How to Balance Video Games and Studying – College Info Geek
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How to Balance Video Games and Studying – College Info Geek

September 23, 2019


As you can probably tell from my backdrop
and my entire room, I am a fan of playing video games, but I have a pretty complicated
relationship with video games and I can illustrate that on something I like to call the “Work/Play
Compulsion Scale”. As you can see here, it looks like a teeter
totter and if I had my priorities in order and acted in the way that I wanted to act
on a daily basis, then I would work for a certain amount of hours and then play video
games for a certain amount of hours and I would be nicely placed in the middle.
Unfortunately I find myself slanted over onto the work side and my work tends to bleed into
the time that I would want to be gaming. However, this video isn’t about my particular problem
with video gaming, it’s about the problems for the people on the other side of that teeter
totter. The people who find that video games start seeping into their work time. The time
that they should be studying or getting homework done.
If you find yourself in that area and video games are a major distraction to getting your
work done, then this video is for you and I’ve got five tips to help you start pulling
yourself more into that middle area. Tip number one and I think this is probably
the most important tip in the entire video which is why it’s going first. It’s to simply
set up an environment for studying that is only for studying. If you saw my video that
summarized Marty Lobdell’s Study Less Study Smart lecture, you’ll know that I talked about
how environmental cues and the context of the situation we’re in, actually largely defines
our behavior. One detail from the lecture that I didn’t
talk about in that video was a study done at the University of Hawaii – which actually
looks like this – where researchers wanted to figure out if they could improve students�
grades by changing their environments. They did one simple thing. They told students to
turn their desks around in their dorms toward one wall and put a sticky note labeled “Study
Area” on the lap next to their desk. The students were instructed to only use this
desk for studying and everything else, other activities had to take place somewhere else.
What do you think happened? In comparison to the control group of students who didn’t
do this, the students who did do it, had an average of 1.0 GPA increase. The action item
here for you should be pretty clear, find an area that is different from your gaming
area and do your studying there. For instance, the temptation to game out here?
Not that big. Likewise the temptation to play games in the library or a coffee shop is probably
going to be a lot less than the temptation to play games in your living room or at your
computer that has Steam installed. Tip number two is to increase the friction
involved into getting into a video game. The idea here is to increase the difficulty and
the amount of steps involved into getting into a distracting activity and basically
make doing your work the more attractive option in that case. One way that you can do this
is by actually creating a different account on your computer for work and only installing
the programs you need for work on that computer. You can also set up extensions like Stay Focused
or programs like Focal Filter to reduce the amount of distracting web browsing you do
as well. My third tip is to simply game after you’re
done working for the day. Use gaming as a reward and this kind of goes back to the concept
of high-density fun that I talked about in last week’s video. Use the anticipation of
a long gaming session later on in the day as a motivator to get your work done more
efficiently now. Tip number four is to play games that work
well with your schedule. If you’re really busy and you have a lot of studying to do,
then it might not be the best idea to get invested in a 120 hour JRPG or a super long
WoW raid. On the other hand playing a few sessions of Smash Brothers with your friends
is probably not going to suck up a whole ton of your time. Just be mindful of the real
world commitments you have and select your game accordingly.
Tip number five is my favorite tip because it’s actually fun and it’s to simply turn
your life into a game. You can actually reduce the compulsion to play lots of video games
if your life feels like a game itself. The best way to do this is to simply set goals
that are specific and that you’re actually stoked to achieve. I do this on a page on
my website called “My Impossible List” which you can find linked down in the description
actually. Basically I break my entire life down into
different sections and set goals for each one. Every time I achieve a goal, I cross
it off, but I also iterate on that goal and make something a little bit harder, so I’m
essentially leveling up in every category. You can also use tools like Fitocracy or HabitRPG
to actually track your habits and gain real stats and actually kind of play a real game
while improving your life at the same time. Hopefully you’ll find these five tips useful
enough to take gaming from an unproductive distraction to a healthy habit. If you find
that your own gaming habits are still really hard to break though, there’s actually some
online communities that I’d suggest you check out. Over on Reddit, there’s one called r/stopgaming
as well as r/nowow. There’s also a site called quitlol.com, which is specifically for people
who play League of Legends, but I think it has some useful information.
I’d also like to give a quick shout out to both some of the members in the College Info
Geek HabitRPG guild and some people over at the r/getstudying Reddit. They both helped
me flesh out the ideas for this video and I’ll link to both of them in the companion
blog post. That’s it for this video, if you’ve got any additional suggestions or experiences
of your own for making gaming less of a distracting habit, then let me know down in the comments.
Otherwise, I will see you in the next one. Hey there and thanks for watching my video
on balancing gaming and your studies. If you want to get more videos every single week
on being an awesome college student, then click that big red subscribe button right
there. Also, if you want to get a free 100+ page book on getting awesome grades, click
the picture of the book right there and I’ll send you a copy.
You can also get a summary and links to any resources I mentioned in the video by going
to the companion blog post right there and if you missed last week’s video, there’s a
clip of it playing. Lastly if you have any ideas for new videos or just want to connect,
I’m on Twitter @TomFrankly or you can leave a comment on this video. Thanks.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. One thing that I would do to focus on my studies was to unplug my PS4 and give it to my mom and say, "Hide it." She eventually did. When I would finish working, I would tell myself, "Do I really want to plug that crap in again?" My answer would be no, so I would read a book instead just to keep my mind off the PS4.

