Habits & focus, my nemesises

Getting excited and starting new things is always super easy for me. I tend to get easily excited and quickly burnt out and lose interest on things that just don’t stick. One example is video games; I have a quite respectable collection of PS3 games that I have started but are now gathering dust in the closet. In case of games continuing them gets even harder when time passes, as it’s often hard to recall the controls (the tutorials are long gone) and remember what was happening during the storyline.

So it’d be way better if I had enough discipline to focus and more habitually finish what I start. I’m not really sure how to actually do that other than “just doin’ it”, thus this blog post. One trick I figured is to carve time from my calendar for things I want to do. For example, I have calendar entries three times a week to go hit the gym. Timeboxing seems to work OK for me too; stating in my mind or out loud that “I’m working on X for the next hour starting now” defines clear boundaries to work with, and I tend to be able to focus better.

As for what comes to building habits, I have successfully used Coach.me (formerly known as Lift). It’s an easy-to-use app for making commitments and keeping track of habits. It sounds ridiculous, but I managed to stop biting my nails with Coach.me.

Another curious thing is this halo effect that some habits can have. For instance after I started hitting the gym it’s way harder for me to justify eating candy or cookies. Way harder!

Anyways. Maybe I’ll get back to blogging more too.