Group Rationality Diary, February 15-28

by therufs1 min read16th Feb 20155 comments


Group Rationality
Personal Blog

This is the public group rationality diary for February 15-28. Once you've downvoted it, if you're so inclined, please identify and explain yourself. 

It's a place to record and chat about it if you have done, or are actively doing, things like: 

  • Established a useful new habit
  • Obtained new evidence that made you change your mind about some belief
  • Decided to behave in a different way in some set of situations
  • Optimized some part of a common routine or cached behavior
  • Consciously changed your emotions or affect with respect to something
  • Consciously pursued new valuable information about something that could make a big difference in your life
  • Learned something new about your beliefs, behavior, or life that surprised you
  • Tried doing any of the above and failed

Or anything else interesting which you want to share, so that other people can think about it, and perhaps be inspired to take action themselves. Try to include enough details so that everyone can use each other's experiences to learn about what tends to work out, and what doesn't tend to work out.

Thanks to cata for starting the Group Rationality Diary posts, and to commenters for participating.

Previous diary: February 1-14

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5 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 11:03 AM
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[-][anonymous]6y 18

I've spent the last year or two planning the perfect schedule, the perfect study methods, the perfect piano practice plan, and so on, but never got around to actually implementing them. Every time I tried, I worried that I was not doing things in an optimal way and wasting time; obviously I knew I was wasting time even worse by not doing anything, but I was still paralyzed.

This year, I finally decided to just start doing the things I want to do without worrying whether I'm doing things in a horribly inefficient way. I got a piano teacher again so that I would be forced to stick to their plan. I started studying my textbooks and making flashcards in Anki, not worrying about whether the flashcards were very well-crafted or not.

I think the line of reasoning that finally led me out of my rut was that not doing anything was a waste of time, so it would be better to do something suboptimal for a year and only reevaluate my plans afterwards. So even if I'm being inefficient this year, it's better than doing nothing.

Good job! I still don't know what the best sustainable way for me to practice French is, but I'm sure that doing Duolingo everyday is a big improvement from thinking it would be a good idea to practice French, so that's what I'm doing til I have a better idea.

Skincare Addiction is a subreddit dedicated to finding, and sharing tips on how to use, evidence-based skin products. If you are unsatisfied with the condition of your skin, the sidebar links are a good place to start. (I personally found good results from using "double cleansing" [oil cleansing and then water-soluble face cleanser] and an AHA-based exfoliator. I also use a moisturizer afterwards, but that was something I did already. Your results will probaby vary.)

I started alternate day calorie restriction last month. I expect it to be one of the best lifestyle changes for increasing my life expectancy.

I've become comfortable enough with it that it no longer requires significant willpower to continue. I think I have slightly more mental energy than before I started (but for the first 17 days, I had drastically lower mental energy).

I have a longer post about this on my blog.

I finally set my sights low enough that I got some things done at work! :p (Which is to say, I reduced them from "I have to write this thing I don't understand" to "I have to write part of this thing I don't understand" and finally to "Okay, I have to write ONE LINE of code today.")