Welcome back to Metacognition! Join us for some deep thoughts (and maybe the occasional not-so-deep thought) about gaming, and catch up on all the previous deep discussions here. If you find one you’d like to answer, you can either comment below or write a post and share the link so we can all read your fantastic thoughts!
How do you balance gaming with other responsibilities?
Very carefully seems like the obvious but also most annoying answer.
Honestly, like so much else in my life, I schedule gaming. I’ve mentioned in other posts that I don’t have a significant other or children, but I manage to fill my time with other things. I work, like all of us, and I also maintain this site, have undertaken a rather ambitious Year of the RPG, am the commodore of my sailing club (which makes me sound much more pretentious than the club really deserves haha). I write fiction/fanfiction for fun, have a pretty extensive “to read” pile I’m slowly making my way through, give professional presentations in my field, and maintain a general adult life of, you know, doing all the random other things that don’t make lists like these.
I have a schedule, and I try very hard to stick to it pretty rigorously. Sometimes I’m not as successful as I’d like to be, but I set aside time to write, I set aside time to game, I set aside time to look into things for my club, and so on and so forth.
While it seems ridiculous to “schedule fun,” there is some benefit to this. First of all, when one protects time for leisure activities (or any activity), they definitely happen. I’m sure many (if not all) of us have, at one point or another, sacrificed a leisure activity because we had something else to do. And again. And again. It wasn’t “important enough” to stay on our day’s schedule.
Now, I’m not advocating for leisure to take the place of responsibilities, but one of the most important things a person can do to maintain a healthy level of stress (compared to the unhealthy “freaking out” levels of stress) is to have a good balance between responsibilities and fun.
You may have heard the term “self-care.” It’s just what it sounds like: making sure that, in addition to all the things we have to do to maintain our lives and our family’s lives (as applicable), we take time to refill our emotional fuel tanks with something fun, even if it’s only for a few minutes. It’s this type of fuel that keeps us able to function, like gasoline in a car.
With it so easy to dismiss leisure activities, and then suffer the negative effects as we don’t give ourselves time or permission to relax with something enjoyable, the way to keep balanced – you guessed it – is to schedule the fun activity in, and then stick to that schedule as much as possible.
I suppose, however, that I should have posted this at the end of the year, to see how successful my scheduling was for playing eight RPGs…
What about you? How do you achieve work/family/game balance? Or do you find your life has a more natural flow to it that I have yet to achieve? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you soon!
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