My son says I have an addiction. Now, I’m sure you are wondering what this could have to do with time management, because most business-minded people ascribe to the notion that playing games, either online, or on tablet or phone, is time-wasting; and has nothing at all to do with time management, especially if that person has entrepreneurial interests. I beg to disagree.
Outside of the fact that game playing has value for entertainment, social and familial interactions, certain types of games can affect your self-esteem and mindset in a very positive way. Some games are great for hand/eye coordination. Some aid in keeping your memory active. Some are challenging, and some improve speed and accuracy in details. So in my mind, there are benefits to spending some time with games with benefits like these, and I don’t see it as time wasted at all. Now, I’m not for the idea of spending all your time on distractions such as this.
However, certain types of games can empower you, and educate you. The perfect example of this is a group my son and I recently joined. We were coming from the library Sunday evening, when I glanced at the calendar reminder that had popped up on my phone. It reminded me that I had joined a meetup.com group to play the Cash Flow game originated by Robert Kiyosaki. I had searched for a group for about 3 years, but each one I found was disbanded or closed.
This group was more recent, and in my county, so since we were already in the general area where this group was meeting, I suggested to my son that we go. The group was small, but very welcoming. We were late, but the leader was more than happy to include us in the game that was already in play, and educate us as we went along. I already had an idea of what this game was about, but my son did not. Nevertheless, when we were done, he expressed some measure of surprise to me, that I was into this game. He was very interested in it, and liked the fact that the game was designed to teach us how to apply the principles to life. This game he gets.
I also play another game that he doesn’t yet see the value in. He thinks it’s an addiction. The game is Mahjong. I play this game regularly on my phone, and every time he sees me playing it, he shakes his head in disgust and tells me that he swears that I’m addicted. My rebuttal is that I don’t complain when he spends almost all his available waking hours on YouTube on his phone.
However, the time I spend on that game is in my in-between times. When I’m sitting outside some building waiting to pick my son up; when I’m sitting in a doctor’s office, or government office waiting to be seen; at very long traffic lights; while waiting to pick up a take-out order, or home watching a movie, and even bathroom time, which must be shared with my cats. I try to play a few puzzles in those times because I don’t want the main parts of my day affected.
Btw, to clarify the shared bathroom time with my cats, its “Batty-scratch” time, and I am forced into putting down my game and giving them their desired attention, love and “mayssage” (Not a typo, but how we pronounce massage for the cats). I’m sure the Cat lovers out there can relate. Sometimes, I make them wait however, because I’m trying to push through on a challenging puzzle. The app I play on my phone has multiple themes with multiple levels, and each level is timed.
For me, if I complete the level, it is not enough. I have to at least merit one star out of three, or I don’t feel I completed the level, and I have to replay it. Not only does the game have multiple themes and levels, but a variety of backgrounds, tiles and puzzle shapes that make the play on each level more challenging to beat the timer. There are patterns, and you have to try to figure out the best pattern of play to connect the tiles as quickly as possible and finish fast. I like the different shapes the puzzles can come in, and in some games you can pick different artwork for the tiles you will see in your puzzles.
Some are occasion based, topic based, and even entertainment based, like Sponge Bob or the Simpsons. I have never played the board game version of this, but I imagine it might be harder, because on the computerized apps, you can shuffle the tiles if you run out of moves. I don’t imagine that can be done on the board game. I think running out of moves would just end the game.
On the board game, I don’t think there is a timer, so one would have more time to analyze and plan their move. Also, in some levels, you will see the puzzle with tiles that are visible, but not available. You can only use tiles that are both visible, and available, meaning – no tile is on top partially or fully covering the you want to use.
If the tile is uncovered, it can be used. In some of the puzzles, it forces you to go from the outside in; and in some it forces you to select tiles from the inside out, or diagonally, including random patterns. It’s easy enough to find the matching tile when you are simply looking, even if other tiles are not available; but when you are trying to beat the timer, it’s a different thing altogether, and you have to decide what is the best move quickly.
Why do I like this? I have always liked puzzles, but the reason is because first, this challenges me. I like trying to both solving the puzzle and beating the timer. Secondly, I like the different shapes each puzzle has especially the more challenging ones. They require you to think and analyze differently, and I think it makes my focus sharper. I also like the fact that if I didn’t beat the clock and get a star; I can replay the game again. I could go ahead to the next level if I choose, but I prefer to replay it, because I want to understand how to work out that puzzle or problem and beat the timer while doing so.
Finally, I really love it because challenging myself in this way has removed a lot of fears I had within the scope of things I needed to address. The fact is that if I don’t finish well (with a star) I want to do it over and over again until I get it right and beat that timer. It makes me overcome a defeatist’s attitude in anything I am approaching, because I realize that I’m still solving the puzzle, even if it takes me longer than others or the timer. I can replay it as many times as I want to until I am satisfied that I have done it correctly and well, which means that I can learn the correct steps in completing the puzzle, and thereby getting to the end goal while improving my time.
Business-wise, I think it is opening up my thinking, because I was struggling with certain aspects of my plan and now, they don’t look so overwhelming anymore. I’ve just learned to review it, and restructure my ideas until I see a workable situation. Not only that, but I’m not afraid to try things and I’m no longer banking on just one method or approach. Its causing me to think a bit more outside the box, and I love that. I’d recommend this game to anyone who has mountains to move or challenges to overcome.