Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The Space Between :: The Bucket

Are you sitting comfortably? Then let us begin...

An online game should be no place for management speak; for most of us its the place we go to escape the issues of real life and organisation and all of those horrible, yukky things that we're forced to deal with thanks to Reality. However, what Pandaria has taught me (and many others) is that managing your online time effectively is actually a skill from the real world we could do a lot worse than grasp to complete our gaming goals too. I'm not going to tell you what to pick here as actual Bucket List options, by the way. That's your part of the deal, and you'll need to bring your specific goals to the table. If you're stuck for ideas in that department, you'll need to see the next part of the Guide, where I'll be happy to offer you some of the more obscure things in game to achieve before Warlords arrives

For now therefore we will consider our Bucket Lists with some caveats, and begin to grasp some basic fundamentals of Online Time Management [TM]


1. Organise your Priorities. 

Most people's Bucket Lists start as vague, indistinct entities: I'd like to finish that, and I could grind this... what you need is to decide WHAT MATTERS THE MOST. In my case, I'm going to complete the Mogs on my characters, then I'm going to level my priest and my other 85's to 90. I also have Dungeon Achievements I can do, plus grinding for the Alani Mount in the Vale. I don't want to commit myself to any more than that at this stage either, I just need to be clear in my own mind what there is to do that is realistically achievable in the time I have available. Once you have a clear grasp of your priorities it becomes far easier to organise your time effectively.

Nothing to see here, move along... ^^

2. Make a DAILY Bucket List.

This may sound odd, but this is why you were asked to bring a pad and paper with you. Every day, when you sit down to play, you need to write out what you want to do. This helps to reinforce the desire to get things done in your brain, and to encourage you to keep trying to complete what you've started. If you can TRY to cross at least one item off your list per day that is fabulous, but with bigger goals that might not be feasible, so try breaking those goals down into smaller, more manageable sections. For instance, you could write:

  • Finish Quests for Loremaster of Pandaria.

as your ultimate aim or, to make yourself feel like you're making progress, you could do it as follows:

Loremaster of Pandaria:

  • Finish Dread Wastes Quests
  • Finish Karasarang Wilds Quests
  • Finish Townlong Steppes Quests

as you're far more likely to tick at least *something* off in a session with those goals broken down even further. De-constructing items into manageable segments is the key, and remember to cross them off when you've done them.


3. Don't be Rigid in Your Thinking.

If one of your Bucket List items is grabbing the Time Lost Proto Drake, you'll need to know about picking your moments. Sometimes it is true, simply camping a spot and waiting is all you can reasonably do in the game to get what you want. However, the *smart* camper knows the best spawn point, knows to look for Vyragosa's spawn first... and to be patient beyond words. Yes, if you're lucky this will eventually get your reward for you but in 95% of cases in game, you'll also get bored stupid and lose all focus. So, this bullet point suggests that actually, if one of the items in your list is unrealistic, move on to another.

If someone else is clearly camping spawns for Glorious! this is probably the time to go pick something else from your list to do, because this will maintain momentum and stop you ending your time on line with that 'I got nothing done because everything was camped' feeling. Goals are moveable, if you have enough of them and you are prepared to be flexible. Insisting you cannot start one thing until you have finished another is good in principle, but can be disappointing in reality, especially in Azeroth. Don't find excuses for why you can't complete something: make things happen with your own impetus and enthusiasm.

It's a fair kop, guv.

4. Don't Let You Be the Issue.

Yeah, that last point above. Half the problem with getting stuff done is you. It's not the guy camping your spawn, or the quest item that won't drop, IT IS YOUR ATTITUDE to these things that matters more. If you want to complete your goals you will need to commit to the endeavour. Make the time to let this happen, take yourself away from distractions like Facebook and Twitter and really concentrate on what needs to be done. If you only have limited time, pick a sensible timescale and only use that as your start point. I will deliberately farm in one hour blocks, for instance, knowing I must maximise every minute I have as a result. It is amazing what you can achieve if you know you are on a timer that you won't extend.

The other factor here is knowing if it is a good time to play to begin with. If you are unhappy or uncomfortable in Azeroth, stop and walk away. You will do far more damage to your long term plans if you force yourself into playing because you feel obliged to complete a task. Unlike work, this is supposed to be fun, so make sure you feel that way when you begin. Otherwise, fun will begin to feel like a job.

I think the Cat from the graphic above's looking at me funny...

5. There is a Better Way.

Even the most brilliant of players can sometimes benefit from the concept of the strategic rethink. The same goes for the way you farm, or the routes you take to look for spawns. A quick glance on Wowhead for instance and installing an addon like TomTom or Handy Notes can make the process of finding spawns considerably simpler, for the use of a few minutes of time to plan. The smart Bucket Lister will use the tools available to them to improve not simply their quality of life, but to save time they can then utilise finishing another item on their schedule.

Never think there is one way to farm a rare. There are always alternatives to simply camping a spot and waiting.


6. Aaaand BREATHE.

Finally, and most importantly, DON'T STRESS. It's only a game, it doesn't matter, and if it all goes wrong today there is always tomorrow. Yes, I KNOW how trite and cheesy that sounds but guess what? 100% accurate. Do what you can. Be realistic. Most importantly of all, if it all gets to you, go find a bucket of tea and something nice to eat and just take a moment. It'll all still be there when you come back to it.


So, with this in mind, I suggest you go make your List whilst in the next part of the Guide I suggest to those with no idea of what to do some possible options. After that, we'll meet back here after Lunch and then it's down to the nitty gritty.


1 comment:

Ross F. said...

I created a "bucket list" at the start of this expansion filled with modest goals. A few weeks ago I finished one of the larger goals, and the bucket list was about 90% complete. I felt that "it was done" at that point and have taken a break from logging in outside of guild activities.

I'm sure that before the expansion drops I'll have another list created---it's just the way I am!