## Setup - Who? - Alexis, 42 Jahre - What? - Wie ich es geschafft habe, wieder regelmässig zu lesen - Why? - Wir sind alle nur noch chronisch abgelenkt. - Die wichtigen Dinge und Menschen im Leben verlieren wir aus den Augen. - How? - Here's my story... ## My story (Leidensdruck) Vor zwei Wochen war mir klar: So kann es nicht weitergehen. Ich hüpfe wie ferngesteuert vom Handy zum Kaffee zu den News. Ich hatte meinen Kopf verloren und war verzweifelt. Heute stehe ich auf, meditiere, lese ein Buch und gehe entspannt in den Tag. Was ist da passiert? Ich nenne "Intermittent Dopamine Fasting": ## Overview *Intermittent dopamine fasting helps you do more "boring but high-value" activities more easily.* To go on an intermittent dopamine fast means to **delay, reduce or outright avoid** **high-dopamine, low-value activities** such as: - [[Addictive Browsing]] through Reddit - Addictive Browsing through the news - Addictive Browsing through YouTube - Drinking coffee - Eating refined sugar That's because **"boring but high-value" low-dopamine activities** such as... - Meditating - Reading - Writing - Working - Focusing - Facing fears - Connecting with people - Solving hard problems become **that much harder after you're already dopamine-triggered** early on in your day. Think about it: Once you've had that dopamine hit early on from the news or Instagram, that tediuous (but important) report you wanted to write is now utterly and mindnumbingly *boring.* ## Your Daily Dopamine Threshold For example, if you check the news early in the morning, thus getting your first hit of dopamine, any tedious but important work like reading will just not be attractive anymore. You just won't do it. Because once you had that hit, **you've created the minimum dopamine threshold** for that day. Anything below that threshold will not happen. However, if you can delay the first intense hit of dopamine for as long as possible, "boring" stuff like reading becomes much more attractive. It's much more likely that you'll do it and enjoy it! ![[Dopamine Threshold.png]] ## How To Use Intermittent Delays I've tried getting rid of anything high-dopamine, low-value 100% of the time but, honestly, that didn't work for me. What's currently working really well for me is a 80/20 rule on delaying mindless, dopamine-hitting activities for the first 80% of the day. Basically, no news-feeds, social media etc. before 6pm. Then, for the remaining 20% of my day (the evening) I can choose to scroll through news, watch some TV or anything else. What I have noticed is that by delaying high-dopamine, low-value activities until the end of the day, they're not as rewarding/thrilling as when I do them in the morning. Which I think is great! I might read the news but I won't be absorbed by them for the rest of the night. It's weird. Also, the longer I delay that dopamine-hit, the more interesting the other high-value activities become by themselves. Which is really, what I'm looking for anyways. ## Tools to Help You Internet blocking like Freedom and BlockSite for Chrome are great tools to help you stay the course. Practically most productivity tools will help you get more important work done. However... **Here's something I wish someone had told me 20 years ago:** *If* you're struggling with keeping your attention focused even with the best of your intentions, make sure you're not really dealing with deeper physical or psychological issues. And if you are, seek treatment sooner rather than later. For example, only when I got diagnosed with ADHD and started to manage my dopamine re-uptake issues, was I able to take control of my daily intake of distractions. No other tool or life-hack could have done that for me. > ADHD is typically characterized as a disorder of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity but there is increasing evidence of deficits in motivation.[^1] So, if you find yourself struggling to focus and you're otherwise a moderately intelligent person and you keep asking yourself "Why is this so hard?" - and guilt-trip yourself because you know what you need to do but you _just cant_ - go see a doctor. ## Rewards for Boring Work Explore using sweets as an intentional reward for doing boring work. See "rewards yourself with chocolate" instructions in the exercises. Rewards need to happen immediately after Going on an intermittent dopamine fast is a good example of [[The ONE Thing]], which makes everything that's valuable[^2] easier. ## Related - [[Dopamine Fast Introduction]] - [[Dopamine Fast]] - [[Dopamine Fast Journal]] [^1]: Motivation Deficit in ADHD is Associated with Dysfunction of the Dopamine Reward Pathway, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3010326/ [^2]: "Value" is of course very subjective. And I'm all for enjoying a satisfying life. Dopamine fasting just means to _delay_ rewarding experiences during those days and times when you want to accomplish something big and difficult.