I find that I use the colon far too often in my writing. Specifically, I use the following construction too often:
statement: explanation or example
Here are some concrete versions of this:
Paradoxically, the most intensive work I have done seems to have been the least productive: when I stressed and crammed for exams all the things I learned were forgotten soon afterwards.
Even activities which seemed completely unproductive would ultimately reward me: by playing lots of video games I got an intuitive sense of how rigid bodies would interact.
I would like to avoid using the colon in the exact same way so frequently as it results in very repetitive structure. Is there an alternative construction which would server a similar purpose?
I am new to this SE, so help with tagging would be greatly appreciated.