a small hack: pushups before Netflix

I spend a lot of time every day watching Netflix, YouTube or Instagram, depending on my mood. I can get stuck for hours, which obviously has detrimental consequences on my mental health.

I tried a lot of techniques to reduce my phone usage over the years, with limited success.

Yesterday, while watching Instagram, I found the video of a guy with huge biceps. Answering how he did it: “I work out when I’m stressed”. It was a regular software engineer at a comedy show. I was amazed, because his biceps were really big and I figured he must have been cheating. But with his explanation, it made perfect sense.

So! I made a deal with myself. “I have the right to watch a Netflix episode only right after doing 10 pushups”.

What happens:

  1. I’m in my lazy state, looking for anything to distract me from the tasks of the day ahead. I really want Netflix. I feel miserable
  2. I do the 10 pushups
  3. I feel some kind of rush after doing the pushups
  4. I open Beeminder to log my pushups
  5. I’m motivated due to the pushups, so I work on more Beeminder goals.
  6. Some goals make me want to work more, while some make me lazy again. It’s a game of picking the right tasks for the current energy level to avoid crashing or stalling tasks.

So far today: 35 pushups, no Netflix episodes watched, and I finished my immense to-do list🤯

I hope it’ll work in the long term. I’ll update this thread :thread:


Update: I’m back to watching Netflix.

New rule: I need to add 10 pushups per episodes watched today.

Episode 1: 10 pushups
Episode 2: 20 more pushups
Episode 3: 30 more pushups

It should force me to go to sleep. I can do 10 pushups alright. 20 is hard. 30, I’ll just give up and go to sleep / do something else.

Also I should count episodes watched with my mother…

That’s a rule better left for another day.