It's Fai, again. I really don't have much of a story to run with because the first one I wrote just disappeared in the Internet. (It's always the first one, requiring me to do it twice and so help me if I didn't copy and paste it!) But back to my question: How could I make more time for my writing, learning the guitar, and general off-time?
I have a horrible problem with procrastination and my massive library of games compounds onto the problem. Sports (basketball) which had just ended (lost at regionals) and now track would probably throw me to about 6, when I could get home; then I would play video games to about 8 (sometimes TV with my parents).
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This, I must say, is an easy one: What’s more important to you? Writing and guitar or playing video games and watching TV? The two hours you spend on video games every night could be two hours you spend doing something useful, like learning to play an instrument and working on stories. Now, if video games are more important, then obviously the other two aren’t, so there’s no problem. Give up writing and guitar for your love of games and carpal tunnel syndrome.
I worry about a lot of people who spend endless hours playing games. Games should be reserved for a little fun time at parties or one-on-one with a friend for maybe an hour a day or so. People who spend every second of their free time playing games are missing out on the real world—though they often do so deliberately because they wish to escape it. For some people, this gets really bad. I’ve seen furries not pay their bills because they insist on buying new video games (they have become, in essence, a tool, consumer zombies of game corporations). A shame. (And, please, no hate mail from video game addicts who claim it is a fulfilling use of time; this is one area where Papabear will not be swayed, and I know it will upset a lot of young furries who play games incessantly). I’m reminded of Penny on Big Bang Theory who got addicted to World of Warcraft.
Anyway, while the two hours a night you spend on games isn't bad compared to what I've seen many do, it is still taking up a lot of your time. Cut back on the video games (and TV) and you’ll have plenty of time to do the things that are, hopefully, more meaningful and fulfilling to you. How do I know this? I used to play Civilization for hours on end, and then I got addicted to SecondLife. Now, instead of doing that, I write this column, exercise regularly, and am pursuing my long-delayed dream of learning the piano. All of which are infinitely more satisfying that staring at digital worlds on a screen.
To be fair, you should also look at the time you are spending on sports. I have nothing against playing some sports, but, again, you need to make sure you strike a balance between sports and other activities. Becoming sports-obsessive is just as bad as becoming a game addict, especially when you're merely a spectator and not physically involved in it.
It’s interesting to me, too, how nowhere in your schedule does there appear to be room for your academic pursuits. When do you study?
Get a piece of paper and pencil and create a chart (or an Excel spreadsheet, if you prefer, pausing for a chuckle at Papabear for using old-school stuff like pencils) and write down your schedule and how much time you spend on each activity (remembering to put down 7-8 hours for sleep). If you use Excel, you can easily convert this to a pie chart that really gives you a nice visual. Look at it and you will see where there is imbalance and where some important tasks need more emphasis and others should be deemphasized. Then rework your schedule according to your priorities. Works for me, and it can work for you, too!
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