Balancing WoW with Life

90 Worgen Druid
8000
As a college student, having any hobbies outside of class can be...daunting. I recently got back into school after a year+ hiatus dealing with undiagnosed adult ADHD. I'm now going to counseling and getting the proper testing to learn the skills I need to combat my natural tendencies to be everywhere at once. I'm in a fairly prestigious university with a relatively large workload of 16 hours of class, including a language, 9 hours of work a week, living off campus with pets, being the primary cook in the apartment, mandatory time for the boyfriend (I may rope him into Wow come Black Friday), plus a host of mental activities and a desire to get back into shape. All of this, plus trying to create study habits, occasional other activities, and also a weekend D&D campaign (just playing, not running) keeps me really busy and struggling to find balance in my life.

In addition to all of this, I love playing Wow. I used to be a decent raider back in ICC, computer crapped out for Cata, but now with a new beastly desktop I can actually play. If I had time. If I knew how to balance things. So, my question for the forums- how do you balance Wow with a full schedule? Do you have any tips how I can turn it into a constructive activity instead of a distracting one? I want to keep my favorite hobby in my life, and as something that enhances it instead of impairing it.
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91 Blood Elf Paladin
11335
I just stopped caring about WoW.

There is a lot of things out there that you can do on a irregular schedule. If you want to raid there is LFR. Dailies up the wazoo, and LFD of course. Pet battles as well.

Its just if you want to be in a core raiding group and do normal and above content or PvP competitively you need to find like minded people who fit your schedule. That can be hard if you are like me going to evening classes. I can't raid for that reason plus I've kind of lost interest in spending ungodly amounts of time just to be geared.
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90 Human Paladin
9475
WoW's a time-sink, bottom line. If you want to keep things balanced, you either need to find a guild that raids very little, or you'd need to pretty much cutting raiding altogether. Other than that, you need to keep tabs on how much you're playing each night and how much playtime you can really afford.
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90 Pandaren Warrior
5725
I currently manage 18 credit hours and a part time job, along with spending time with my fiance, who if anyone can suggest a way to get her into wow, please... let me know! and I just dont have time for raiding. Its a bum deal, but after college the raids will still be there... I mean vanilla raids are there and on the weekends I partake in a Ragnaros and an occasional Ulduar...
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85 Night Elf Rogue
5895
Schedule your fun. Fun is important, and if you don't put time aside for it, it will be pushed. Then, when you finally get to it, you'll binge.

When my schedule was hectic, I would use the in-game timer so that I wouldn't get carried away. If I was going to play WoW right before bed, I'd make sure to participate in a low-key activity so I wouldn't get amped up.

Also, be realistic when you are assessing your schedule. You may have time for WoW, you may not have time for certain activities within WoW. Find a guild with like minded individuals that have or understand complex schedules. Nothing more stressful than a guild that doesn't understand why you have to go study now. Your guild should support your endeavors, not try to tear them down.

1st step: actually figure out how much down-time you have.

Good luck!
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90 Worgen Druid
8000
I'm actually really lucky to have an awesome guild that I've made several irl friends with, even if long distance. They know not to expect me to raid, that I'm only a social now, so at least that is not an issue. As for being realistic, it is hard, since part of me wants to 'super perform' at everything I do, while mostly I just fly by the seat of my pants. I've been making schedules trying to make sure I'm getting enough study time in, and looking at the hours of study per week. Maybe I should look at the hours of fun per week as well, see how balanced things are to try and prioritize...
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100 Orc Death Knight
14520
I'm not sure how WoW, relative to life, can be a constructive activity. Well, outside of those rare "using WoW to learn" special needs type stories I've heard on the news. For the average individual, it's just a fun distraction. I don't see a fun distraction as a bad thing, but that's what it is.

You should figure out, approximately, how much time you need to devote to the really important things (school, work, relationships), and see how much time or when you have for games (WoW, D&D, etc). Then prioritize the gaming relative to other games during that free time. For people with a week life (work / school), the weekend is usually prime game time, you may have to choose WoW or D&D to focus on during that time.

Though, if you're just looking to get a half hour in here or there, then LFD/LFR/Pet Battles.
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100 Human Mage
11355
Just treat WoW kinda like most people think of TV - you do when there isn't anything more important to do (which, admittedly, is pretty rare for most of us).

Trick is to put it on the absolute bottom of the priority list. Do that, and you'll have fun with no problems.
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I just stopped caring about WoW.

There is a lot of things out there that you can do on a irregular schedule. If you want to raid there is LFR. Dailies up the wazoo, and LFD of course. Pet battles as well.

Its just if you want to be in a core raiding group and do normal and above content or PvP competitively you need to find like minded people who fit your schedule. That can be hard if you are like me going to evening classes. I can't raid for that reason plus I've kind of lost interest in spending ungodly amounts of time just to be geared.


