Why I’m saying no to video games in 2017

Productivity

Okay, I’ve got a problem and maybe you do too: I feel crunched for time.

I want 2017 to be the best year ever. I’ve written down goals, like writing a weekly articles, taking my family on nature walks, praying for my church family consistently, etc. Prayer and family time I can manage, but where do I find the time to work on my platform and business?

I discovered an easy, but heartbreaking answer: I would say yes to the best things by saying no to good things like video games.

“It’s so easy, when you know the rules… play the game” – Queen

Leaving Games Ain’t Easy

If you know me, you know I’m no video game hater. I love video games. In fact, I’m planning a series of posts on how you can improve your website’s user experience by studying some classic Nintendo games, but that’s for next week. Anyway, you get the point: I really love playing video games.

But a few months ago I audited how much time I was spending playing video games. I discovered I spent roughly 15-20 hours a week either collecting coins, hearts, rupees and energy tanks. That loss of productive time concerned me, but I dismissed it with excuses like “Well, it’s my way to unwind, and it’s either that or watch TV, etc.”

Getting Back to My Platform

Last week, I went on and on about how great Platform University is, so much you might have thought it was an infomercial. But, did you know that I hit a major slump in my participation almost immediately?

Shortly after enrolling in Platform University, I took another full-time job which meant major changes to my schedule. I then let my studies fall to the wayside. Oddly enough, I still had plenty of time to play video games. After all, getting armor upgrades and gold by whipping zombies is so much easier than actually producing something of value.

You CAN Build a Business with only 15 hours a Week

A few months later after giving up on Platform University (while still scoring high on my assortment of games), I heard Dan Miller on the 48 Days Radio Show advising a listener on how to start a side business in 15 hours a week. The listener was spending all of his or her time attending conferences and learning this and learning that, but not actually doing anything. Dan suggested the listener stop focusing only on learning but divide time based on a 15-hour schedule:

  1. Learning: 3 hours of getting new information
  2. Creating: 5 hours of creating content, such as articles, videos, courses, etc.
  3. Serving: 4 hours of working directly with clients
  4. Marketing: 3 hours of promoting your brand

I’ve learned so much that I don’t know to do!

After hearing that, I jumped out of my car seat and said “Wait, I can do that! I can squeeze out 15 hours a week!” Also Dan’s advice brought to mind something I was doing myself: focusing all of time on learning and none on application.

You see, video games are easy. You just press some buttons and usually win. Endless learning and watching tutorial videos are easy too. The difficult part comes with applying what you’ve learned.

“Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” – James 1:22

I’m a great hearer! I can listen to podcasts, watch tutorials, but fail to do anything my virtual teachers tell me to do, deceiving myself into thinking I’m accomplishing something productive. In essence, life was a video game to me.

Sorry Aaron, but the princess is in the other castle

So then I knew what I needed to do: I needed to say no to video games to make this work. I can choose to waste 15 hours a week playing Super Mario Run or I can choose to invest the same amount of time in developing a platform and creating a profitable business to support my family.

Speaking of video games, next week I’m planning a three-part series about how video games can help you give a better user experience on your website. Whether you’re a UX nerd or video game nerd, or not a nerd at all, you won’t want to miss it.