You just described exactly how I lived from 2012 to 2015 or so. Man, I do not miss those days. They don’t seem that bad while you’re living in them day to day, but when you look back on how the years go by, it’s quite devastating. You are, in a sense, your own prisoner. And you don’t quite fully realize it. You have an inkling of it, which is why you wrote this post, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
I notice you didn’t say anything about your diet or exercise. That’s where I started solving the problem for myself. It’s one thing you can change without having to address the more difficult things.
Work out. You need to work out instead of playing Sims or watching YouTube. (Hell, you could go for a walk or jog while listening to YouTube if you really wanted to.) If you can’t get out of the house, a few pushups or jumping jacks a day can make a difference.
Eat healthier. Cut down on carbs. Get more protein and fat. It’ll instantly reduce the fog. Drink plenty of water. It makes a significant difference, and it’s free.
Visualize your future. Wasting several hours time at work is something I used to do too. It’s a sign that you don’t really value your own time, and you’re not properly imagining what your future is going to look like 5, 10, 20 years down the road. Imagine you’re a Sim, and visualize multiple different futures playing out for you. What is your life going to look like if you continue on your current path? What do you need to do if you want a different path? If you had a clear picture of how your current actions are affecting your future outcomes, you’d act differently without even particularly making a big deal out of it.
Screw the Zone. “Takes me forever to physically get in the zone” is partially a sign that you’re probably not exercise enough, and partially a total bullshit excuse. You shouldn’t wait till you get in the zone, you should just work anyway and enjoy the slipstream benefit of the Zone when it arrives.
Seek deeper enjoyment. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to focus on your interests and hobbies – in fact, it’s a necessary part of a happy and fulfilled life. But “I neglect everything else because I simply don’t enjoy it” is quite a warning sign. Because there are unenjoyable aspects to everything. Nothing worth doing is 100% fun 100% of the time. So your avoidance of uncomfortable, unenjoyable things is keeping you from living a more full, enjoyable life. Your enjoyment is currently stuck at a superficial level. Again, I think you do sense this subconsciously.
It’s possible that you’re not going to make any changes for quite some time. It took me years. You really have to feel kind of disgusted with yourself – have a burning platform moment – before you really start changing properly. For me, I think it’s just getting older and starting to feel like I don’t have much time left to dick around. Your mileage may vary.