The Hunger (for) Games Part One:Time
Quenching that tabletop gaming thirst is a matter of time.
What does your schedule look like? Take a serious, considered, and detailed inventory of the time you spend every week, from Sunday to Saturday. What are you currently spending your time on?
The question we want to answer in this first article is, "Do I have the time to spend playing tabletop games?"
Is there a block of time anywhere in your week where you can schedule a tabletop game night? (Or day. Or morning. Whenever!) If you don't have a slot each week, what about once every two weeks, or once a month?
If the answer is "Yes," block out that time on your schedule. Put it in your organizer or on your online calendar. Whatever you do, consider it an important appointment, because it is an important appointment. Getting the to the tabletop is a priority for us gamers, so we have to treat it like a priority.
If you haven't found any time for IRL tabletop gaming, then we have a little work to do.
So, you don't currently have the time to play games? Why is that? What is taking up your time? Are there things you see on your schedule that you can cut out? In other words, are there things on your schedule that aren't as important to you as getting to the tabletop?
You have to keep sleeping and eating on there. You have to keep important time obligations, such as family and jobs. You can't not take the kids to school, and you can't not help with chores around the house.
If there's nothing obvious that jumps out at you, let's look deeper and ask, where are you wasting time?
For me, the Internet is a big waste of time. Almost daily, I'll find myself traveling down a black hole of videos, or browsing social media for some unknown reason. It's like I'm programmed or addicted
. Is this a time-sink for you? Then cut it out!
Significantly limit or stop using social media. Significantly limit or stop using video sites. These are horrendous time sinks, and they are only good for instant gratification. They stimulate the pleasure zones in your brain, but to your detriment. You want to exercise your brain. You want to think. You're becoming a zombie with all that wasted time consuming all that useless entertainment.
See if you can do at least two of the following this week, or all of them if you're serious about making the tabletop a priority:
- No more traveling down the video black hole. Make a conscious effort to avoid watching more than one video at a time. Even better, block off a small quantity of time during lunch each day for watching those random videos we sometimes get caught up in. The fewer the better.
- Limit social media to no more than 30 minutes per day, and make it consistent each day, either in the morning, during lunch, or in the evening. Even better, see if you can take one or more days off from using social media or video sites. What does social media do for you, really, that gathering together, face-to-face with friends, wouldn't do so much better?
- Don't bring work home. I know this is going to be tough for some of you, but here's where the rubber meets the road: would you rather increase your peace and joy quotient (PJQ) by getting together with friends and family to play games, or would you rather work even more hours and bring down your PJQ-- that means more stress?
You know what can happen if you implement one of these actions? You can play more tabletop games! For now, you might have to play them online
. But I'd rather play a game of Stone Age
or Food Chain Magnate
than browse another set of stupid videos that do nothing to stimulate my brain. And getting familiar with a game online is a great way to learn it so that you can teach it to others when you sit down at the tabletop IRL.
If you need even more help getting control of your time, there are a ton of resources out there for better managing your time. Visit a bookstore or do a search with your favorite Internet search engine.
If you want it bad enough, you can have it.
I hope you found the time to add tabletop gaming to your schedule. The next step is to find the people to join you there.