Self Control

This week is crazy. I spent days dealing with visa issues: preparing trips, booking hotels and tickets, photocopying documents, going to the consulate of Netherlands, being rejected for lack of prior appointment, redesigning trips, another round of hotel and air tickets booking; preparing for US visa, etc.

The irony is I actually liked doing these chores that might be a little less meaningful than creative but exhausting academic work. I enjoyed the moment when I carefully put all the documents in a folder, and being satisfied feeling organised and neat. This is just like writing small things on my to-do-list and then put ticks next to them, which gives me a sense of fulfilment.

But this blog post is on self control. The main motivation for this is I find myself constantly fail to go to bed at the planned time. I spend hours roaming aimlessly on the Internet, watching tv series, reading about other people’s lives. I googled this symptoms, in Chinese they are called 晚睡强迫症. It is another form of procrastination actually, I am delaying sleeping.

This morning when I walked to school I realised that, 堵不如疏. When there is a need, it cannot be repressed or eliminated. It will be good enough to control and discipline the need. So when I think back, sometimes when I am online in late night, I am trying to fulfil the need to socialise. That is why sleep procrastination happens when I am alone and/or during school holidays, because the frequency of socialising decrease compared to normal school days.

To deal with this, I am thinking of reducing distractions. The first major source of distraction is smartphones that makes browsing online incredible easy. To overcome this I am considering getting a non-smart-phone (Nokia?) and only carry this phone when I am alone. That is, when I go back to dorm. When I am in office or at school, I can use smartphone because being in a social situation, the imaginary presence of audience makes it easier to discipline oneself. If I play on my cell for an hour in the office, all my colleagues will know.

The second major distraction is of course, laptop. I have this software called self-control that won’t allow you to go to certain website during a certain amount of time. It has been helpful.

But then the question is, how am I going to lead the need to socialising, the need to being laze to another place? Probably I should reserve sometime each week exclusively for relaxing, in a positive way, say hiking or leisure reading. Or meeting friends. Or better still, to writings.

Hopefully this time my effort to control myself will work better.

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