Win procrastination gaming addiction

You all certainly know the phenomenon of procrastination. Psychological inability to leave the comfort zone and start doing something here and now ate a lot of man-hours for representatives of various professions. Under her influence, not doing any work or leisure, but only some aimless exercise like surfing the net, we earn only extra stress. This is a story about how one random idea allowed me not only to get rid of this problem, but also to increase my productivity to a level I could only dream of.

There is a category of projects with which procrastination probably causes the greatest possible damage. This, of course, is about our own projects that are not yet profitable or do not imply any profits at all. When you have no deadline, no income, no obligation to anyone, it is very easy to postpone the job until later, and you don’t want to touch it. That was the project for me, my attempt to hit indie game dev.

Initially, the work on the game was tied in time to my main work. Its specificity was such that between the performance of work duties remained quite a lot of free time, which was used without any problems for writing code and animating characters. But with the transition to a more serious position and another schedule of such an opportunity, I lost. I had to allocate time for the game at leisure, in my spare time from work and entertainment, regularity was disrupted and as a result I once found out that I had been busy for four months in total by the strength of twenty hours.

With this it was necessary to urgently do something. Drawing attention to the fact that the problem is not so much development as such, but the “first step”, I came up with the idea of ​​trying to devote at least 10 hours a week to development and start keeping track of time spent on it. Thus, I expected to eliminate the problem of the “first step” - to develop a habit, to include work on the game in my comfort zone. I also hoped for my addiction to video games. Almost any game in one form or another encourages the player to complete some game goals, be it just the statistics of frags or headshots, or the characteristics of the character being pumped. Over time, the gamer develops some psychological dependence on all of this, the need for better statistics, further pumping, earning achievements, and so on. This is what I expected to use.

As a result, the following table appeared: the time


allocated for different types of activity was summed up in the final column, and the difference with the weekly plan, positive or negative, was transferred to the next week.

At first, I myself could not believe that it would work at all, at least on such a lazy person like me. The first two weeks I managed to fulfill the plan, but the next four left me in the red for 11 extra hours. However, 49 hours in 6 weeks was clearly better than nothing. The idea worked. I began to notice in my desire to work simply in order to finish the number of hours a day or a week to a certain value - the gaming instinct joined in. Over the next few months, 16 hours became the worst flaw, and in two weeks of work leave I was able to reduce it to negative values.

Over time, work on the game really became a habit. At the end of last year, processing for 2-8 hours a week became the norm, which is why in the new year I increased the plan to 14 hours, at the same time having slightly modified the table:


As you can see, I pounced on a new plan with even more frenzy, and in fact, I could easily increase it to 20 hours. Partly contributed to the translation of statistics for minutes instead of hours - in the previous version of the table I tied to intervals of 6 minutes, trying to start a regular work session so that the number of minutes per hour was a multiple of this interval, for convenience of calculation, as a result, all the same periodically postponing work for later, even for a couple of minutes. The introduction of the annual plan and the constant observation of the percentage of its implementation also played a role. In addition, the figure at 14 o'clock gave a clear daily plan at 2 o'clock, which also added motivation.

Thus, using the same mechanisms that cause gaming addiction, I got addicted to working on my project. And this is really an addiction - once I tried to take a break for a week - I fell through after four days. And I almost stopped playing - there is no time.

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