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Gaming is another form of procrastination
For many of the gamers who have school or work obligations, which the majority of us do, it can be hard to find even one minute of free time, let alone enough time to get everything else we want to do done. While it can be really tempting at times to simply throw in your towel and spend all of your time gaming, this is not something most of us can do. We live in a society that demands more of us, and with games of one sort or another almost always at our fingertips, it is important to find how to easily achieve a balance within your leisure time to enjoy gaming as well as other things that need to be accomplished.
Sometimes it seems like game creators made games to be great tools of procrastination on purpose. Games can be sneaky -- you only plan on spending a half an hour to an hour in front of your computer and before you know it, you've spent four hours doing nothing but gaming, and everything else is on hold (ie. Hobbies, To do lists, Personal website or other projects). Procrastination can be fun and can even be useful from time to time, but it has the potential to be detrimental when you are getting behind on school work, showing up late to work, or ditching out on social obligations. Many successful people have learned how to balance their game time with the other things they need to accomplish during their free time. Here are some helpful tips about goal setting and rewarding your hard work with a game or two.
Goal Setting and Reward Yourself with Gaming
If you do not have an agenda, calendar, or a to-do list, consider getting one. It is a good way to
maintain an all-around better lifestyle by helping you get organized and will keep you on schedule.
Make a list of everything you need to accomplish during your day/week (it is up to you to choose the
time period of the goals) that is health or free-time related. Some students prefer to use things they need
to accomplish for a class that may not have a fixed due date or reading that they need to stay on top of.
Put this list of goals or tasks in a place that you will see multiple times every day, whether on your
bathroom mirror, in your car, or next to your computer, so you will constantly be reminded of your goals
and the reward waiting for you.
If you are able to accomplish everything by the time you said you would, and then give yourself a reward of a good gaming session. Since everyone's situation is different, you will need to decide for yourself what a good reward for your work is. Here is an example of one way of rewarding yourself after a long week of working hard. This is pretty basic. If I can meet both of my goals every day this week, I can reward myself with a great gaming session on Saturday afternoon. If I am unable to meet these two goals, I will either have to decide if it is possible to make up for what I did not complete, or I will just have to try harder for the next week so I can have my gaming time. I put my goals on my mirror so I notice them whenever I am in the bathroom.
- Exercise for twenty minutes on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday
- Eat three to five servings of fruits and veggies each day Monday through Friday
- Get eight hours of sleep each night Monday through Friday
- 5 hour Saturday afternoon gaming session
Now, there may be other things you feel the need to set goals for that are different than mine. That is fine! We all have our own things we need to work on. Take a good look at your habits and come up with some things that you would like to change. If you like shorter games and can stop after just one game/level, some students reward a certain amount of studying/homework with a game or two. However, if you don't think you can stop after just one or two games, it is better to have a longer time range with a larger reward at the end. In the end, however, you need to sit down and decide what are the appropriate goals and rewards for what you need to accomplish. No one's list will be exactly the same as we all have different things we need to work on.
If you are going to divide your time between your obligations to yourself or to others and the time you spend gaming,
you need to be realistic and acknowledge that, for the most part, you will not be able to spend the same amount of
time gaming as you do other things throughout your day. However, it is important to take breaks throughout your daily
schedule, so be careful not to give yourself so much to do that you will never finish or realize that there is no time
to have a good gaming session.
Regardless of what your specific goals are or how you want to reward yourself with gaming sessions there is a combination that will work for you. You will find a way to accomplish everything and still have time to game without massively procrastinating and digging yourself into a hole that you cannot escape. You may need to adjust your goals or rewards if your first plan isn't working out well for you. By stopping to look at what you would like to accomplish, you can easily stop yourself from procrastinating and have a healthy balance in your life between your responsibilities and your gaming.
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