Procrastination is about managing emotions, not time

Procrastination is about managing emotions, not time

I, along with my fellow procrastinators, have a time management problem. By this view, I haven’t fully appreciated how long my assignment is going to take and I’m not paying enough attention to how much time I’m currently wasting on ‘cyberloafing’. With better scheduling and a better grip on time, so the logic goes, I will stop procrastinating and get on with my work.

This has long been the accepted view on procrastination. It leads to the idea that procrastination is simply a matter of planning and willpower – that one simply needs to buckle down and do it. This often leads to people taking extreme behaviors of forcing themselves to study/work in unhealthy and unhelpful ways – then beating ourselves up with guilt, fear, anxiety, depression, and unhealthy coping mechanisms when we fail to stay on task.

Instead, what if procrastination was more of an emotional regulation problem? Studies are showing that often if a task makes us feel bad – perhaps it’s boring, too difficult, or we’re worried about failing – we make ourselves feel better in the moment by doing something else. While somewhat intuitive, this view is getting some confirmation by empirical studies. If true, it means procrastination is not so much a question of poor willpower as much as it’s a question of poor emotional regulation skills.

This leads to some very interesting treatment techniques that have been developed by cognitive behavior therapy for emotional intelligence and emotional regulation. What are some of those methods?

Just get start

ACT/Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (a part of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is a treatment method that helps patients to tolerate uncomfortable thoughts and feelings, staying in the present moment in spite of them, and prioritize choices and actions that help them get closer to what they most value in life.

Tim Pychyl of Carleton University says, ” When someone finally recognizes that procrastination isn’t a time management problem but is instead an emotion regulation problem, then they are ready to embrace my favorite tip: The next time you’re tempted to procrastinate, “make your focus as simple as ‘What’s the next action – a simple next step – I would take on this task if I were to get started on it now?’” Doing this, he says, takes your mind off your feelings and onto easily achievable action. “Our research and lived experience show very clearly that once we get started, we’re typically able to keep going. Getting started is everything.”

This takes your mind off the feelings and into an easily achievable action. Research shows that once you get started, we’re typically able to keep going. Getting started is everything.

Read the article from BBC here.

Other resources from the article:

What it’s like to go through a 9.0 earthquake AND tsunami

What it’s like to go through a 9.0 earthquake AND tsunami

This video footage has been making the rounds. It shows what a 9.0 earthquake is like, and then after that is done, the resulting tsunami that comes in.

Requisite warnings – nobody is injured/hurt in the footage, but knowledge that thousands died during the event and the violence of the experience mean it might not be for everyone.

Unreal Engine resource viewer

Unreal Engine resource viewer

This is a really cool tool (UE Viewer/uModel). I have used this several times to explore and export models and resources from various games. You just need to know what version of Unreal the game was developed with.

For example, I extracted a model from Dead by Daylight by pointing this tool at the pak file directory (…\Steam\steamapps\common\Dead by Daylight\DeadByDaylight\Content\Paks) and indicated the game was ‘Unreal Engine 4 version 4.21’.

Improving mental health with games

Improving mental health with games

What if we could start treating mental health issues using games? The game Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice sought to capture experiences of those with mental illness – especially schizophrenia.

The Insight Project is a partnership with the game studio Ninja Theory and clinical neuroscientists. The video is a little bit pretentious, but is a solid idea.

Does VR have the ability to help diagnose and treat people deal with various mental health problems? I believe so. The ability to simulate the experiences of schitzophrenia (a disease that often sets in later in life) could help people recognize the symptoms and get treatment before their condition deteriorates. Many conditions such as phobias and anxiety are often treated with exposure therapy. A virtual reality environment might be the perfect place to set up environments in which people can be safely be exposed to their fears – with all variables controlled. People that need help with social anxiety could be treated with simulated situations to help them learn good interaction skills. I think this has some great potential to really improve lives.

Just like Begger’s Canyon…

Just like Begger’s Canyon…

DCS (Digital Combat Simulator) – one of the most difficult military aircraft simulators around. Just learning how to start the engines and take off is considered quite an accomplishment. Players are often known to have amazing setups like this:

An online group of friends call Grim Reapers do various amazing battles and competitions together using DCS. They’re quite a funny, and talented crew. Here’s a pretty good clip of them doing runs through a canyon full of AA:

If that doesn’t impress you, here’s an absolutely amazing competition to land their planes on an aircraft carrier. Carrier landing in game is known to be unbelievably difficult in the best of conditions, but these guys ramp the difficulty up to 11 and beyond…

Give their videos a watch. They’re pretty awesome.

