Computer games are truly addicting. Serious gamers will attest to the rush one gets while playing a game, only to discover that they've already spent the whole night into early morning playing a game. The usual result is sleeplessness, lack of attention in school, and a lot of missed homework. The secret to surviving school and enjoying computer games is time management.
Whether it's an online role playing game, an arcade game, or a first-person shooter, a game usually takes up much of your time, patience and energy during play. Games are actually a good way to practice certain skills and communication abilities, but if you are unable to monitor your time, you will lose out on other real-world activities like schoolwork. Here are a few tips in managing your time between computer games and school.
- Do your homework first. Gaming takes a lot of energy. So does schoolwork. Therefore, you need to prioritize which one you will spend time on first. Setting a rigid schedule would help you avoid procrastinating, and would encourage you to finish your school work within your own prescribed time limit.
- Rest in between. After you've done your homework, don't turn on your computer or console just yet. Give yourself a short break. Have a snack. Take a short nap. This will help you feel energized and ready to get some recreation. Otherwise, you will only feel tired after doing your homework, and playing will no longer be enjoyable. Try to take short breaks in between, whether you're studying or playing. This will help relieve you of stress, and can help you focus better.
- Set your own limits. The best gamers are those who are able to gain mastery of the game without having to spend too much time playing. If you can set your own limits, you will also be able to set targets in mastering and playing your game. For example, instead of giving yourself the whole night to finish a level or reach a certain skill level in your game, why don't you limit yourself to one or two hours? This way, you can discipline yourself while playing. This also helps in schoolwork, as you will eventually learn discipline in other, more serious, areas of your life as well.
- Use an alarm clock. You usually don't get to glance at the clock while you're studying or playing, do you? Get yourself a simple digital alarm clock, which will alert you when it's time to wrap up your gaming session already.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep is essential in ensuring a healthy and receptive mind. Without it, you won't get to learn at school, and you won't get to enjoy gaming, not if you feel like a walking zombie. Be sure you get enough sleep (at least six to eight hours) so you wake up refreshed and alert in the morning. Avoid playing all night. And also avoid cramming school work all night. You will only feel hung over in the morning.
As with anything, gaming should be done in moderation. It's an enjoyable experience, but if it eats up your time from doing other priorities, then you should already take the time to set your own limits.