5:20:1 experiment and the power of timers and rewards

12018.07.21 Saturday

9:45am – [Hammock’s Cruel Sparks] Writing now because I won’t feel like it tonight after work, and I’d rather do other stuff tomorrow morning.

{After one sentence, I get bored and suddenly switch from writing to trying to create a simply animation}

~50 minutes later

10:37am – UGGGGHHHH I JUST wanted to do a screen recording of this stupid animation I put together and the dumb recording app on my computer is not working. I feel dumb getting upset at stuff like this, but it’s stupid stuff like this when I run into an issue I wasn’t expecting where I end up taking MUCH longer than I thought that sets me back emotionally. Just feels like I’m wasting so much time.

But then I figured out something with PowerPoint that enables me to export a video.

I think one of the things I’d really like to get into is animation / video editing stuff. I feel like I’m 15 years behind though. {Feelings of regret and self-hate flood everywhere}


There is the damn stupid animation from powerpoint. I have SO much learn. 😦

Bit by bit day by day.


Back to the original damn purpose of this post.

For the past twodays I’ve been working with this 5:20:1 rule. I do 5 minutes of whatever – usually a quick writing session where I’m venting stuff. Maybe check the news. Then, for 20 minutes, I do work. I can turn on music or a podcast, but it needs to be something related cleaning my apartment, organizing files, paying bills, etc. After and hour, the ‘1’ then I take a longer break. I dunno, maybe 15 minutes? Then I do it all over again, until I reach the reward period. The reward period. This is the time at the end of the day, when I can just do whatever.

{When my mind/inner child knows the work WILL end at some point
it can DO WORK}

5 minute break / 20 minute work / X 3 / 15 minute break / X 2

reward period

{One day later}

As always, I meant to write more. But I have 8 minutes to finish this up and publish. Maybe I should spent more time on these throughout the week.

Overcome with my usual feeling of deep regret – I wish I started all of this sooner. Regret is one of my biggest enemies.

Good things:

  • The 5:20 / reward thing really has shown success. Because I have been keeping things relatively clean for the past couple days, in just ONE 20 minute session I was able to wash a couple dishes, clean my cat’s litter box, make my bed, clean the bathroom, and sweep.
  • I got completely ready to meet someone, BEFORE my usual rush period.
  • I went to bed when I felt tired – IMAGINE THAT

Grateful for:

  • Breaths – I can’t do deep breaths right away. Because I associate deep breaths with being calm. And most times I don’t feel calm. So I start with short, quick, ‘huffy’ breaths. And those usually quickly are able to move into deeper breaths that actually feel like I’m letting some anxiety go.

Hope you all have good weekends and weeks.


Weekly entry

Sunday, July 1, 2018 8:58 PM

Feeling worthless again. Has been a very hard couple weeks.

Why does life feel like this constant struggle?

Sitting in my car before going back into my apartment and for a second I got a feeling about what it might be like to just feel at peace with life.

It was gone as so as I entered into my apartment. I have a roommate that I am close with, but they are often out, and when I enter alone, a wave of depression hits me.

But then again, when I’m alone and being productive and my roommate returns, suddenly I can’t focus as well anymore.

Does anyone experience this as well? Specifically the wave of depression upon entering back into your home? Sometimes I hate returning to my apartment. Why? I hate being alone? There are many times where I love being alone. But… I am definitely looking for a partner. Or at least I want a partner.

Gah I’m struggling to write, now, but I need to just keep writing. I want to find my voice. Eventually the idea is that I’ll stop apologizing for my writing and my feelings and settle into a sense of identity.

And that’s just it – so many successful people have this solid, stable sense of identity – of how they act around people, of what they do for a living, of what they do in their free time, of what they are working toward in life.

I don’t have any of that – the stability that is. I am always wondering about how I should act, what I should do. Maybe I am not so alone in this. Maybe I’m just jealous of those who have always known what they’ve wanted to do, or at least have stable careers, incomes, parents.

Ok I know I’m in complaining mode now, but I don’t care. I have this compulsion to just regurgitate whatever I’m feeling. We are in FMV mode – find my voice mode – right now. I do want to become a better writer. Best way to do that is to write. A number of people have told me to tell my story, and that I have a lot to say [eye roll] … [eye roll at the eye roll]. I’d like to do that. I would.

Do I want “fame” or anonymity? I think a lot of us have craved fame, but it comes at such a big cost of privacy. I want to be able to just explore and observe the world without wondering when I am going to be interrupted next.

Write and read. That’s what I need to do. Feels like there’s no time for any of it. That I’m just stuck in my terrible job. But hey, I’m writing here now instead of watching some mind-numbing thing on YouTube or playing a videogame.

Hate myself. But I don’t. Ugh. I feel like I have the beginning stages of schizophrenia sometimes. I hear my thoughts way too clearly, all the time.

I could rename this blog “cringeworthy”. Uggghhhh. There is nobility in the effort though. When will I be able to point to something and say, “Yes! That – that is not cringeworthy – that is worth sharing”? I don’t know. Why do I share these stream of conscious rants? Because I need a witness to my life. Some kind of witness. Maybe it’s related to the biological urge to reproduce / create and pass of genes / information – is the urge to reproduce in its essence DNAs “desire” for immortality? It knows that its host will eventually die and that it must survive somehow? Is me writing this and sending it off some form of wanting to be immortal? To somehow survive my death, regardless of how? Or is it just for attention (which could be argued is also related to reproduction?).

I don’t know. It doesn’t matter.

My goal is to try and get a post out at least every 2 weeks. Maybe eventually 1/week. I want to develop a habit of writing / publishing. And I do feel slightly better.

Recapping my last post, there was no engagement, ha, but that’s ok. The post was all over the place. I’m resigned to the fact that for the next few posts (and who knows, maybe this entire blog) will simply be an awkward cringeish stream of conscious that I will never read again and hope someone burns after I die.

Just one human trying to survive. Just trying to find a sense of peace and purpose. I find glimpses – not everything is doom and gloom. Some good things:

Free outdoor concerts | finishing a section of a language program | icepops on a hot summer day | running into friends | clean laundry | good coffee | a small bit of activism | family

Ok, until next time. MBM