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I think there's also the question if the "I'd rather just be friends." said in the context of rejecting an invite to a date actually means "I want to be your friend." or is just a polite way of saying "I don't want to go on a date with you.". In the former case trying to cultivate a friendship will be more useful than in the latter...

I don't think the problem is that I think it is hard. It's more like that I end up thinking something else, like in daydreaming or unintentionally in meditation. Which is why meditation helps with it.

The second alternative is that I'm too conflicted about the thing I'm trying. But that would call for conflict-resolution technique rather than motivation technique. :)

  • Getting Things Done: +4. Makes a big difference, but the problem is that it requires the complete system. It works well when everything is included, but eventually I end up skipping a weekly review and the usefulness drops fast. Another thing is that I have to include everything I'm going to do in it. Including "for-fun" activities. If I don't, it's going to turn into a list of things I don't want to do and I'll resist looking at the whole list. Up-to-date it's worth more than +4, but since it doesn't usually stay that way...
  • Meditation: +3. Calmer, less stressful emotional state.Makes it easier to hold a wider perspective. Doesn't help with akrasia directly, but is a significant indirect support and is good for for my general outlook on life.
  • Regular exercise: +8. Essential. I don't see this as much as a positive thing as I'll get depressed soon if I don't get this.
  • Monoidealism: +6. Works every time I actually execute it correctly, but thinking about nothing else is hard. This trick interacts well with meditation because it increases my ability to execute it.

Edit: Fix some typos.

I think the next time I hear about a productivity technique, I'll think about which of these categories it fits in. Consider that a compliment.

Regarding the writing style, I thought the abstract went a with overboard with academic formality, though that might have been because I was contrasting it to previous writing I have seen from you. The rest of the article was well written. The biggest improvement is only using emphases when they count.

Few people claim to do the same thing with their time; why is that different?

Actually I've been repeatedly recommended to track my time usage as a means of being aware of wasting it and then improving my time management.

Alas, I haven't yet gotten around to actually trying it.

But if you don't care about the truth - and you have nothing to protect - and you're not attracted to the thought of pushing your art as far as it can go - and your current life seems to be going fine - and you have a sense that your mental well-being depends on illusions you'd rather not think about -

..then it may already be too late, since the seed of doubt is already planted.

I find it very hard to consider that anything but nitpicking. Although that's probably because my native language is Finnish and it doesn't have separate third person pronouns for different genders. I don't think that distinction is worth making.

Then again, since English does have he and she, perhaps one can't avoid it.

I have very few memories of my childhood (or indeed anything older than a few weeks), but perhaps the turning point I remember was in Lutheran confirmation school when the priest was discussing conscience. I realized that the notion of God was actually superfluous and everything that had been said would stand as well without it. After this I looked at every discussion and explanation with different eyes and soon lost my faith, although I dind't officially leave religion until four years later after high school.

I was never very religious, probably because my family belongs in church but that doesn't really show in daily life. Still, I did believe and getting rid of that made did a big difference. My mother has told be that at some of the first years in school I was confused because I had asked her about why world exists and been told about Big Bang and in the school the teacher had told that it was greated by God. So I might have gotten a few years of hints before getting it. :)

Currently I'm studying theoretical physics and until recently my rationalism has been what Eliezer would call Traditional Rationalism and what you get from scientific education, but it has been changing since I discovered Overcoming Bias and especially Eliezer's posts. They've been mind-expanding to read, I'm in debt to all of the contributors. It remains to be seen if I can actually turn them into pragmatic results. Hopefully LW can help me and everyone else on that journey.