cloud and a moon

The other day, just like any other day, I was staring at YouTube homepage on the phone. The algorithm knew, mysteriously, as we’ve all experienced before, that I was procrastinating.

It decided to recommend me this video of a TedTalk given by Dino Ambrosi, titled “The Battle for Your Time: Exposing the Costs of Social Media“.

The speaker, Mr. Dino, is the founder of Project Reboot. He helps people, mostly young adults, build better relationships with digital devices.

I’m not going into details of the video. But by the title and what this guy does professionally, you know it’s about encouraging people to be more aware of their use of social media. That’s the main point of the talk.

That’s not the main point I want to discuss today. The thing I want to talk about is when he delivered the speech, he used this visualization to represent the length of life. Maybe you’ve seen it before, because it wasn’t my first time seeing it.

It’s all these lined-up circles, each representing 1 month of time. And there are 36 circles in a row, and multiple rows to make up that visualization.

We would calculate the average time a normal person spends on sleeping, at work and school, commuting or driving, having a meal, and time for hygiene (i.e. taking a dump). Then we would deduct those time and see how few circles are left on that visualization.

These circles are our free time. We get to decide what to do. The average 18-year-old in United States spends more than 90% of their free time staring at a screen – a lot but not all of screen time spent on social media.

Again, today we’re not concerned with the issue with social media.

The most impactful part to me, was when the speaker concluded his speech with this: “Don’t let yourself get to the age of 90, only to look back on your life, and realize while you were trying to avoid FOMO, you actually missed out on living.”

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    This made me realize I AM accountable for myself. It made me realize I should be doing something meaningful. Something that matters. That’s how I feel like I’m actually living.

    Of course the visualization gave me some sense of urgency. I mean… it gives me that every time I see someone using it to explain how short the life is.

    You can change, today

    So the realization of I should be doing something that matters got me extremely motivated.

    I got so motivated that I started to build a whole new set of routine the day after. And I was able to, I’d say, at least 10 times my productivity ever since.

    I think because it just happened that I am currently at the point where I’ve already quitted social media for some time and got the chance to explore all kinds of opportunities in the real, physical, brick-and-mortar world, I’m almost feeling overwhelmed by how much I could’ve done and how much I might have missed.

    That realization makes me want to do all the things I’ve ever wanted. The consequence of that is losing a focus in what I do. When I lose focus, I don’t do things well and it quickly ends up being me procrastinating on everything I should be doing.

    So this TedTalk reminded me of the goals I had set for myself at this current phase of life.

    How to get started? (Tips on Overcoming Procrastination)

    Disclaimer, I cannot guarantee that after you watch the video you would feel the same or have the same takeaway as I would, or that you would quit social media right after, or anything would happen, actually.

    What I would do, though, is to provide you a 3-step process I go through to overcome procrastination every time I feel motivated enough to do it.

    The 3-step process is consisted of plan, prioritize, and execute.


    The first step is planning. Start by grabbing a piece of paper and a pen, not the digital ones.

    List out everything on your mind. Everything.

    It’s called your stream of consciousness. Write non-stop until you feel you’ve drained out your brain. This should take you at least 5 minutes if you are jotting your thoughts down non-stop.

    From everything you’ve written down, identify 2 things: the things you want to do and the things you must do.

    Circle them, and list them out separately.

    Things you want to do are those things that matter to you. Things you must do are things that might matter, but most likely do not matter to you, while you must do them. Things like cleaning up your desk, doing laundry, or finishing some paperwork are commonly seen on the list.

    Now you’re done with the first step, moving onto the next: prioritize.


    By prioritization, we’re not numbering all the tasks and switching orders among them. We are going to pick one thing. The one and only thing we’re going to do next. Right after we prioritize.

    We can’t multi-tasking. It’s a hard truth. Accept it. Our brains don’t work that way.

    We need to focus on one thing. We do one thing. We complete one task. We prioritize again. And we move on to the next one. That’s how you get things done.

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      Find the one thing you really need to do. It doesn’t matter what it is that your reasoning of doing it. You could pick one task because it’s urgent. You could pick another pick you care so much about it. You could pick yet another because you need to slow down and relax. What matters is that it’s one thing. It’s ONE task.


      No matter how much time you spend on planning and prioritizing, it all comes down to execution. That’s why you shouldn’t spend too much time on the first 2 steps. Execution is the key and only way to get things done.

      Ideally, you should start your day with a task that’s most daunting and difficult. Since you should complete more than one task a day, and hence have multiple chances to do the prioritization part, tackle with the most difficult task as early as possible during the day.

      Some called this method “Eat the frog.“ In a video, a guy refers it as “Inverted Pyramid Method.“ The basic idea is the same: do the most difficult task first. This helps you create the momentum for the whole day.

      If you want to level it up, my personal tip is to create your zone by turning on distraction free mode on your digital devices. That’s how you deliver high quality work in short period of time.

      Not inspired?

      If you read all the way down to here and still don’t feel inspired to even start planning, here’s what you need to do: go out.

      Just GO OUT.

      Go out for a walk. Leave your room. Leave your apartment. Go to a park. Hit the gym. Again, it doesn’t matter. Do something about it, unless it’s 3 a.m when you’re reading this, then put down your freaking phone and get some sleep.

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