Most any gamer has reached a point at some time in their gaming adventures where gaming started to take over their lives. We’ve all been there: you sat down to play a little WoW before bed, and before you know it, it’s been seven hours, and if you don’t fall asleep in the next ten minutes, you won’t be able to make it to work the next day. If gaming has already taken over your life, it could take a complete rehaul of your lifestyle to pull you out of the gaming vortex, but if you’ve only just started to notice the signs you’re starting to spend more and more time glued to games, there is hope of a simple cure. If you’re still in these beginning stages, read along for the top five tips on how to regain control of your life when gaming has started to take over.
Coming in at number five: time-block your schedule to limit your gaming time, and make sure to stick to your new time-blocked schedule. Time-blocking is a great tip, because it can show you just how much work you have ahead of you. It is an excellent way of setting up your schedule, but it also requires a certain amount of diligence and self control, so if gaming is just beginning to take over your life, time-blocking will be a great indicator of how much of your life has actually been pulled into gaming.
In fourth place: take a break from gaming, even if only for a week or two, to catch up on life and gauge your footing. This cold turkey approach can be quite daunting, but sometimes you need to miss out on something for quite a while in order to be able to find ways to live both with and without it and manage your time and energy better. At first, going without it will feel quite jarring, and you will want to give up and go back to gaming, but if you push through, you will find that soon enough, you don’t feel the immediate pull to game again, and you will be able to look at your relationship with gaming from a fresh perspective.
At number three: find an accountability buddy who can help you keep track of your gaming and who can give you a call if you have been playing for too long. Bonus points if your accountability buddy is a fellow gamer looking to cut back a bit so that you can both help each other. If you have been trying to regain some control, and you have found that you don’t have the motivation to do it entirely on your own, finding a friend to help keep you on track is an amazing option.
Coming in for second place: revisit an old hobby, outside of gaming, which will help get you away from your game and, potentially, out of the house. If you have started to try and spend less time gaming, you might be wondering what to do with your newly-found free time. Revisiting an old hobby, especially something that can get you out of your gaming space and out of the house, is a great way to refresh your mind and give you something to look forward to instead of just being sad that you aren’t gaming as much anymore.
And in the number one slot, the most intense and helpful tip is to make a list of everything you wish you were getting done in life, but gaming is holding you back from. It’s easy enough to sit in front of your gaming center all day and think occasionally about the tasks you are falling behind on, but when you actually write them out and see everything you could be doing right in front of you, it is a very good motivator in terms of getting kicked into action. It can be a little painful at first because you will get a very good look at what you have been missing out on, but this small amount of sadness will be a great push to get you headed in the right direction.
Overall, if you have found that gaming is beginning to take over your life, it’s not something to worry about, but it is definitely something to be aware of and start taking steps away from. If you are farther along and gaming has completely taken over, these tips will also be helpful, but you may need an even more intense overhaul of your life and schedule to really regain some control. Whichever stage you’re on, these tips will get you headed in the right direction so that you can enjoy gaming without any guilt or worry that it has become a vacuum for everything else in your life.