A Gamer’s Confession
Bio: I’m a Product Hunter, software engineer and also do growth work with Nir Eyal. Besides my professional work, I have hobbies in video games, anime, reading, playing basketball, personal growth and business podcasts, and watching WWE.
This article was originally posted on my blog. Medium readers, if you enjoyed this article, I would very much appreciate it if you followed our New Game+ Magazine publication! I’ll be writing a lot in this niche!
I consider myself a gamer. I’ve been a gamer ever since I was, 4 years old maybe? I’m not sure exactly. I just know that my older bro occasionally brings up the story of how I would stop crying as a baby only when he gave me the Super Nintendo controller to jump Goombas in Super Mario World.
I love video games as much as the next gamer. I have a huge collection of Xbox 360 games; it has enough games that I feel that I’d be bragging if I listed them all. I have a decently sized collection of Nintendo 3DS and DS games. I have some PC Games: Guild Wars 2, Diablo III, Final Fantasy VII, and Final Fantasy XIV. And I have a couple of gaming consoles that I don’t play as much with: the Xbox One and the Nintendo DS Lite.
Heck, I’m even an achievement whore. Back when the Xbox 360 was prominent about 5 years ago, I took pride in achieving the full 1000+ gamerscore in a video game. In fact, I even got my hands on NBA 2K6 and Avatar: The Burning Earth for the easy 1000… But, my proudest accomplishments are BlazBlue, Borderlands, Call of Duty 4 (that Mile High Club achievement was really tough), Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, Final Fantasy XIII, and Final Fantasy XIII-2.
Note: I would really love to finish what I started with Tales of Vesperia and Star Ocean 4. It’d be especially nice to be one of those very few people to get all the achievements for Star Ocean 4, because back then that was one of the toughest games to get all the achievements in.
Though, while I have a lot of gaming stories to share, they’re mostly from the past back when I was in high school and in college. The truth is:
I don’t actually play video games that much at the moment. In fact, IF I can even get video games into my schedule, it’s for only ~2 hours at the most every week.
And that’s a shame, because I love playing video games. Playing video games is a hobby that I’ll never give up. In fact, I want to build something out of gaming. I want to be that successful and ambitious kid whose known for playing video games in his free time. Or heck, even a kid whose known for playing video games as a full-time job. That’d be awesome!
But right now I just can’t play games as much as I want to.
I’m a fresh college graduate from USF. I’m an adult now, and need to make money in order to pay the bills like rent, my phone, my school loans, insurance, my Final Fantasy XIV subscription (lol), and many other things.
But that’s not the problem. The problem is that I have several personal and professional commitments, and there’s only 24 hours in a day. There’s only so much someone can accomplish during the workday. I don’t care if you’re Elon Musk or Tony Robbins. You’ll say yes to many things, but when you say yes to something, you also say no to something else. You can’t focus on everything at once.
Outside of my 9–5 start-up job, my commitments include:
– Growth and content marketing for Nir Eyal
– My mastermind group and accountability partners
– Writing and marketing for my blog and personal brand
– Writing and marketing for my side project: New Game+ Magazine
– Contributing as a user to other start-ups (Product Hunt, Complete, etc.)
– Book launch teams (recently, The Miracle Morning for Salespeople)
And it doesn’t end there. There’re other commitments I make time for, including personal ones such as working out, exercising daily, reading, and watching WWE RAW and Smackdown.
Before I continue, let me get this straight: I’m not complaining that I don’t have time to play video games. Many gamers my age and older have the same “problem.” We all have to be responsible and take care of ourselves, and playing video games is the priority that’s last on the list for most of us. There’s nothing to complain about.
But here’s the truth: I love everything that I do outside of the gaming space. If there’s one thing about me that I want you to take away after reading this post, it’s that I love to help people and start-ups, and I love to take care of and improve myself and others.
But I also love gaming. While I don’t play as much right now, I still love it and will never stop. But it’s because of my love for video games that I want to make more time to play video games. But, given all the commitments that I listed above, how can I make time for video games?
Well, I’ll tell you that it is possible. I have a plan for it that will help me increase the play time by a few hours; which is good enough for now. What I’m about to share with you is a framework that not only I will implement, but it’s also a framework that will prove useful to you as a gamer if you ever need to create more time to do things such as exercise or play more video games!
Making More Time to Play Video Games
Before I begin, I want to mention that I have great productivity tips to share. These productivity tips are what allow me to fit each of my commitments into my schedule while having my 9–5 start-up job. But, I’ll save those for a later post. Instead, I’ll share new productivity tips that I will add to my routine and improve upon in order tomultiply my time, so that I can have more time to play video games.
Note: Thank you Rory Vaden, for sharing great wisdom on how to multiply time and for personally connecting with me.
Take note of these productivity tips, especially if you haven’t heard of them before. I’m sure you’ll learn something new. But, if by any chance you have heard them before, ask yourself “Am I doing that?” In the words of Hal Elrod, four of the most dangerous words in the English language are “I already know that.” By telling yourself “I already know that”, you don’t give yourself the mental capacity to realize how you can improve in certain areas of your life. Be open, and ask yourself how you can consume new and old information. Use it to improve in life.
Alright, here we go! What new tips have I brainstormed that will help me and you multiply time by getting things done?
