On Self-Control

One of the things I teach clients in the Smart Nutrition program is how behavior, self-control, and environment all play a role in the decisions we make. When we’re stressed and exhausted, we don’t make the best decisions. When we need a nap, we don’t always shut the computer. When we should be engaging with our family, we find a shiny device and engage in the ludic loop.

One way to fix this dietarily is to not keep sugary/unhealthy foods in the house. If I want ice cream (because a pint is a serving), I have to drive to the store and get it since I don’t keep it in my house. I’m often incapable of this because the kiddos are hanging off of me so I don’t do it.

People also ask me how I manage to fast ~18 hours a day without problems. The answer is that I have a full client load and do not bring food with me to work. I can’t leave the client to get food, so I drink water and coffee until I’m done for the day.

Productivity Hack?

I hate that phrase, by the way. However, I am just as likely to get sucked into the loop as the next person. Like a child, I’ve found that using a web blocker has been essential.

Screen Shot 2017-05-11 at 4.24.04 PM

Cold Turkey has been key not only for keeping me off distracting websites, but also using the odd open time slot to do the things I need to do during the day (like populate Smart Nutrition or write this blog post).

You’ll also notice that I’ve created a “distraction sabbath” from Friday at sundown to Saturday at sundown (hat tip Adventists, even if your studies are wildly biased and interest-driven). This way I can focus on my family free from the pull of technology but not cut off all of its utility should we need to check traffic to drive across town, for example.

Finally, I’ve also found the Cold Turkey Writer to be useful for writing things that I want to write that require constant attention (my longevity manifesto, for example). That tool requires that you complete your goal (time or output) before you can exit the program.

I have a limited amount of self control. I’d much rather restrict myself then show how yolked my rational muscle is. You might find value in doing the same.

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