From my perspective, this book is really about dealing with distractions. The kind of distraction that happens because you are more likely to seek your momentary satisfaction from glancing through that gossip on Facebook or the funny TikTok video rather than write that blog post or put in your daily 500 words as planned for the book you are writing.
Craving constant moments of dopamine release will prevent you from being able to focus on what you want to do. If you are trying to build your side hustle, you may be doing it part-time. For instance, before or after work or in conjunction with studying, you don’t want to be continually distracted because you seek constant dopamine release which distracts you from doing what you want to do.
How you can manage that challenge is what Dopamine Detox – A short guide to remove distractions and get your brain to do hard things, written by Thibaut Meurisse is about.
If you decide to read this book, here’s the title of each part of the book.
The book is divided into six parts as follows:
- Part 1 – Dopamine and the role it plays
- Part 2 – The problem
- Part 3 – The benefits of a detox
- Part 4 – A three-step method for a successful detox
- Part 5 – Doing the work (and overcoming procrastination)
- Part 6 – Avoiding “Dopamine Relapse”
Some key questions to answer
Before I share my one side hustle idea, let’s answer some questions.
- What role does dopamine play? Dopamine is a neurotransmitter (chemicals in our brains that transmit messages) that makes us anticipate rewards and therefore motivates us to act. It is not a pleasure-seeking chemical but we can get addicted to experiencing the feeling of anticipating rewards.
- What is the problem with dopamine? The more our actions trigger the release of dopamine, the more of it that we want. This trigger can come through things like drug or alcohol consumption, pornography, sex, or even social media. The more we trigger the release of dopamine, the stronger our need to experience the feeling that comes from dopamine release becomes which can lead to addiction.
- What is a dopamine detox? It is the process of reducing stimulation to prevent overstimulation and this helps to put us in a proper state of mind so we can tackle the tasks we need to.
My One Side Hustle Idea – Three steps that can help to have a dopamine detox
Here are three steps that can help you have a successful dopamine detox:
- Identify your biggest distractions: The first thing you need to do for a successful dopamine detox is to identify your biggest temptations and distractions.
- Get a sheet of paper, divide it into two columns and label them ‘cans’ and ‘can’ts’.
- Under ‘Cans’ write down activities that you want to do that are good for you. Such as exercise, writing, working on a project (your side hustle) and so on. These should be productive activities.
- Under ‘Can’ts’ write down all the things you must avoid doing during your dopamine detox.
- Questions that can help you with the ‘Can’ts’ are: If I stopped doing only one thing, which one would increase my focus and boost my productivity the most dramatically? What other activity do I need to avoid in order to help me increase my focus most significantly?
- Add friction: the principle here is this – the harder something is to access, the less likely you are to do it, and vice-versa. So, find a way to make your ‘Can’ts’ hard to access. Look at the habits or activities you want to eliminate and ask yourself how you could add friction. For instance:
- Remove all notifications from your phone or put it on airplane mode.
- Install an app that can make it harder for you to watch social media sites.
- Find creative ways to make it hard for you to indulge in that behavior.
- Conversely, make it easier or frictionless for you to do the ‘Can’s’. Put in place things that make it easy for you to do the productive things. For example, in order to do five minutes of exercise each morning, I put dumbbells in my bathroom. So, when I open the cupboard to get my cream, I see the dumbbells and I am triggered to do five minutes of exercise.
- Start first thing in the morning: Start your productive activities first thing in the morning before you get overly stimulated. Don’t check your internet or the TV or anything like that when you wake up otherwise you will get stimulated and distracted. Create a morning routine to help you start your day on a positive note with a strong focus.
These are some very simple ideas that you can use to beat that distraction. Your side hustle won’t wait for you. If it’s going to happen you will have to get up and work on it. Dealing with unnecessary distractions that are generated through our need to experience a dopamine release is essential so it does not sabotage our attempts to work on our side hustle.