  2. Thanks for this! It feels like I can't keep up with my grades, and I get mad at myself a lot and think stuff like, "Why can't you just study? Quit playing around all the time." And it was because I would study in front of my PC where Firefox and Steam were right in front of my eyes. Thanks again, and I think this will help out a lot.

  3. I tried creating a new account and make it a child account so that I can apply windows screen time that will prevent me from.playing games but the screen time does not work. A nice feature that does not work 🙁

  4. Hello! I am a high school student now, and I do something like that – I only play on weekends, and after I've done everything I planned to do on a particular day 🙂 But your tips may be helpful when i graduate 😀 Also, I have to study for my exams now, so im going to play only 1 day / week and only few hours. But yeah, it needs some willpower to study or do other, creative stuff alone when knowing that your friends play LoL or WoW ( I am really into online gaming ). Anyway, thanks for a great video and have a nice day! 😀

  5. A new thing I do is reward myself for things I get done. for example, when I come home from work, I game for twenty minutes and then do school for hours. A good twenty minutes of witcher helps me get through four hours of studying.

  6. I want you to save me from watching YouTube videos from dawn to dusk .. The fact is that I can't even play games or either study as well ..

  7. Before going to college, I was playing video game but not daily. But since I began my studies at college I spent more time playing video game rather than studying or writing assignments. On top of that my mom pays the college fees. I have lost control over my life from being addicted to video games, even I uninstall the games, I cant even finish a week without re-installing them and download the new ones (games).
    what worries me is that, this is my opportunity to make my life better but I keep ruining it due to my addiction in video games.

    This issue makes me to hate my life and my existence in general. the worst part I'm on my third year in college, even though I do manage to pass my grades are always around 60%. since I become a college student, I cant even do good with my grades in every semester

    at times when writing or studying for my upcoming tests/examination I sometimes thinking of ceasing myself from living. i have failed once when I was younger

  8. Tipp: What helped me the most: Every monday morning i draw a chart at a whiteboard next to my my desk with three chart colums: "learn," "game," and "sport" where i mark all the time, that is spend there. By sunday evening the "game" part needs to be smaller then the "learn" and "sport." This also helps against playing boring farming games where you just waste your time grinding, because you realise how valuable your free gaming time is and you play fun games instead. 🙂

  9. One weird thing about gaming is that once I graduated high school there impact on me went down. I still love video games though. But high school is so strict about time constraints that playing an hour or so of video games every day or so was the only cool shit I had time for/access too. In college there is more time and more resources for me to do cool shit.

  10. Gaming when I have nothing else to do: "this game is meh"

    Gaming when I should work instead: "OMG this is the most FUN I've ever had!!"

  11. 02:17
    I find Switching accounts too easy…
    so i Install Linux in dual boot and try to do study related stuff in that..

  12. is there a video or can you do a video for people on the same side of the scale as you? I study full time and work psrt time. plus have 2 kids. my "game" time I hope to actually give more time to family. but I find that im highly motivated to study and work extra at home that I end up having less than an hour daily for my own children. how do I balance it a bit better

  13. I used to try to get the balance between these two. But I now have stopped playing video games and find that there are other things, such as reading and writing, that I prefer anyway.

