There are so many good games out right now and everything seems to happen all at the same time. It’s hard to carve out the space in your day for everything that you want, right? And the last thing you want when trying to relax with some games is to be feeling like you could or should be wasting your time more efficiently. But working out a plan to fit your leisure time between work and study can help take some of the pressure out of that manic scramble to enjoy your time off. Here’s how to get a good work-gaming-life balance going.
Have A Plan
Laying out a schedule for the day already feels like making more work out of the actual work you have to do, but it does help keep your time segmented. Especially at the moment, for those working from home, it can feel like your work and your daily life bleed together at times. The same approach can help you get better gaming time in, instead of limiting it. You don’t have to plan out exactly when you’ll hit your next level or switch to the next game in your pile of shame, but having a plan will help.
Try to think about things in terms of what you want to achieve today. If you’re playing League of Legends, maybe you want to try and win your promos, or in a single-player game you want to find all the collectibles in a single area before moving on. Setting that goal means you’ll know when you’re done for the day and can provide you with a sense of accomplishment (even if you didn’t win your promos) and also hopefully prevent you from throwing yourself into an all-nighter. You don’t have to take it to extremes by incorporating productivity software like Asana or Trello to track this stuff, but we find it helpful just to put the games we want to play into a list before the weekend.
Finding Extra Time For Entertainment
Sometimes, if your brain can handle it, you can actually get away with doing two things at the same time. Obviously a round of Valorant during a lecture isn’t really going to be doing either of those things justice, but perhaps there’s a new album out this week you want to check out, and the work you’re doing doesn’t require too much thinking. Typing up notes, or data entry, is the perfect time to put on some music to get you in your happy place while you’re still being productive.
Keyboards like the Alloy Elite 2, with dedicated media keys to control Spotify and iTunes, will help you skip past the duds while you’re in a conference call without you having to sacrifice focus to tab out. You could even mix your release chart catch-up with your gaming. You’ll never have to miss a shot just because you didn’t want to be on your third repeat of Daft Punk’s Get Lucky (the sound of the summer) in a row.
It’s YOUR Free Time
Remember that your free time is yours, and you should listen to your brain and body to figure out what you should do with it. There’s a pressure to keep up that can make you feel the need to do things you aren’t immediately in the mood for, even though they aren’t part of any job or schoolwork.
When your entertainment starts to feel like a second job, it might be time to take a mental health break and pause your entertainment grind for a bit. This is tough to do sometimes, because that new Fortnite event might only be on for another couple of days, or you don’t want to miss out on your dailies, or you’re not going to be there for your guild’s raids, or you don’t want to disrupt your streaming schedule. Sometimes, breaking the cycle will give you the distance you need to figure what it is you really enjoy doing, and what you were just doing because of your routine, or because it was “limited.” It’s just as important to keep your mental health bar full as it is to keep your physical health up.
If you feel like taking a break, then it might be time to listen to your mental state and perhaps try some light meditation. You might gain a better sense of self-awareness or find yourself more able to focus on the present and the things that you actually enjoy. If meditation isn’t your jam, maybe you can spend your time with some chill, lo-fi hip-hop beats to breathe deeply to. Maybe even change up things by going outside to enjoy some sun (and get yourself some Vitamin D) while you’re listening.