Activity Analysis: Energy Consumption and Addictive Properties

Panicked yesterday; lots of things have been going wrong or badly. Some are my fault – procrastination again, or lack of energy. Something needs to change.

The following table is something I cooked up to try to explain how I choose my activities.

A score of…

  • +1:  positive
  • 0:  neutral
  • -1:  negative

Energy” refers to how energetic I am for that activity (a negative score might also mean I get tired).

Addiction” refers to how likely I am to want to continue that activity for a longer period of time, regardless of whether or not continuation occurs.

Energy Consumption and Addictive Properties of Activities: Homework
Minutes 1 Hour 2+ Hours
Reading Energy: +1
Addiction: +1
Energy: 0
Addiction: 0
Energy: 0
Addiction: 0
Writing Paper Energy: -1
Addiction: -1
Energy: +1
Addiction: 0
Energy: +1
Addiction: 0
Coding Energy: 0
Addiction: 0
Energy: +1
Addiction: +1
Energy: +1
Addiction: +1
Solving Problems Energy: -1
Addiction: -1
Energy: -1
Addiction: 0
Energy: -1
Addiction: -1

CS homework takes a lot of energy and a lot of time. Thus, I am less likely to procrastinate on my English/Writing homework than my CS homework.

***

Energy Consumption and Addictive Properties of Activities: Creative
Minutes 1 Hour 2+ Hours
Writing Energy: +1
Addiction: 0
Energy: +1
Addiction: -1
Energy: +1
Addiction: -1
Art-ing Energy: +1
Addiction: +1
Energy: +1
Addiction: 0
Energy: +1
Addiction: -1

Both art and writing absolutely require energy, and a lot of it. Addiction probably wanes quickly because of it. However, I’ve found that quick sketches are a good way to maintain art output, since they require about an hour. I’ve been trying to do the same for writing, since NaNo has shown me that I work best in 15-45 minute sprints.

I was considering adopting a similar approach for doing my homework, but the situation is very very different, especially since I depend on long-term coding in order to reach the groove after 1+ hour. The only way to cure my procrastination with homework is to push myself into working.

***

Energy Consumption and Addictive Properties of Activities: Social
Minutes 1 Hour 2+ Hours
Being Social Energy: +1
Addiction: +1
Energy: 0
Addiction: +1
Energy: -1
Addiction: 0
Phone Energy: -1
Addiction: -1
Energy: -1
Addiction: -1
Energy: 0
Addiction: -1

This table is probably the easiest to explain. I’m addicted to people, but usually not for hours on end. After hanging out a while, I start getting the urge to run away. Social anxiety, you know.

Calling people on the phone tires me out. I suspect that physical talking is okay because I can rely on facial expressions and random pokes/hugs to get me through a conversation. There can be none of that on the phone, so I’m left with the silences of lapsed conversations and my own ineptitude. *sighs* Social anxiety, you know…

***

Energy Consumption and Addictive Properties of Activities:Recreation
Minutes 1 Hour 2+ Hours
Reading (Pleasure) Energy: 0
Addiction: +1
Energy: 0
Addiction: +1
Energy: 0
Addiction: +1
Webcomics
  • Keeping Up
Energy: 0
Addiction: +1
Energy: 0
Addiction: +1
Energy: -1
Addiction: +1
  • Reading Archives
Energy: 0
Addiction: +1
Energy: 0
Addiction: +1
Energy: 0
Addiction: +1
Video Games Energy: +1
Addiction: +1
Energy: +1
Addiction: +1
Energy: 0
Addiction: +1
Mad Scientist Wars Energy: +1
Addiction: +1
Energy: +1
Addiction: +1
Energy: +1
Addiction: +1

Reading books and webcomics takes very little energy, and so is perfect for tiring days. However, books and webcomics also have high addiction rates, making it hard to want to do anything else. I would argue that, at the moment, I’m more addicted to webcomics than to books. Like the quick sketches, I’m learning to find time for reading again by doing it during scheduling gaps – small amounts of time rather than large. Sometimes time is the issue too; and I find myself shying away from activities that will take up a large chunk of time. (Webcomics are the exception, since their addiction factor overcomes all else.)

The table also explains why I don’t play video games that often. It’s a high-energy experience, and after a long day I don’t always feel like I can muster that excitement. Also – I didn’t blank out that cell, but I never just play for a few minutes. Always for an hour or longer. Because of the time issue, I tend to save video games for special occasions, or for when I need to “beat” on something (squirrels in Psychonauts are my usual choice).

Like the (other) creative activities, Mad Scientist Wars requires a lot of energy. However, it’s very easy to get me to post there regularly… as long as I don’t have to catch up on a lot. (Like I do now. Hm.) I know I can spend more time there if I can keep up with events and goings-on. I did it last semester, and I can do it again. …I just need to find the energy to slog through the threads for a bit. >.<

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