I, like many of you, am a gamer. I love putting on my headphones and diving into an epic adventure. But there’s something that’s been bothering me lately: how much time I’ve been spending gaming at night. Sure, it’s fun and all—but it’s also keeping me up past bedtime and cutting into my sleep cycle! So I decided to do some research on how to balance gaming with real life, whether that means going to bed earlier or simply not obsessing over every new game release (or both).
Set clear boundaries
Your gaming habit isn’t inherently bad, but it can easily take over your life if you’re not careful. Set clear boundaries by establishing a time limit and a clear purpose for playing. If you need to play for work reasons, make sure to set up a specific time when it’s okay to do so—don’t just play whenever you have some free time at home.
If you have a family or friends who rely on your attention during the evening hours, consider setting up separate times during which they can expect that attention from you as well as yourself. It’s also important not to let video games replace real-life activities like exercise or spending time with people in person.
Think about how you want to feel
Deciding on your goal is the first step of the process. Don’t just think about what you want to achieve, but also consider how you want to feel once it’s done. In other words, focus on the benefits of achieving your goal instead of just the result.
For example, let’s say that I wanted to lose 10 pounds in one month (my current weight is 75). This seems like a reasonable goal for someone who exercises regularly and eats relatively healthy foods most days of the week (but does indulge in some junk food every now and then). Instead of focusing on how much weight I can lose at any given time (a number), focus on feeling better about my body and being able to fit into my favorite clothes once again (benefits). It’ll give me something positive to look forward too instead of just dreading reaching another milestone number!
The first step in getting your gaming and working schedules on the same page is planning ahead. When should you start gaming, how long do you want to play, and what time will it be when you stop? How much work should you do and when should that be? What other activities need to happen around those times?
When setting up your schedule, make sure there’s enough space for everything! Remember that one hour of gaming might consist of 30 minutes of actual gameplay and 30 minutes spent browsing social media or watching videos online. You’ll also want to leave some time for eating—and this doesn’t mean going out every night! Having a few snacks available at home can help keep hunger from becoming an issue.
Also remember not just about yourself but about others as well: what needs doing around the house? Are any appointments coming up that everyone needs transportation for (like doctor’s appointments)? If kids are involved, do they have schools or after-school activities that need attending?
Keep your purpose in mind
Remember the purpose behind your gaming.
Gaming is a hobby—it’s something you enjoy doing, but it should also serve a greater purpose for your life. If you play games to relieve stress or fill time when you have no other obligations, then playing games at night could be a simple solution for that. But if gaming has become an obstacle in meeting your goals and reaching your full potential, then it might be time to reevaluate how and why you game so much at night.
Keep these thoughts in mind as we move through this guide:* Remember why you started playing video games.* How do they help achieve my goals?* How are they hurting my goals?
Gaming doesn’t have to be all-consuming.
Gaming doesn’t have to be an all-consuming hobby. It’s important to enjoy your games and have fun, but it’s also important to remember that your gaming shouldn’t interfere with the rest of your life. Don’t let gaming become a problem that interferes with other things in your life, such as work or school.
If you’re having trouble balancing gaming and other things in life, here are some tips:
- Don’t feel guilty about playing games. Everyone needs a way to unwind after a long day at work or school—and for many people, that means playing video games! It can be easy for others who don’t play games themselves to see it as a waste of time; however, if you’re enjoying yourself while playing, then there’s no reason not to keep doing it!
- Make sure gaming doesn’t take over everything else in your life—just leave room for other hobbies too (and maybe even some sleep).
Gaming is a great way to blow off steam and get some time to yourself. However, it can also become an unhealthy distraction if you’re not careful with your habits. By setting clear boundaries around your gaming time and keeping in mind what matters most to you, you’ll be able to enjoy gaming without losing out on the rest of life’s experiences.