I have now been at full productivity mode for a week and have decided to provide an update on how progress is going. The first few days went well and I have a lot of progress to show for them. My musical compositions folder has been entirely reorganized and I am half way finished with transferring all of those projects from Cubase to Music Creator. For reference, I have been slowly working on this for the better part of a year and only in this last week have I felt like any progress had been made. I have also read through two books and only have a single trilogy left until I have completed my book backlog. While this doesn’t seem like a lot of work for seven days, please remember that I am a full time father of a two year old so free time is often limited for me. Without disregarding sleep I find I usual have two to three hours a day to myself. The other inhibiting factor is the unfortunate loss of my Chromebook. Without it I am now confined to writing within my free time, metaphorically linked to my desk.
There have been some setbacks to the experiment itself though. It seems that video games provided an outlet for me to preform problem solving and system mastery as well as occasionally being an activity that calms me down when I get frustrated. Without any other activity to fill these gaps in my life I have reluctantly decided to re-introduce them in controlled bursts. Pokemon Shuffle resides on my phone and allows me to have 5 minute breaks during working. Pokemon Shuffle is actually a really good game for this since it has an extremely strict energy system — wait two and a half hours for five to ten minutes of play. I have also tested allowing myself timed play sessions of online games after getting substantial work accomplished. I have tried Counter Strike: Global Offensive (2 matches of Arms Race, ~20 minutes total) and 1 match of Awesomenauts (~20 minutes) and feel this is a good balance between never playing video games and always playing video games. I am keeping an extra close eye on my playing habits though as I am already feeling myself trying to slip back into old habits. It has only been a week and I have already begun bargaining with myself to play just for a couple of minutes each day. This goal of this experiment was to find a way to be more productive with my free time. I’m hoping these tweaks will bring to a point that I am comfortable enough with to become a lifestyle change. Unfortunately, I fear this hope is what has simultaneously weakened my resolve regarding the original “no video games” requirement in the original experiment outline.