This guy pretty much hit the nail on the head.
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1 Human Mage
0
people study in college?
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89 Human Warlock
8785
If you go to a prestigious university, I would just recommend quitting. I was an engineering major at one and even having only 15 credit hours, the workload is almost 3 times as much as it was in a community college. It also depends on how smart you are and how much self-control you have. There were some very very smart kids at my school who still managed to pull a 3.7+ GPA even while playing an MMO. Just always put studying first as your priority and don't play WoW until you're done with everything.
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100 Human Priest
7600
Some days, it gets scheduled. Most days, I do everything else that I need to do first and then I get to play WoW. You just have to have the willpower to turn off the game when it's time to turn it off. Good for you if you have it, as a college student I did not.

Don't raid. I did try raiding for a little bit back in Wrath, but I like the freedom of being able to blow off gaming if something that I'd rather do is happening in RL.
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90 Worgen Druid
8000
I suppose my biggest issue is transitioning from the raider mindset into the more relaxed mindset. I mean, I'll be honest, I don't expect to hardcore raid for a while, if ever again. Even at a low level of commitment, I don't have time to set aside 9 hours a week.

So, do you think Wow could be placed as a 'fun time reward'? As in, I got 2 hours of reading done, I have an hour break, I get to do 2 randoms or 2 bgs or 30 minutes of questing/dailies. OR should it be reserved for once all the work is done, and the breaks I have to take during study time to help regain focus should be used for a different, less consuming hobby, like trying to learn to knit and doing a few rows of stitches, or a half hour yoga break or a few rounds of ddr or tekken on the ps2, for a few random things I can do around the apartment?
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90 Worgen Druid
8000
Also, how realistic would it be to try and get into pvp, if not necessarily rated then just doing a fair amount of bgs on the weekend? Does one have to spend as much time in pvp gear griding as raiding, for time commitment?
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MVP
100 Night Elf Priest
12350
As absurd as it might sound - just don't care about progression.

I mean sure, work towards upgrades and all that - but don't chase progression for its own sake. It's just going to reset eventually anyway, and you'll end up one of the angsty cynics upset that your 'hard work' is being 'given to the casuals'.

So just don't care - play for fun. Take breaks.

Things are always sweeter when you don't eat them all the time.
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90 Worgen Druid
8000


Things are always sweeter when you don't eat them all the time.


I like that! It reminds me of how a dark chocolate miniature often tastes better than eating a huge candy bar. Just enough to excite the taste buds, but not enough to make you feel miserable with yourself.
Edited by Nymphadora on 10/9/2012 1:27 PM PDT
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100 Human Priest
7600
So, do you think Wow could be placed as a 'fun time reward'? As in, I got 2 hours of reading done, I have an hour break, I get to do 2 randoms or 2 bgs or 30 minutes of questing/dailies. OR should it be reserved for once all the work is done, and the breaks I have to take during study time to help regain focus should be used for a different, less consuming hobby, like trying to learn to knit and doing a few rows of stitches, or a half hour yoga break or a few rounds of ddr or tekken on the ps2, for a few random things I can do around the apartment?


That depends on whether you feel you can or not. This is just me, but I already know there's no such thing as "just two randoms" or "let me just sit here for 30 minutes". Once my behind is in that chair, I know I'm probably not getting up unless I either have to go do something else or I'm tired. So I either do everything that I need to do first or purposefully put WoW time in front of something else that I've planned to do. Like going grocery shopping, since I have to eat.

If I only have a small amount of time to do something, I'd pick another hobby that's not as addicting. Knitting is fun, btw.
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90 Worgen Druid
8000


If I only have a small amount of time to do something, I'd pick another hobby that's not as addicting. Knitting is fun, btw.


I'm trying to learn how, since I love creating things and I need a 'de-stresser'. I just have to not stress out when not having perfect stitches starting out. >.> I have a pretty deep cerulean yarn I want to make a hat out of...love those tight fitting knit hats!

As for self control...yeah, I don't have that right now. Perhaps, after getting better habits under my belt and getting better at scheduling my time, I can put Wow into those smaller areas. I'll try and play it safe for now, especially for this insane week of quizzes and tests and midterms and...you get the point lol.
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90 Tauren Paladin
5130
10/09/2012 01:21 PMPosted by Nymphadora
Also, how realistic would it be to try and get into pvp, if not necessarily rated then just doing a fair amount of bgs on the weekend? Does one have to spend as much time in pvp gear griding as raiding, for time commitment?


Yeah, doing regular BGs and heroic 5 mans is casual friendly. Not a huge timesink and you play when it fits your schedule.

TBH, since you mentioned getting back into shape is a goal, maybe put wow on hold and join a gym instead :)
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