1. Batch tasks together more efficiently
There are certain tasks that we do everyday that don’t require our full mental attention in order to get them done. Or, even better, there are tasks that require zero attention. Why not batch those tasks together?
Note: I’m not necessarily promoting multitasking. Multitasking should never be done when you have two tasks that require your full attention. But, if there are some simple tasks you can do at the same time that don’t require much attention, that’s the only time when I call for “multitasking.”
For example, I love watching WWE. Okay, so this requires some of my attention because I need to understand what Seth Rollins is saying as he gloats about how he broke John Cena’s nose. But, there’s one thing that I do for 5 hours a day, 5 days a week that perfectly compliments this: commuting on Caltrain to and from work. Rather than watching WWE at home after work, I can watch WWE on the train and save 5–7 hours a week! By doing this, I’ve reserved the time at home for things that I can’t do on the train, such as blog and, you guessed it, play video games!
Another example: I love listening to personal growth and business podcasts. I also love working out. See where I’m about to get at? While they both require my attention, working out doesn’t necessarily take much of my focus. Thus, it doesn’t distract me from what I’m learning from each podcast. By batching these two tasks together, I’ve saved 30 minutes — 1 hour of my day because I chose to listen to a podcast while doing something else that doesn’t require much of my attention.
Think about what you do during the day. What tasks can you batch together in order to be more efficient with your time?
For me, I check Facebook and Twitter too much. Right now I won’t analyze how much time I waste everyday on Facebook and Twitter, but I know that I can back get at least 30 minutes — 1 hour a day if I don’t check so much.
So, one thing that I’ll be improving on is checking Facebook and Twitter only at certain points during the day. These points would be when I don’t have anything more productive or urgent to do. This would include:
– While I’m stretching before my workouts
– While I’m resting during/after workouts
– While I’m walking somewhere
– While I’m taking short breaks at work
– While I’m on a short commute
– While I’m in the bathroom ^_^;;;
– And probably many others
Pro Tip: If you need to respond to social media posts, or even e-mail, try to do so at your computer instead of on your phone (unless it’s urgent). You’ll save a lot of time typing with the keyboard rather than with your thumbs. For Macs, if you’re in an iMessage conversation with friends or family, you can use your Mac instead of your phone to send texts. More time savers!
2. Block out time in my schedule
When you feel that you have a lot on your plate, stuff just won’t get done if you don’t put it into your schedule. It’s as simple as that.
Though, there will be some of you who aren’t used to planning your days, and perhaps you probably do get things done. But, I can absolutely guarantee that there are many times when you don’t get everything done that you wanted to.
That can be improved and even fixed by blocking out time in your schedule to do the things that you want to do. In my case, I want to play more video games. Even a few hours would be sufficient for me; the problem I’ve had though is that I don’t actually force time out of my schedule to play them.
Starting now, I’m committing to play at least 2 hours of video games every weekend, provided that I don’t have something already planned. I’ll get one hour in on Saturdays after and one hour on Sundays, it’s a good start!
Where in your schedule can you put more time in for your work, for your hobbies, or for video games?
3. Make a public commitment and share my progress
When you tell others that you want to do something, you force yourself to be held accountable more so than you would have been had you not announced your commitments to the public. In other words, if you tell others what your plans are, you’re more likely to follow through with them.
According to Xander Schultz, CEO of Complete App (fantastic app, by the way), people who declare their intentions are four times more likely to complete their tasks than those who keep them private. Now, how about that? If you want to increase your chances of getting stuff done, just tell someone or your Facebook friends about it.
In my case, I’ve already made a commitment to you guys. I want to further multiply my time in order to have at least two hours every week to spend towards video games. Now, the next thing I have to do is actually execute, and share my experiences with you guys in future blog posts! Because I have made the commitment public, I’m more likely to get it done!
Pro Tip: Download the Complete app. You won’t regret it. At the time of writing this article, they are only released on web and iOS. Android coming soon!
4. TRY to say no to things that won’t bring me closer to my goal
I said “try” because there are certain things that I can’t say no to. I can’t say no to washing dishes. I can’t say no to taking out the trash. I can’t say no to the Saturday chores. I can’t say no to work. Son of a Namek!
But what I can say no to are opportunities that won’t help me professionally, and would consume my time for nothing. I’ve already eliminated almost everything I could possibly think of. So I don’t have much to share in this section. But, I can improve on saying no to the “golden opportunities” that come my way, such starting more side projects with my friends.
Is there anything that you can eliminate and say no to today to create more time for you and your own goals? For you, maybe you spend too much time engaging in pointless threads on gaming forums. I’m not saying all threads are pointless; but I’m sure you can identify which threads aren’t worth your time.
It’s a Process
None of us are going to get perfect at productivity and time multiplication overnight. Productivity is an art that takes a lot of time to master. We have to constantly take time to reflect on what works and what doesn’t work for us. For those things that don’t help us create more time, we have to either eliminate them entirely or figure out how to modify them so that they do create more time for us.
While I have shared with you my thoughts on how I intend to create more time to play video games, it’s all wasted unless we go out and implement! Let’s implement this together!
Your Homework: Use this 4-step framework to create more time for yourself, so that you can spend that time in the areas you want the most. If you enjoyed or found value in this article, please recommend it to your audience!
And watch this video. Already watched it? Watch it again: