While I was
trolling for blog fodder casually browsing the Internet, I came across an article ironically entitled Ten Ways to Boost Daily Productivity. Despite the time I spend in front of the computer staring at Youtube or playing vidja games, I do like to be productive. But as I read the article, two things became obvious right away. The first was that none of the information I was reading was any kind of great revelation to me. The second thing was that I kept referring everything I read back to World of Warcraft in some way, which sadly said a little too much about my state of mental well-being, or lack thereof.
So, being the
sucker for punishment helpful soul that I am, I listed the Ten Ways to Boost Daily Productivity below to help you with your productivity in day to day life. If that wasn’t enough, I then unleashed the Big Reveal – how these very same techniques can help you make the most of your World of Warcraft experience!
You’re welcome, Internet. You’re welcome.
1) Listing. It all beings with listing. If you don’t have a list, create one. If you have a rough list from the night before, the first thing to do when you sit at your desk is to sharpen the list, adding any last minute items.
- How it fits in WoW – For the people who say there is nothing to do in World of Warcraft, I swear by my pretty floral bonnet I will throat punch you. Allow me to crawl into your headplace and rewire a thought or two. It’s not that there isn’t anything to do in WoW. It’s that there is too damn much to do, and you are either in quantity overload or they are things that just don’t interest you. All I can say about that is either give something new a try, or go back to raiding/PVP/knitting your one night a week and stop bitching. But for the other few millions of players who tap this game daily, take heart as I cyber-pat you on the head and give you a sympathetic “there there, grasshopper.” It is easy to get overwhelmed by the heaping pile of stuff to do, especially if you want to have any kind of life outside the game (which I hope you do) and are online for only a limited time period (which you should be). There’s so much to do, so much you can do, that a list will help make the most of your game time.
2) Worst First. We often have one item on the list that is hanging over our head and just doesn’t seem like it will get taken care of. Step up to the plate and knock this out. The rest of the day is downhill from there.
- How it fits in WoW – Okay, take a breath because I’m going to say one word. Dailies. Calm down. Breathe in through your nose, out through the mouth. Better? Rep grinds. Now now, breathe again. Feel better? Good. I know people have developed eye twitches and neck spasms at the mere mention of those words, but dammit these are things that have to get done. Necessary evils, no matter how much you bitch about them. Get those collective pains in the ass done first, so you can chill out and enjoy the rest of your game time without that blue exclamation point hanging over your own head.
3) Just Do It. Just do those small items to help you feel more productive. They are quick and often very easy. Complete and get the big marker out to cross them off the list.
- How it fits in WoW – There are a few quick things you can do in WoW. They take a couple of minutes, and can turn out to be very beneficial for you. Hit your farm and harvest your crops for either the rep quests, motes of Harmony, or any other goodies you planted. Also, most professions have daily cooldowns, and it’s usually just a matter of getting the mats and pushing a button. Quick, easy, and sometimes a good money maker. I will take the high road and not make a “like your mom” joke here. Wait, I guess I kinda just did. Damn.
4) Make Things Enjoyable. Reward yourself with occasional breaks, music you enjoy, or even a snack. Life is short. Enjoy your work.
- How it fits in WoW – I think most of us crank the tunes or podcasts when we’re doing dailies, or whatever online chores we have set up for ourselves. When dealing with the more mindless ones, even watching a movie on another screen can help pass the time, as well as getting some “must see” viewing done. Just don’t let your
pornomovie distract you from finishing your WoW chores.
5) Peak Times. Identify the time you know are most productive (3pm coffee hour?) and set aside some tasks for that time. When this time rolls around, close your cubicle door so that it is just you and your work.
- How it fits in WoW – It’s not so much “peak time” as it is “available time”. Most folks only have a handful of free time for gaming. Early risers will sneak an hour in before the y leave for work or school. Some have a couple of hours after dinner, or homework, or once the kids are in bed. For the sake of your sanity, not to mention any relationship you are involved in, make sure there’s a balance between game time and real time. And stick to the time cap – if you set aside an hour to WoW it up, don’t stretch it into two. That’s what this productivity thing is for. Also, for the sake of those who don’t wish to constantly be the victim of stereotyping, if time needs to be cut, cut from game time not real time.
6) Pareto (80/20). Use it to your advantage. Find the items/clients/projects which are most significant and are requiring little time. Devote more time to those items.
- How it fits in WoW – Put your hand down, and close that other browser tab. To answer your question, Pareto states that “for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes”. Basically, giving you the most bang for your buck. MoP has been good with stacking dailies and rep grinds, allowing you to get valor/gold/rep all at once. Decide what you want to do that will produce the most results, and make that your focus.
7) Batching. Cluster your emailing sessions and your phone call sessions. Sort for 3-4 batches a day. This will help keep short emails and phone calls from distracting you whilst you work on your pareto items.
- How it fits in WoW – Take the garbage out. Clean the dishes. Make sure your homework is done, or that the kids are not just in bed, but in the right bed. Do these potentially distracting things before your game time so your Husband/Wife/Mom/Prison Guard doesn’t kick down your door while you’re halfway through your dailies and tell you to grab your toothbrush ‘cause Bubba done shat himself in the shower again.
8) Specialize. Focus on one single task at a time. Distractions and multitasking eat up your time. Consistently completing and crossing off tasks is encouraging and satisfying.
- How it fits in WoW – Don’t be that guy. You know, the guy who flies around looking for mining nodes, sees a pet he could battle, and when he lands and starts battling he remembers he didn’t revive his pets from a battle the other day. So he retreats from the battle, revives his pets, but is attacked by someone from the opposite faction. Because he didn’t repair his gear after the raid the other night, he gets his lunch handed to him through a straw. He then has to go find a repair vendor, and as he’s flying back to town he see the mining node he’d been looking for in the first place. This kind of thing happens all the time. Doesn’t mean it’s a very smart way to play. Just writing that out almost gave me a seizure. I had to stop to wipe the drool from the corner of my mouth. Focus. Bottom Line – Don’t’ be that guy.
9) Optimize and Reflect. As you get to the end of the day, think back on the day, identify your peak times, the most wasteful tasks and seek to keep from repeating those tasks tomorrow. Might you have been able to more efficiently complete a task? Taking the time to make a mental note of what you can do better the next time will put you on the road to continuous improvement.
- How it fits in WoW – What did you get done today? Could you have grouped things differently to get more done? If there are still items on your checklist, why did they not get done? Are you lazy, is that what this is? Did you just not want it bad enough? What the Hell is wrong with you? I thought you were hardcore, dude. I thought you were cool.
10) Re-list. At times you will not complete everything you had on your list. This is okay, add them to tomorrow’s list with a star so that they do not get rolled over a second day. By the days end you will have a rough idea of items you need to do tomorrow. Go ahead and list them. Tomorrow when you start fresh, you will be less likely to have missed any.
- How it fits in WoW – If I have to do one more daily, I’m going to rage-hump my keyboard to death. If that idea is lodged in your brain pan, maybe you might want to skip doing dailies tomorrow and instead knock off some pet battles. If you spend the time gathering mats, maybe tomorrow you should focus on your crafting professions. Write all the changes down, and get ready for another uber-efficient gaming session.
If you’re going to play World of Warcraft, you might as well get the most out of your fifteen bucks when you log in.