I'm addicted to refreshing my stats

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#1
I'm posting here because this has been a real productivity killer for me in the past, and is starting to become one once again as I have campaigns ramping up that are actually making money.

All it takes is clicking a little blue "Run Report" option for me to get my fix. It's fun to see the little numbers go up (and not so fun when the clicks are going up and the conversions are staying the same), but I simply spend too much time refreshing. It only takes a few seconds each time but that time is adding up.

What's worse than the time 'wasted' is my anxiety towards needing to see if my ads are still sending clicks, if the landing page is up, please don't let the landing page be down, oh god I hope my leads are being credited... etc. The anxiety is also a productivity killer because although I may be working on one thing, my mind is somewhere else.

I'm thinking that I need a paradigm shift in my mindset, but I am having a hard time taking a step back and letting go.

To any digital marketer who has overcome the refresh anxiety, how did you do it?
 
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#2
yep... I published a few books on the Kindle store a couple months ago and when they started selling I got addicted quick to refreshing the sales report page. I knew it was bad when I let it disrupt my morning routine. Instead of getting up at 4:45 AM and spending 30 minutes writing before looking at any screens, I was waking up and immediately checking my sales. Then I'd either be obsessed with the fact that I had made a sale, or upset that I didn't make any sales, or enough sales, and it'd completely kill my productivity.

I realized right away what a kook move it is. It's like the first time I started getting decent sized paychecks and I'd stare at the number in my bank account. After a week of being thrown off because I spent all day refreshing stats, I accepted that I was being dumb and I reminded myself that sales is not my key performance indicator. Of course I want to make sales, but it's a lagging metric, there are other things I can focus on to monitor my performance that will eventually increase sales, aka doing actual work.

In general I'm really structured with my work and that helps a lot with productivity. I follow a checklist that I made for starting work and ending the work day. Part of the checklist is to decide how many 25 minute focused work periods I will do that day, then I put numbered index cards on my cork board to represent each session, moving them from a "ready" column to a "complete" column. During focused periods, I have a countdown timer running and I only look at, work on and think about the designated list of work to do.

Another thing on my checklist is to spend 5-15 min before I fully kickoff the work day trying to get access concentration. This really handles any stress, anxiety or obsession that could otherwise kill my productivity. You don't need to do anything special. I stand and stare at a spot on the wall and try not to move my eyes anywhere else or think of anything else, then when I feel my concentration getting stronger I close my eyes and watch my breath closely until I've entered access concentration and sometimes into the first jhana. It's an awesome way to get the work day started, I eliminate all sorts of bullshit from my mind and then I focus entirely on my work.

Breath holding is really good too. I get a lot of benefit from box breathing and from just holding my breath until my body is kicking and adrenaline is pumping and it's just too uncomfortable to keep up. Your brain won't give a fuck about refreshing stats when you haven't had oxygen for a few minutes.
 
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#3
@pfingy, I really appreciate your well thought out response.

Then I'd either be obsessed with the fact that I had made a sale, or upset that I didn't make any sales, or enough sales, and it'd completely kill my productivity.
This point in particular really stands out to me. I generally have a pretty healthy state of mind, but money is a greatly imposing force. When it comes to making money, I tend to think on a day-to-day basis.. only comparing the current day with the previous day. When in actuality money is in much longer terms than that. In the business world, they tend to focus on year over year growth.. and sometimes even a year is too short of a time frame.

But to me, if I made 1 dollar yesterday, and 2 dollars today -- 2 dollars is the new baseline. If I don't make 2 dollars again tomorrow, I will be saddened.

I need to take a step back.

Typing this out is actually fairly therapeutic right now. I'm realizing just how silly this mindset is. I am just holding myself back from larger things. Maybe I should be happy for every dollar earned, rather than sad for every dollar that I haven't "earned".

Another thing on my checklist is to spend 5-15 min before I fully kickoff the work day trying to get access concentration. This really handles any stress, anxiety or obsession that could otherwise kill my productivity. You don't need to do anything special. I stand and stare at a spot on the wall and try not to move my eyes anywhere else or think of anything else, then when I feel my concentration getting stronger I close my eyes and watch my breath closely until I've entered access concentration and sometimes into the first jhana. It's an awesome way to get the work day started, I eliminate all sorts of bullshit from my mind and then I focus entirely on my work.

Breath holding is really good too. I get a lot of benefit from box breathing and from just holding my breath until my body is kicking and adrenaline is pumping and it's just too uncomfortable to keep up. Your brain won't give a fuck about refreshing stats when you haven't had oxygen for a few minutes.
I really like what you had to say about ways to tune in concentration. I am fascinated with the Eastern ways of enhancing the mind. Society has gradually moved away from such practices, especially with record levels of sedentary. I'm a strong believer in the idea that if you spend an hour exercising, you'll receive a positive ROI of productivity and energy back. The days that I achieve the most on are usually the days that had a morning long run. Definitely not a coincidence. It is basically what you describe with your meditation in achieving great focus.

And that breathing method, I've started incorporating some of Wim Hof's teachings into my days. He's huge on that type of breathing. The hardest part for me is the cold shower though!
 
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mj22

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#4
Keep your head down where the rubber meets the road instead of doing that, before you know it (if u can stay disciplined to your work production/output), you'll be hitting refresh to $1k days, then u'll have a REAL addiction, lol.

Keep on grinding bro.

Edit:
Nothing more addicting than seeing your hard work and due diligence pay off, good feeling.
 
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#5
I use Google Data Studio to fetch my stats from GA and earnings from affilitate networks. You can get your affiliate stats with Google App Script and add in a google sheet, then get it from there into Google Data Studio. You can then project the GSD screen onto a TV with chromecast/clone screen or just have it run on a browser. Avoids the whole clicking refresh
 

Ryuzaki

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#6
This kind of behavior is almost always associated, even with obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety surrounding insecurity. This could be insecurity about income, insecurity about the trustworthiness of technology, or insecurity about trusting yourself to have locked your door when you left.

The problem is it's a cycle where the negative behavior (the checking of stats) provides an immediate gratification reward (soothing of anxiety or seeing an increase in income), which only reinforces the behavior.

If you're having a hard time stopping the behavior, another angle to attack it at is at the root emotional level of why you have the insecurity. It could be an issue of you amplifying the importance of the feeling instead of realizing it's fairly normal. Learning to be okay with it or trying to transmute it into a drive to achieve the work needed to ensure the security could help.

If you need to make sure your lander is running nonstop, just ask yourself how many times you've checked the stats to make sure it's running and how many of those times it has been running. It's probably 99.9%, which is your typical up-time at most hosting providers. The 0.01% of the time it goes down usually won't even require your intervention to get it running again.

Rather than the checking behavior, or understanding the feelings that are causing it, you can try to understand why you're having the feelings themselves at a deeper level. If everyone has some level of anxiety concerning these things, why is it you that is being affected at this level. Is there some other trust issue and this is a convenient and safe outlet for it to be expressed? It could be some other unrelated issue bubbling out of your sub-conscious.

You could just run a live visitor view on your analytics so you can glance at it occasionally. Then slowly ween yourself from that by having it minimized and checking once an hour that there's still people on the lander. Then cut back to 3x a day. Then 2x, then once a day. Build trust with it while reducing the reward and reducing the amount of time required to check.
 
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#7
Thank you @Ryuzaki, I definitely have some form of financial anxiety. I grew up in a household with an unfortunate financial situation with massive debt which I feel has greatly influenced how I feel about any type of income/expense.

Over the past few days I have started to put into practice some of your advice and the 'refresh anxiety' I was experiencing is waning.