Strategies for playing games between the daily grind and the passion project

The more I learn about myself the more frustrated I become with my own limitations. Like you, I’ve discovered when I have the time I don’t have the energy. When I have the energy I don’t have the time.

But I always have enough energy for a game, time waster, social media check-in

or some other self gratifying activity

which yields little in the way of progress toward building the life I want.

After I finish a hard day’s work at the dollar factory, I like to unwind with a game or two. Nothing wrong with that. Sure I felt a little bad about not being SUPER productive but again I don’t have the energy to tackle something harder.

Three years ago I finally added a second monitor to my game setup. Now I can watch YouTube lectures relevant to my current area of study, marketing, writing, art techniques, story and character development. And that’s been helpful while I play a round, I’m learning something useful in the background that I’ll be able to practice as soon as I have the energy and time.

It’s been pretty helpful

but the best technique I’ve added to my game sessions is going into a game with an understanding of why

why am I playing a game in the first place?

When I’ve had a hard day dealing with the politics of dunces at work and have had to restrain my aggressive impulses to inflict a physical and educational slap upside their heads. Knocking some sense and listening for their brain to rattle in acceptance, is still illegal. And so I’ll come home and play something ultra-violent till I’ve reached temperance…

When I feel like I could run things better than those currently in charge, I’ll take up a game of resource management and planning. Win and I’ve confirmed that I’m doing the best I can with what I currently have under my domain. Lose and I’m grateful I don’t bare the responsibility of actually being under the weight of the crown.

When I feel like I’m just spinning my wheels, I’ll take of a game of exponential progress. Stardew Valley, Minecraft, or any game where an hour of play yields tools and resource generators that shave time off of gathering the same amount of resources. Unfortunately games like this hit the a point of diminishing returns and then no longer provide that measurable progress.

When I feel like nothing interesting happens in my life, I’ll open a storied game and experience someone else to escape.

When I feel like just sitting back, overwhelmed by decision fatigue, I have a number of simulators. Game Dev Tycoon where the game plays itself at this point. The decisions have already been made a hundred times and rather than making a guess I’m told how far to move each slider. In a few hours just by being their my decision battery will be recharged.

Once In a blue moon I’ll feel like being social, MMO’s games with chat or just hanging out on Twitch or discord conversing with random people will sate that right quick.

If I’ve done my gaming right then I will have recovered enough energy to make progress on my grand endeavors




With time to spare before I’m required to sleep.

Somedays are better than others

but by learning slowly what I’m hungry for

I’ve learned what to feed myself

With Love,


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