One of the excuses I outlined I called “There’s This Great Game”. In the explanation, I mention that “Games are time”. To further the point. Games are time that could be spent working. Time that either you could be getting paid in using or spent furthering your knowledge.
If you’re playing games as a way of ignoring your work, you’re doing yourself a disservice. However, if you’re playing a game as a way of disconnecting momentarily and clearing your head, play away.
I just got myself out of the former reason. I bought Halo ODST last weekend. Not surprisingly, I sat down and played it immediately. Work be damned. It’s now Wednesday and I haven’t touched TattooCapture in that time, beyond some minor modifications.
It’s timely I ran into this issue again. My point in the session involved World of Warcraft, the great time-waster, but any game is applicable.
Moderation is key. If you know me personally, you know I am not a moderate person by any stretch of the imagination. However, when it comes to games, I rarely fall into the trap of hours spent playing because it’s happened so often I can recognize the problem. You might say, “But you just admitted to ODST’ing yourself for four days.” True. I am not playing it right now, am I?
There are two approaches I use when it comes to games. One is as a break reward. I’d like to take an hour because I accomplished something and will move on to something else after the hour. Two is at the end of the day. You’ve accomplished what you set out to do in the day and are finished. Go ahead and play.
What I do not do is use a game as a way to get over a hump. ie. “I just can’t figure this out, I’ll just go play Fable II.” This never works. You get into your game and keep playing. You forget why you started playing. As a means of distraction, a game is extremely effective. So what to do when you are in a jam if you can’t play a game? Get up and get away from your computer. I’d recommend writing out your problem long-hand in your notebook. I’ve mentioned having a notebook, haven’t I? A lot of problems can be solved by spelling them out for yourself.
If this doesn’t fix the issue and you like being a lone wolf? Google. Seriously. I cannot tell you how many times my problems have been solved with a simple Google search.
If this doesn’t fix the issue? Contact your peers. Your peers are a wealth of knowledge waiting to be tapped. Get to know your peers. They will become invaluable resources in the log run. Besides, more friends are good. Don’t be a pain in the ass and bug them for every little thing.
I digress. Suffice it to say, a video game doesn’t teach, doesn’t give back and doesn’t earn you money.