I Did A 24hr Dopamine Detox…Here’s What I Learned

Entrepreneurial lessons from a 24hr Dopamine Detox (in a Tiny Home)

If you’re new here, I’m Tim Lightwork, a 28yr old founder of a Shark Tank featured startup that has generated over 7 figures from $500. Work In Progress is a newsletter all about forever improvement for everyday entrepreneurs. The one and only goal is for you to get better each time you read.

I Did A 24hr Dopamine Detox…Here’s What I Learned

The last few weeks have been mentally draining for me. Not because I’ve been working my ass off. But because I’ve been stuck in place. If you’ve ever worked a packed schedule just to realize you accomplished nothing, then you know exactly what I mean.

After months of spinning in circles I finally decided enough is enough. I booked a tiny home for 2 nights. Locked myself on the property. And cut out all sources of pleasure/dopamine. What ended up happening changed me as an entrepreneur. Here’s the key lessons from that day…

P.S.- Lately I’ve been slacking on the WIP community, but I promise to do better. Remember I’m a work in progress just like you 😉. But because I’ve been gone a while, my gift to you is a badass video of the whole dopamine detox experience. It took a lot of time to film and edit. So I truly hope you enjoy!

Tim Lightwork

24hr Entrepreneur Dopamine Detox (in a Tiny Home!)

🔪 Kill Your Addictions

Everyone is addicted to something. There's no way around it. Whether it's water, breathing, or sleeping, we're all addicts. But many of us aren't just addicted to the "good things" we need to survive. The older we get, the more harmful the things we get addicted to. The obvious ones are drugs, sex, and social media. If we don't kill these addictions, they can literally kill us.

But most of us want to find the balance. A little drinking here, a little cocaine there. If we can just do it in moderation, all will be fine. Well that's wrong. When you're a naive teenager that isn't hooked on drugs, and social media, it's not that bad. But addicts, addicts that have been hooked on social media for years can't play the balancing act. We have to cut it off completely. You have to kill it.

Because the truth is, addictions never truly die, they go dormant. And like a virus, they’ll take any opportunity to spread through your mind, body, and soul. So the longer you wait to kill your bad addictions, the more damage they will do in your life. For some that's broken marriages, homelessness, and sometimes even death. You only get one life, and living it addicted to poisonous pleasures will only lead to regret.

🚫 Stop Multi-tasking

The beauty of being locked in a tiny home with nothing to do is the abundance of focus you have to give. Everything I did today was done with my true undivided attention. There was no listening to podcasts while working out. There was no YouTube videos playing in the background to keep me comfortable. It was just silence and the task I was engaged in. And it felt great.

As I ate my bag of pretzels and bottled water for lunch, I realized something profound. The food I was eating, as dull as it sounds, was extremely tasty and satisfying. The crunch of each bite with a small pop of salt was amazing. The truth is, there is no such thing as good multi-tasking, only bad focusing. When you multi-task, you rob yourself of a full and complete experience. It makes your work less potent and your focus non-existent. Stop multi-tasking, and start embracing your activities for what they are. Something that you are currently engaged in, and is actually worth your time.

📺️ Work Is Entertainment

The dopamine fast was fine for the first twelve hours until I really had nothing else to do but work. I read way more than enough of my business book to digest. And I couldn't avoid working on something anymore. I decided to start working out. It was extremely difficult, but rather than quit, I was excited to switch from one exercise to the next. Then later, I started editing the video I filmed of the dopamine detox experience. I was having a great time seeing my vision come to life. And that led to me filming more, then writing this email, and so on and so forth.

The point is, I had a fun time doing work today. Yes, I had FUN doing work. Most people try to balance their life on two extreme ends of a spectrum. Either they're having fun on vacation or their working. But the truth is, work is extremely entertaining when it's done right. If you don't look forward to your work, then you're doing the wrong work. If you don't smile at the things you accomplish at work, then you aren't working on something meaningful to you. Of course, there will always be some things that are more fun than others, but work should never be just a chore. Our work should fulfill and excite us. And when you cut out extreme pleasures like drugs, wild vacations, and indulgent foods, it's so much easier to enjoy the work you do.

This 24hr dopamine detox has been exactly what I needed to start out this year. I now see how my mind has been overstimulated with pleasure. It's fun in the moment, until I can't sit down and work for more than 30 minutes straight. It's super enjoyable, until the Wi-Fi cuts out and I fall into an instant state of depression. These last 24hrs has reset my brain to a much more normal state. Pretzels can be delicious. Cold water is so satisfying. Working out is an exciting challenge. And working on things you care about is a blessing.

I'm no longer stuck in a never-ending game of dopamine hopscotch. Slow is smooth. Boredom is freedom. And our minds are only as great as we condition them to be.

In progress,

Tim Lightwork

Credits: Icon by CirclonTech

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