gym sounded like a huge and embarrassing debacle. once i got over the fact that i was getting in better shape, going into the gym and telling them straight up 'i have no idea what im doing here. show me how to use stuff' didnt seem so daunting.

    ive actually found that telling people when you dont know what the hell you are doing is working out for me better than me trying to learn/figure it out on my own, getting mad/frustrated, then just saying 'fuck it' and giving up. it was quite hard to start, but im so glad i did
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2010
    Due to my condition I need to find ways to 'switch off' my brain on a regular basis during the day. This has mostly turned into a few times a day, I try to stop what I'm doing, pick up my mp3 player and just sit or lay down and listen to music for no more than 30 minutes. This enforced relaxation ensures that some days I can function like a normal person, which is kinda nice when most of the time activities that people take for granted like walking to the shop for some milk turns me into a tired wreck.

    As for translation, I'm amateur. I did some work for a company that sold ringtones/backgrounds/screensavers for mobile phones, I did the translation of the voice script for their automated service from English to Spanish. I then did the voiceover for both.
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2010 edited
    So the one thing I really haven't taken on lately is my tendency towards ADHD behavior. All the classic stuff - distraction, inattentiveness, simple forgetfulness. Back before February, when I was working a higher-powered job (on the road IT consulting) and had a smartphone, I was jacked in 24/7. I answered the phone every time it rang, which was upwards of 20-30 times per day and night, kept detailed notes, lists, and so on. All of that just to barely keep my head above water and manage a massive task list.

    Well, I quit that job and scaled back drastically. I now work in an office 8.5 hours/day at a smaller IT shop and mostly am responsible for our inhouse stuff. It is a much, much smaller domain of responsibility. My phone doesn't ring at night or on the road, I ditched the smartphone, and for a while made an effort to really throw myself into having a life in addition to work.

    Oddly now though, with all of that external pressure removed, I am having an even harder time managing than I did before. When I was working the previous job, I just *knew* that I was fucked for the day if I didn't get up, get my task list in order, check the Intranet, check server statuses, return emails - and all of that was done before the start of work hours.

    Now I feel I'm getting soft. I enjoy my relatively greater leisure way too much, and I have for sure swung too far in the opposite direction. I go all weekend without checking email at all, leave work right at 5:00 on the dot, and generally am putting in only the minimum critical effort to get by with relative success. I'm coasting, pretty much, and it is starting to get to me.

    Part of this is actual distraction - I work in a 20x20 open room with five or six (depending on the day) cubes and desks, and my ability to concentrate on deeper stuff like scripting just goes right down the toilet when there are co-workers around discussing the smoking of organic chicken, or the latest meme on YouTube. It is a great environment for collaboration and group problem solving, but pretty shitty for any possibility of my giving sustained attention to something subtle like figuring out how to blow out the latest Microsoft patches to 1500 machines without disturbing any users.

    I *know* all the things I can and should be doing, but without that monster external pressure bearing down on me that was my last job, I'm just not feeling it. ADHD has been described as a disorder not of attention, but of motivation, and that is making itself manifest for sure. Anyone else with a similar situation have any *motivational* self-hacks? Self motivation is a tricky thing, and despite the growth of Cognitive therapy, I'm really not sure it has advanced beyond the classic positivist exercise of looking oneself in the mirror every day and saying, "In every way, and every day, things are getting better and better!"
    • CommentAuthorFan
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2010
    > co-workers around discussing the smoking of organic chicken

    If you can't work elsewhere, some people in that situation would use earphones.

    > Anyone else with a similar situation have any *motivational* self-hacks?

    Just, external motivation: share your to-do list and your timesheet/accomplishments with someone, perhaps your boss.
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2010
    I intend to rock graduate school's ass, so I've been deliberately reading 50 to 100 pages daily of theory or philosophy or really difficult fiction in order to get into the habit.

    Writing letters daily started when I left the world that I loved and needed to have something to do here in po-dunk land. Which sucks. (the place, not the action)

    Last year, I decided to try Lent, you know, for fun. That was some life-changing right there. I quit smoking, drinking and meat eating, and put my TV away in the closet. In trade, I did yoga every morning, cooked all manner of happy food and read and read and read (and as a consequence, wrote and wrote and wrote about everything that I'd been reading).

    This year, I'm doing it again, only actually 40 days InARow instead of 47 days with Sundays off. Really? I mean, I'm mercenary and all about, well, everything, but how do you dig deep when you get one day on the weekend to drink yourself stupid? How?

    The small changes are far less shocking to the system and lead to bigger changes in appropriate directions, I find. Also, I don't actually ever have to quit smoking, I can just not have time for it. I am much happier that way.
    • CommentTimeOct 27th 2010
    Not sure if it counts as a life hack:

    After literally 10 years of sniffing aroud Zen meditation, but not actually making any sort of commitment, I am now attending two zazen sessions a week. The Tuesday morning one is at 7 am... I'm not a morning person, by any stretch, but just by making myself attend I have a lot more respect for myself.

    Does it work? Time will tell, although I'm feeling a lot more centered that I have for a long time, and am gaining more awareness of the tired routines my mind carries out when I'm not concentrating...
    • CommentAuthorErisah
    • CommentTimeOct 27th 2010
    @Denari: that's something I keep telling myself I should do more, though the way I zone out the outside world when I'm concentrating on almost *anything* is probably at least quasi-meditating... Either that or ADHD, but the first one sounds better.
    • CommentTimeOct 28th 2010
    Felicia Day passed along this interesting look at procrastination and how we are hard wired for it. We modulate the hard wires a little bit over time as we grow up but, essentially, once we're adults we can only pre-empt with soft hacks.

    I never figured I was so smart or talented I wouldn't fall to procrastination, but I used to be better at pre-empting myself. Now I'm really good at undermining my immediate plans, more or less because there are no consequences. So now to sabotage the sabotage. Hm. I think i'll sign on for Nanowrimo. Post my word count every day at the facebook. No videos until I get down the minimum 1600 words.

    I hate writing down plans because I always fuck them up. So. This time I just have to not fuck up. Right.

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