Carbidschieten – A Netherlands New Year’s tradition

Carbidschieten – A Netherlands New Year’s tradition

In the Netherlands, New Year’s Eve means partying hard. And partying hard means carbidschietendetonating calcium carbide in a milk churn:

Basically, a small chunk of calcium carbide and a little bit of water is placed in a metal milk churn. The carbide decomposes into acetylene and a flame is held up to a small hole in the milk churn. The resulting explosion sends the lid of the milk churn across a field and much fun is had by all. Just be sure to wear proper ear protection. 🙂

UFO’s finally explained

UFO’s finally explained

This guy mounted a 1000 watt LED light bar under his drone and creating some pretty amazing shots. Check it out. Opens some interesting photography ideas up for me. The ability to turn a spot location from night into day has some interesting implications…

Long Dark early releases

Long Dark early releases

I have been a huge fan of the game The Long Dark. I bought a copy during early release (something I almost never do). It was only $5.99 or something at the time and I loved the game already for what it was.

Fast forward a few years (too many years IMHO – their development started in 2013, and here we are in 2020). The game has expanded and been re-worked numerous times – but that sense of wandering a beautiful but deadly frozen wilderness alone with only your wits to save you is very appealing. Cap that off with some really, really music by great composers famous for a number of large game titles music, and you’ve got a solid little sandbox game.

Unfortunately, I can’t say as I’ve liked all the changes over time, and still get really nostalgic for the old versions of the game. Well, I must not have been alone because other folks have asked the same. Now Hinterland studios has released Steam codes to go back to those early releases – called the Long Dark Time Capsule.

You can enter the following codes to get the various pre-release versions in steam:

Release DateBranch nameCodeNotes:
v.119 09/22/2014 z_tbd 688jsRNQe6NkE3GV Early Access
v.23605/21/2015 z_silenthunter Myr9JbqSXm7qJxWP 3 regions: mystery lake, coastal highway, pleasant valley
v.258 07/31/2015 z_deepforest 6BXgaAPncUz4umsA
v.27109/17/2015z_desolationpoint 9uJcchMtNvpkKUUB Desolation point
v.30212/15/2015z_timberwolfmountain L9mmQmZc48tEveTX Timberwolf mountain
v.339 04/20/2016 z_tirelessmenace cFvvcA3bk7eZsLTe
v.349 06/24/2016 z_pentitentscholar xgUqeYAhD5jhjsZX
v.365 09/22/2016 z_vigilanttrespass q3EmEnt7wCc495TG
v.393 19.12.2016 z_resoluteoutfitter TVnhrrydqtT8ta88 Forlorn Muskeg
v.426 07.06.2017 z_faithfulcartographer hE72eT9KP5WtBCn4
v1.15 01.08.2017 z_1.0launch zEkBaxsFU6wu2rsa Wintermute 1.0 launch
v1.30 07.12.2017 z_ruggedsentinel m3k5U5BzgGSECQ9d Moose
v1.37 14.06.2018 z_vigilantflame d2Zvdbgare46aRps Hushed River Valley
v1.47 17.12.2018 z_wintermuteredux 9LWcV267hKpHjg6w Significant re-write of Ep1+2
v.1.56 06.05.2019 z_steadfastranger cSY4ueT7TUDT62Xc Revolver
v1.60 22.10.2019 z_episode3 BdZkXXpH6hqsbyZd

https://www.thelongdark.com/time-capsule/

Instructions:

  1. Launch Steam
  2. Go to your Library
  3. Right click on The Long Dark in your Steam library and select Properties:
  4. Select the Betas tab.
  5. Input the Archive Build of your choice.
  6. Enter the code in the ‘Enter beta access code to unlock private betas’ box and click the Check Code button
  7. Select the branch from the drop down menu (z_timberwolfmountain/etc)
  8. This will update your installed version of the game to the branch. Once completed the branch name will appear next to the The Long Dark in your library list.
  9. To return to the latest release, simply go back to the Beta tab of the game and select ‘NONE’ at the beta dropdown.
Right click on The Long Dark in your Steam library and select Properties
Enter the code and click the Check Code button
Now select the branch from the drop down menu
Once completed the branch name will appear next to the The Long Dark in your library list