[This is a guest post]
We all have played games well past the point where it was enjoyable. A single Fortnite match turns into an 8 hours #1 victory hunt session, Not being satisfied with that, We log into twitch for some sick Ninja plays.
It is not a significant threat to your productivity if this happens once in a while but for few of us, It’s a usual day.
The more you play, The more dependent you become; Behavioral psychology supports this. (Learn more about skinner box)
“But I only play 5 hours a day whereas most ESports players do the same for 12 hours a day, Are they all addicted?”
Well, Not always. As an Esports player, their Job is to claim the spot as the bests, and significant part of it is playing more.
One cannot be called a video game addict solely based on how much time they spend gaming. It’s more about whether they neglect essential tasks just to get some extra time for gaming.
So are you addicted to video games? Let’s find out
* This quiz is meant to help you take a closer look at your behavior and not a substitute for diagnosis a professional
If you answered “yes” to more than four questions, It is likely that you exhibit some form of video game dependency.
The first step in tackling any problem is to recognize it. There is a lot of misleading information about benefits of gaming around the web. Its true gaming can benefit specific parts of your brain but overusing results in nothing but an unproductive being.
Hear it from me; I used to spend 15 hours a day gaming, Missing school, not giving a crap about anything but some #1 Fortnite victories.
Whenever someone tried to point out my addiction, I would send them an article or a youtube video which explains benefits of gaming.
Again, Someday you do realize the problem exists, and I did too. Calling a sick leave from school on a test day, I was sitting at my computer playing Fortnite. I tried to contact my friends to join me but soon realized they all had gone to school, It was the time I went into an analysis of my lifestyle. It was the day; I googled “Gaming Addiction” for the first time and came across stories of many people who shared very similar habits as me. (StopGaming community)
It’s been about two months I have successfully restricted the amount of time I spend gaming.
So how did I manage to achieve this?
Let’s break it down.
Step 1: Admit you are addicted to video games and are willing to take necessary steps to fix it.
Step 2: Break down your priorities
Being a student, My priorities consisted of majorly Studies, Eating healthy, Socializing, Leaning to code and hitting the GYM regularly, but my gaming habit was overshadowing everything I wanted to do.
Step 3: How much is too much?
Define your limits, How much time are you willing to spend gaming on a daily basis.
I chose to completely get rid of gaming from my schedule. I was trapped in a Skinner box and completely shutting it down was the best way out.
- I uninstalled the Fortnite, Steam, etc.
- Blocked access to any of these websites in Windows Host file.
Blocking the websites in host file is easily reversible but It is great to remind you of “The reason for why you took that step.”
Step 4: Make a three-columned tabled in a notebook
On average it takes about 67 days to make a new habit or get rid of an old one.
- Specifying the dates- Do not write the dates of next 67 days yet. Every morning open your notebook and fill out this column. This will remind you of the 67-day challenge that you have put together to change your life.
- Summaries your day in bullet points- My first day went like this.
- Gym: 1 hour
- Study: 3 hours
- I don’t game
The first day, I only managed to list 4 hours of my day. So where did the rest go? This took me into a directing of keeping a better track my time. (A great idea would be to use a time to track app on your smartphone.)
3. What you wish to do tomorrow
Everyone procrastinates but using this kind of a strategy; Your procrastination will work to your advantage.
You will most likely list a lot more things that you could do; This helps to maximize productivity for the following day.
The easiest way to get through this challenge is by not thinking about the number of days remaining. Break it down into a 67 step process; Each day gets you a step closer to your goals.
Step 5: 5 Second Rule
This is applicable in any aspect of your life. So, How does it work?
There is a difference between imagination and action. Assume, Your game time is up, It’s time to go and do other tasks, but you are in a game and how can you quit mid-game?
Start counting backward from 5 to 0. As soon as you hit “Zero” get up and shut your console (or pc) down.
Want to wake up early? Instead of hitting the snooze button, count backward from 5 to 0 and jump off the bed.
Trust me it’s an unmatched feeling when you finally get rid of your habits and regulate them the way they should be.
Some Quick Tips
- Don’t stop playing games and spend that time doing other unproductive tasks. Don’t waste all the time watching anime or Twitch and eating Doritos. (Yeah, I did that)
- Stay away from people who talk about games all the time. Hanging out with friends who talk about how they won 3 Fortnite games in a row is not a good idea.
- Find a new hobby, In this 67-day transition process, You will find yourself with a lot of free time, It’s best to have a hobby to pursue in this time. It could be reading, solving puzzles or anything. (Just don’t start gaming in this extra time)
You made it through; These are the significant steps you need to take to get hold of your gaming habit.