I am a gamer. More than that, I am the kind of gamer who, if I get caught up in the story of a game, will play until ridiculous hours if I don’t have some urgent responsibility weighing down on me. When I was working full-time, I could usually get myself into bed by midnight at the latest and be up at 6:30 the next morning. But now that I am not working full-time (though I’m job-hunting), I find my sleeping schedule getting more and more erratic. If I’m not up until 3 am writing, I’m playing Star Wars: The Old Republic, World of Warcraft, or I’m reading. That means I may not wake up until 9 am which throws my whole morning off.
And yet, despite that, I’m still generally able to hit my daily and weekly goals. Even this week, when I didn’t get much work done on Monday or Tuesday due to various Real Life Issues, I’m still easily on track. That is partly because I did a lot of work this weekend and partly because I’m so caught up in the events of Midnight of Lanar’ya that even 48 hours off doesn’t throw me into a spiral of confusion.
Another reason I’m able to keep pace with all of my projects and still have time to play World of Warcraft and Star Wars is because I am a relentless and religious scheduler. I’ve found that appointing each task its proper “time of day” helps me keep my life balanced. Here’s how things normally work out on a day for me:
Morning — Wake up, check email, check the news
Noontime — Quick lunch. Possibly work out a bit (go for a walk)
Early Afternoon — Raid in WoW if needed or do dailies
Mid Afternoon — Work on Midnight of Lanar’ya
Early Evening — Check the news and work on websites
Mid Evening — Do WoW dailies or play Star Wars while working on Midnight of Lanar’ya
Late Evening — Play Star Wars
Night — Go to sleep at some point
When I was working full time, my schedule looked more like this (still balanced though!)
6:45 am — Wake up, get dressed, go catch the bus
8:00 am — Get to the office and start updates while checking my work email and the news
8:30 am – Noon — Work!
Noon – 2 pm — Lunch break. Eat, play WoW, write.
2 pm – 5:30 pm — Work!
5:30 pm – 6:00 pm — Walking home
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm — Cook and eat supper. Write.
7:30 pm – 10:30 pm — Play WoW (raiding, dailies, dungeons).
10:30 pm – 11:00 pm — Write.
11:00 pm — Shower and bed.
On weekends, my schedule now is pretty much the same. So, if you’re struggling to hit your goals, do what I did. Sit down and think about what you need to get done in life and appoint each time of day its proper task. You can do it by time of day (as I do at the moment) or by hour (as I used to do when I had a full-time job). Then stick to it! After a week, you’ll find that the habit becomes so strong, you don’t need to think about it too much.
And now, it’s almost lunch time for me so off to grab something light and then get back to work.