  14. I migrated to MOBA…its pretty time saving cause you basically don't want to play it too often because if you play it too often you might find yourself in a low rank and one match is pretty long gameplay and with just one match i found it very satisfying and after that i can get back to my homeworks

  15. What about when what your studying can only be done at the college/university? for example manufacturing engineering most of the equipment used for assignments can only do at school…I went to college for manufacturing…so I got my work done at class. had tones of free time due to this…however counselors other students expected me to use that free time to do more studying…I felt I didn't need to as I was passing…so I gamed while at home…the school authorities figured I wasn't studying hard enough and created a problem so I would have to pull over nighters at the school. however overnighters in that coarse are a no go as we had to be supervised during lab time…Also in regards to the tests…I have never studied for a test in college and I usually ace them and am the first/one of the first to be done…they told me I had to study for the tests/exams more…I didn't as I felt confident in my abilities to pass the tests/exams…they then decided to hack my computer Id be doing the test on and glitch the program so features/tools of the program wouldn't work therefore making it seem like I am an idiot who needed to study more…I know it was a hacker problem because I have the sixth sense and my gut tells. me…oh I also tried multiple solutions to get the tests done but same thing happened so I quit. They also thought I should work whilst going to school however I stress and get fatigue easily so I figured focus on school…I've tried going to school whilst having a normal minimum wage job, while also getting contract/commision based work on the side I was still able to game…
    I have now come to the realization that everything is pointless and a waste of time especially college and university…

  16. How about the opposite? I am so inclined towards work that I barely have any play. Besides, I even have a problem defining "play". Could studying drawing and/or music be considered play? During my free time I end up just studying more. Is that healthy?

  17. Hey Thomas, something I would be really interested in, is how you come back to work when you got distracted at some point in time, for example with video games. I noticed, once distracted, it is like a waterfall that drags you down deeper and deeper and makes it really really hard to come back to work, and makes you think, e.g. 5 more minutes Minecraft won't hurt which then amounts to an hour. Do you have any strategies how to come back once distracted?

  18. I am now leaving all gaming. It wasn't something I did before, and I recently started playing them when I built my PC in March 2017. Rainbow six and Battlefield 1 took most of my time i.e 970 hours on r6 and about 307 hours on battlefield 1. My friends keep suggesting games to me, however, every game I play is very boring to me. Now the games that I do play have gotten boring and every time I play them I feel like a shit person for not being productive. So as of tonight before Fall semester starts on the 20th I shall not be playing games. Unfortunately, in CS and my program I.T. pretty much everyone plays games. So I will have to find another topic to relate to people on. Besides common field of study that is.

  19. I have four area:
    Number 1: fitness is in gym.
    Number 2: studying is in library. or pc.
    Number 3: my job in business.
    Number 4: games in my bedroom.

  20. Hey any tips on controlling mobile gaming. I’ve kinda have indulged in hardcore gaming on my iPad. For example Shadowverse, Granblue Fantasy, Fate Grand Order, and more. PLEASE HELP ME. They seem to interfere with college.

  21. I share my room with my brother so there's no much space and I just can't study in another room because my parents are split in remaining rooms, so I can't stay focused if I am not in my room in which I do everything.

  22. but the problem is when i do my homework then i go to play games but the next day my brain is tired off playing games so i cant concentrate on my classes anyone pls help me

  23. I'm a student studying electrical and electronic engineering. I've started my year recently and before that, i deleted all the games on my pc. Now if i have the urge to game (after i finish working), then i just play around with my arduino and make electronics projects

  24. How to stop playing video games that affect work:
    Step 1. Get scammed
    Step 2. Rage in a game of battle royal cause you got second
    Step 3. Derank or lose your rank in every competitive game you have
    Step 4. Uninstall candy crush and not saving your progress
    Step 5. Forgot your password for your favorite mmo
    Step 6. Go to work

  25. How am I supposed to play my daily 5 hours a day if I'm failing my classes and I come home at 5 pm and have to study for 3 hours and wake up at 6:30 am?

  26. fighting in a videogame… welp… HOW ABOUT FIGHTING IN REAL LIFE
    LIKE A TRUE WARRIOR i first thought learning how to fight is as important as a good education or even more important than that. maybe in the old ancient days of war but you could get killed that way its a risk of life sometimes even a waste when you could use your life to learn important concepts and the world around you…. lol fighting with a real sword in real life there are actually real sword shops but you could still get arrested for that and swords are really dangerous they are actually like long deadly knives or daggers now to modern perspective.

  27. I made a dedicated desk in my living room for gaming and entertainment, the one in my bedroom I use for everything that I consider productive, that made me have the most productive day of my life lol

  28. You know how random encounter events happen in games? Happened to randomly encounter this video which has greatly helped me for my main quest line in life! Guess all that side tracking lead me somewhere I suppose.

  29. Look hoe my routine is 90% studying and 10% video games. Not because I want to study that much but because I have to. At summer I change up my routine a little bit. 98% video games 2% all the other

  30. Turn your life into a game

    Guess I should start working on my cardio and learn how to double jump and arm myself with a shotgun,a can of soda,and a baseball bat so I can infiltrate an enemy's base to steal their intelligence.

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