Dopamine Identification

Benefit: Decreases procrastination
Prerequisites:

Description

If you’re one of those people when you get a 2 minute break you immidiately check out social media or start playing games you might need this practice.

In this practice we will train your mind for 2 skills

  1. Identifying your dopamine hit
  2. Identifying your replacement dopamine hit

The unhealthy dopamine hit can come in many forms. I like going on Colonist.io, tetr.io, chess to play a quick game. Some people defaut to social media, instagram, tiktok. Some people defaut to porn sites, messaging platforms, dating apps, news sites, eating etc. Note that not all dopamine hits are unhealthy.

Being aware of what we’re doing is the first step. We don’t necessarily have to change our behavior at this point but just knowing it while using it is a required skill.

When it comes to replacing your dopamine hit this can come in many forms as well. Some people find it easier to meditate while others journaling. Here is a bunch of examples to give you a better idea where you can start. Planning your next tasks, using a hand gripper, organizing, cleaning, stretching, drinking water.

Note that this exercise is only to increase your identification skills. As you do this exercise you will see that you’ll get better and better at finding the ideal replacement.

Practice

  1. Identify the places you got a dopamine hit
  2. Identify ideal dopamine replacement for that scenario

Example-1

  1. While my code is compiling. I start playing tetr.io where the code finishes compiling in 2 minutes but I play tetr for 10.
  2. Ideally I should list all of the next steps & checks I am going to do after the code finishes compiling instead of organically going through it.

Example-2

  1. Finished work & everything for the day and don’t have anything to do and feeling tired. I default to porn or tiktok for the rest of the day.
  2. I can sit on the floor, start stretching in a comfortable position and close my eyes.

Example-3

  1. I finished all the messages I should have replied on discord/slack. Now I switch apps and then find myself playing a game of tetr.io.
  2. Writing a todo list or checking out my todo list didn’t work before. It doesn’t match the dopamine I get from tetr. Stretch my arms until I know what I need to do. (kind of like physically hostage, forced meditation)