This is a guest post. All thoughts and opinions are those of its authors and do not reflect the thoughts or opinions of Techaeris or its staff.
COVID-19 has created a unique and very difficult situation in the world. It is an unprecedented pandemic that has been compared with the Spanish flu and the Black Plague. In this context, for most students, video gaming has become a way to escape. But it is also necessary to study in order to keep the learning process flowing. How do you combine these two activities in the middle of a pandemic? We’ll try and answer that in this article.
Productivity in times of pandemic
Some media have made the public believe that being productive in this preventive isolation is a piece of cake and that everyone should be taking advantage of this “free time” to learn something new or do the things that they have been postponing. It is true that it’s possible to make the best of this isolation, but to see it as “free time” and expect that all people will be more productive is a big mistake.
We are currently facing a world pandemic. It is no small thing and life is almost paused: schools are closed and students are studying at home, people are working from home, hospitals are crowded with cases of COVID-19, media tells us that people shouldn’t be going out of their houses even to take the dog for a walk! It is a complex situation that generates stress and anxiety in everyone. And stress is not a friend of productivity.
Each one has a different way to face stress and anxiety, and for a large part of the young population, the best way to let the pressure go is by video gaming. It is necessary to get into context and understand that for many, playing video games in this situation is an escape from the hard reality the world is currently experiencing.
Video gaming and studying: how to combine both?
Studying at home has a lot of competition when it is faced with video gaming. Most students won’t prefer to spend their days at home studying, but there is no choice. This quarantine has forced everyone to stay home, but life, including education, has to go on somehow. The solution is not to focus only on the homework and books and completely ignore your video game console or your PC. There are ways to find a balance between these two and enjoy gaming while keeping your education going. Here are some things you can do to manage both:
- Make a schedule. During quarantine or preventive isolation, it is easy to lose track of time. A good way to keep your time and tasks organized is to make a schedule. In it you should annotate all the things you need to do and set a time to do them. That way, you won’t feel overwhelmed and you will have time to both study and play. The most important thing about a schedule is to stick to it. You can have a perfect schedule, but if you don’t follow it, then it won’t be useful.
- Use your video gaming passion as inspiration. Essays about video games are always interesting and, written from the perspective of a gamer, offer a great point of view. If you don’t know where to start, you can look on the internet for websites that suggest video games research topics. On these sites, you can find a good example of what you can do, often for free.
- Use gaming as a reward. Let’s not fool ourselves. For most people, video gaming is more fun than studying. So, you can use gaming as motivation! Establish your study goals for the day and define the amount of time you will be gaming after you finish studying. You will “cheat” your brain by giving it a reason to get through homework faster.
- Never start a video game before studying! This might seem inconsequential but actually can make the difference. If you fall into the temptation of beginning a video game before doing the studying you need to do, it will be almost impossible to stop the game. This is because having to stop to go and pick up a book will feel like torture to your brain. So, you will be in some kind of denial and procrastinate until night comes and it is too late to study.
- Take a day off from both gaming and studying. Yes, studying and gaming are important, but there is more in life that these two things. You need to make room to do other activities that will keep your mental health in good shape and that will keep you from feeling loaded. Vary the things you do, and you won’t get tired.
What else to keep your mind sharp?
Being in quarantine with the constant fear of the invisible threat that COVID-19 represents can make anyone go kind of crazy. Video gaming and studying at home aren’t enough to fight it. To help, we have some suggestions for other activities you can do to help yourself be distracted from the tense situation the world is living.
- Exercise. This is paramount for both your mind and your body’s health. There are countless apps focused on helping people do simple exercises at home. Give some of them a try!
- Read. Books, Twitter threads, online articles, newspapers, blogs… read anything, but read. Reading is a sample of a healthy activity that will keep your brain at work.
- Make video calls with your friends. Social isolation means to keep physical distance, but that does not mean to stop having contact with the outside world. Organize video calls with your friends, it can be really helpful.
- Learn something new. You could start learning a new language or acquiring a new skill. Make sure that it is something that you feel passionate about so that it won’t feel like homework.
- Take care of yourself. You can have a spa day at home and pamper yourself.
- Watch films and series. There are many streaming companies that offer a world of audiovisual content, and it is at the reach of your computer.
It is important to remember that this quarantine is not a long vacation nor a productivity competition, this isolation is due to a global crisis and the stakes are high. The tension we are living permeates in all of us. In the middle of it, it’s normal that anxiety, depression, and stress make an appearance. It is necessary to stay active in order to have good mental health, but don’t feel bad if tomorrow you wake up and all you want to do is video gaming. One day of not being productive might be what you need.