At times in my life, I have found computer games to be a terribly compulsive way to lose whole days. I deleted the games from my computer, but would then play free internet games.
Last week, I decided to make a change. I realize it's only been a few days, but I believe the change will be permanent. I decided not to play computer games anymore. Period. It was a hard decision and I spent a bunch of time thinking it through and writing about it in my journal. In the end, I decided that for me, playing computer games doesn't add anything positive to my life and is detrimental (as a means of procrastination, as an activity that does not encourage mindfulness, as a way to develop carpal tunnel or other hand/wrist pain, etc.), and that if I am looking for enjoyable leisure activities, I know of several that actually make me feel good while I'm doing them & after (reading, listening to music, walking, talking with friends, etc.).
I have a good friend who stopped drinking almost 6 years ago, after 2 DUIs. He'd never tried to stop before. But one day it became clear to him that drinking was a problem in his life and that there was one way to make that problem go away. He's been very fortunate that he's never been tempted to drink again, even in the face of major stressors (bankruptcy, the death of his sister, loss of jobs). His example led me to believe that I, too, could give up addictive behaviors and that it needn't, necessarily, take a long time, with lots of failed attempts, etc., which is what I used to believe. Since his inspirational example, I've given up decaf coffee (admittedly a habit, not an addiction), alcohol (I had less than a drink a month, so that wasn't a big deal), and became a vegetarian (that was a big deal, though not giving up an addictive behavior or substance). His example has helped me to believe that it is possible for me to commit to making a life change and have it be permanent. Just like that.
Doing that with procrastination itself is not so easy, however.
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Here's how to fight computer
Here's how to fight computer game addiction (at least this could work for some).
I was a total computer games addict. No one played as much online as I did. Personally, I don't enjoy role-playing games. I like quality (graphics and gameplay) multiplayer first-person shooters. Another thing is that once I played a very good game, I can't really go back to a lesser game. Using this, I managed to kick, or at least control my addiction. When time came to buy a new computer I got an ultra-portable laptop with 16MB VRAM (dedicated, but shared VRAM might be even better). This computer is good for just about anything BUT playing games. It's that simple. I've been mostly game-free for a couple of years.
Excuses are like assholes, everybody's got one!
been there, done that
When adventure games on the computer were a new thing, a series of games came out called "Leisure Suit Larry". It so took over my life that I swore off computer adventure games - it's been ... oh ... probably 15 years now. I did have a period not long ago when I was compulsively playing Freecell and then Tetris, but eventually I lost interest. They can't absorb you long term the way an adventure game can.
I gave up alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco nearly 10 years ago. A few weeks ago I gave up caffeine. With my addictive personality, these are just safety measures. :)
re: computer games
No, it's not easy changing our procrastinating ways, but you can certainly approach it with confidence considering the other tough changes you've already made in your life. Kudos to you!
I go through phases with playing computer games. I have been known to stay up till 3 a.m., then I go to bed cold and sore,with eyes that are burning, and most of all, a lot of regret about the 5 or 6 hours of my life that are irretrievable. Your other choices for leisure activities sound great and I try to pursue those, but occasionally, Super Bounce Out calls me back }:) Usually, after one really bad episode, I'm good again for quite awhile.