Growing up is an unavoidable process; time waits for no one, and we can only learn to adapt to new changes as we strive to achieve the delicate balance between work and play. However, as our schedules become busier and responsibilities pile up with age, it gets increasingly harder to navigate this fine line. Often, we witness both teens and adults alike, experiencing burnout from overwork and lack of leisure and rest. Meanwhile, a pile of games and activities continue to backlog in the corner of the room left untouched.

Guilt-free Gaming: A Guide for the Busy Gamer

Although everyone’s schedule is different, ultimately, everyone has 24 hours in a day. While you might be unable to spend the entire day gaming to your heart’s content, this doesn’t mean that you can’t be allowed to game at all. Unsurprisingly, time management plays a huge factor in maximizing your game time efficiency. Hence, after doing considerable research, I’ve gathered a list of tips that have helped me in optimizing the few precious hours of freedom that I have to enjoy my gaming (mainly) to the fullest.

Table of Contents

(List) Guilt-Free Gaming: A Guide for the Busy Gamer

Prioritize –

This seems like a no-brainer, but if you truly want something in life, you’ll make time for it, no excuses. It’s all about organizing the priorities in your life, regardless of whether it’s responsibilities or leisure.

One mental tip that helped me sort out my priorities thus far is: don’t aim to accomplish all of your goals at one go. Attempting to accomplish all your objectives in one setting is definitely not feasible unless you have the whole day or more to do so. As a result, just as you aim to be efficient during work, you can likewise apply this same work ethic into your play. Break down and categorize your goals into the long-term and short-term. Which goals will take significantly longer time to accomplish and which are evidently much faster? Do you want to finish the story of Assassin’s Creed: Origins, or are you more interested in doing side quests instead? The best method to decide which goal is more important to you can be determined through a simple comparison between which “sparks more joy for you,” as the wise Marie Kondo once said.  Once you’ve successfully identified the short-term goals, aim to accomplish them the most first.

From there, you can easily decide on the best gameplay mode or best plan to execute in order to finish these goals most efficiently. Using this method, you’ll derive the most joy and satisfaction while making meaningful progress in your gameplay.

Make a Timetable –

Similar to how you create timetables for work, school, and social responsibilities or activities, making timetables for gaming is just as useful. This ties in with the previous paragraph because by having clear goals in mind, you’ll be able to dedicate your attention more effectively to accomplish the tasks set out. There are fewer chances for you to be distracted and sidetrack off into doing other things in the game, as tempting as they might seem at first glance.

Make a Timetable

Additionally, if you have a tendency of becoming quite animated and boisterous while gaming, scheduling appropriate timeslots to facilitate such ruckus (if you live with others or don’t want to disturb your neighbors) kills two birds with one stone: you’ll get to enjoy your gaming leisure without it being at the expense of others’ wellbeing.

Lastly, it enables better sharing of resources (computer or console) if others within the household also want a go at their own gaming session. It’s really a give-and-take process. And be sure to also equip yourself with top-notch gaming equipment like for the best experience as well.

Have a One-track Mind –

Depending on the context, having a “one-track mind” has different connotations. Sometimes it’s positive when referred to as having great focus and discipline, while it can sometimes be negative when referred to as being a poor multitasker. However, lucky for you, in the case of gaming, a one-track mind doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

Given how saturated the gaming industry is with developers continuously pumping out exciting games on a yearly basis, we completely understand the appeal of it all. With enticing titles such as Doom Eternal, Animal Crossing, and Half-Life: Alyx being released in Spring 2020, it takes a lot to keep our attention fixated on one game at a time. However, according to past studies, just under 40% of gamers ever actually finish a game that they start. This is an underwhelming percentage and admittedly so, because of the time and dedication required to finish a single game.

However, our advice still stands: focus your time on completing a game rather than abandoning it half-way for not only the best progression satisfaction but also to make your money’s worth after spending $60 on it.

Have FUN –

Even after all this thorough planning, sometimes, at the end of the day, you still might not be able to accomplish all that you’ve originally intended to. Plans are always just guidelines and are never set in stone. They’re still subject to the realities of life and its unforeseen circumstances. Some things are simply out of our control. However, this shouldn’t impede us from the primary objective of gaming — having fun.

Have FUN

If some games end up dragging on longer than you’d prefer or you’re not a fan of the mechanics, it’s completely fine. No need to beat yourself over it because of the amount of time and money invested that seemed to have gone down the drain. Instead, take it within your stride and treat it as a learning experience to better understand what kind of gamer you are and your game style. Moreover, in the future, knowing more about games prior to purchasing them through online written reviews or videos are always helpful.


As the saying goes, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. We have said this at the start, and we will end the article with it. Gaming doesn’t have to be time-consuming; neither does it have to be seen as a guilty pleasure, just as how some people like exercising or reading to relax during their free time, gaming is the same. They’re all part and parcel of achieving your desired work-life balance.