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10 Tips To Maximize Your Game Time

October 08 2010

10 Tips To Maximize Your Game Time
by Lodur

A question I am often asked is how I find the time to play as many games as I do. Between a full time job, and writing for various sites, it can be tough to find the time. Truth is, as we get older we get more responsibilities that eat up our time; work, families, chores and what have you. The good news is that you can still take care of everything you need to do and have plenty of time to relax, unwind and put some bullets in zombie heads. Here are 10 simple tips for reclaiming your time.

1. Find your essentials. What is it that you love to do? Make a list of the things you want to make room for. Now make a list of all the things you have to do whether it is work, chores, family obligations, time with a significant other, etc.

2. Take a step back. Take a step back and look over your list. How much time do you have to devote to each? Estimate how much time each of your essentials will take. Don’t forget to factor in sleep! Geeks often forget that, sadly, we must sleep and so don’t account for it. Once you have a rough idea of this, you can get a much better handle on how to spend your time, and where you can fit in some free time.

3. Schedule the time. Most business professionals have personal digital assistants, a calendar with their tasks or a day planner of sorts. They schedule their time for work and meetings and such. If you’ve taken a step back and factored out your time, it does not hurt to grab a day planner or to use a calendar service such as iCal or Google Calendar to help plan your day out. Instead of going day by day, try scheduling it out a week at a time. Schedule the time to game. Treat it like any other task. If you can lay out all the things you need to do in the course of a week, you’ll be ahead of the game.

4. Consolidate. Taking a look at your list, how many things that you need to do in a week could be accomplished at the same time? A good example is errands — instead of running one or two a day, do them all in one day to save time. It may not be your favorite thing to do on your day off, but cleaning the house, grocery shopping, laundry and the various other mundane tasks can often be done quickly, and at the same time. Doing this frees up time in the rest of your week, and if done right doesn’t have to completely dominate your day off.

5. Reclaim your gap-time. Gap times are those between meaningful activities but aren’t normally long enough to get more done. Commuting to work, waiting in line, time spent cooking foods, commercial breaks in television programs and small breaks in your schedule all count. These times are perfect for checking your email, catching up on reading, or jotting notes down in a notebook for writing later. Use this time to complete small, quick tasks and you will be surprised at how much time you free up later.

6. Prioritize your tasks. Look at your list. What is the most important task that you need to complete? What is the least important? Making sure you devote the time necessary to the most important tasks first can help you in the long run. How often have you had to drop what you were doing because you forgot to do something important? Making sure you’re doing those tasks first helps to eliminate that awkward realization.

7. Re-think your routine. Often we get stuck in a routine where we repeat the same tasks over and over. Take a second and look at how you do things. Is there a different way to accomplish the same thing? Is there a quicker, more efficient way to complete your goals? Try out different methods, you may be surprised to find easier ways to accomplish your goals, and save you some time.

8. Learn to say no. You don’t have to agree to everything. It is OK to say no sometimes. How many times have you gotten sucked into something you really had no desire to do because of an obligation of friendship? How about an optional work task? Learning to say no can free up quite a bit of time.

9. Turn off AIM and Twitter. Chances are likely that you use some form of social media or instant messaging service. Once in a while, log off. Shut down your instant messenger and walk away from Twitter. You may be surprised how much time you free up by turning these off. I’m not saying never use them, but instead when you are trying to be productive, or even just play a game, eliminating these distractions can help you stay on task. This in turn frees up time for other things later on.

10. Don’t forget the little things. There are a thousand opportunities a day to save time. After you’re done eating that snack, wash your dish right away. It saves you the hassle of having to do a massive load of dishes all at once later in the week. Take out the garbage on the way to work. You’re already heading out the door, might as well grab the garbage and drop it off at the can. Little things like this can help save a rather large amount of time.

There are a ton of tips for maximizing your time, but at the end of the day you will be the ultimate judge on whether or not it is working. These are just some of the things I do to make sure I have more than enough time to sit back and enjoy a game or three.

Filed under: Blue Collar Gamer

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