Just one… more… mission.
Games are designed to be addictive, from the adorable pandas on our phones to the high-end titles that have players staying up all night to complete quests, upgrade gear and watch walkthroughs because it’s so goddamn hard to beat these goddamn bosses this is BULLLLSH- *throws controller at TV*
If you have incredible willpower, maybe you get all your work done before you switch on the console or flick open the app. For the rest of us mere mortals, here are three ways to balance your gaming time with study. (Hint: Even if you’re not a gamer, these tips might apply to the thing you’re obsessed with.)
Set yourself a timer – and obey it
As we said above, games are designed to be addictive. This means they’ll give you lots and lots of smaller goals and rewards that are just out of reach. It makes you think you’ll play for another five minutes, just to achieve this one thing… and next minute it’s dawn and your eyeballs are drier than cracked concrete. When you’re going to play, set an alarm for 30 minutes from now (or whatever seems reasonable). When it goes off – that’s it. Even if there’s no save point, you’re pausing the game and getting some work done.
Obey the first line above – one mission only!
Depending on the game you’re playing, there’ll be something major to achieve – defeat the Shocker in Spider-Man, headshot that mouthy kid in Fortnite, wash your horse or have a bath or something weird in Red Dead Redemption 2. That’s it. That’s all you’re doing before you go and write your article for A*STAR essay.
Speaking of Fortnite, it’s the perfect example of a game you can play all day, because it’s easy to die quickly and there’s always another round starting. Resist that urge. If you die in the first minute, you’re done for the day. Sound unfair? Git gud.
Get your work done first and play all night
A less realistic site would tell you to unplug, make sure you get a full night’s rest and stay away from games until the weekend. But we like to live in the real world. If you know you’re going to marathon this thing, make it a rule to get all your study and other commitments out of the way first. That way you can enjoy your gaming without that nagging guilt at the back of your head.
Oh, and make sure you stop for water and toilet breaks. Stretch your legs every hour or so. Squeeze your eyes shut and count to 10. NOW GET IN THERE AND HEADSHOT THAT KID
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