I’ve a surprising habit that makes me a better gamer, publisher and designer. It’s not illegal or deviant and almost anyone can do it.
A couple of years ago, I discovered running.
My sister had been bugging me to have a go for a year or so, but it was when my then 8-year-old ran away from me during a game of chase and I only just caught him that I realised I had to get fit.
Previously, I thought I didn’t have time for running. I was a busy chap, after all. However, I’m not a big fan of that excuse — it’s a bit like saying the dog ate my homework — so I moved my schedule around and had a go.
The first month or so was hell, as I was somewhat unfit. I downloaded the free Couch – 5K app and bravely (even heroically) soldiered on.
And then something strange happened. When I could get through a 5k run without dying, I got more productive! On the face of it, that seemed odd. After all, I was/am actually spending less time at my computer, but I’m doing more (and better) work than I was before.
Well besides the obvious advantages of running (losing weight, getting fitter, herds of Endorphins coursing through my body and so on) it turns out running was doing something else: it was resting my brain. Previously, I’d been spending so much time concentrating on work that my brain never really had time to rest.
Running puts my brain in neutral and gives my subconscious time to chew over problems or come up with ideas. For example, when I’m running down a hill in the woods in the pouring rain I’m not thinking about my latest project or the workday. I’m simply trying to get down the hill without falling over and hurting myself or looking like an idiot. (You’d be surprise how often I fail at this task…)
I also often listen to podcasts when I run—particularly when I’m not out trying to get personal bests—and these often give me great ideas for adventures, advice articles and more. (Hell, I’ve had ideas for entire product lines while running!) As an example, I went for a run today and came up with the titles and concepts for four articles (including this one) and a character build. It’s got so “bad” I’m stopping several times in every run to make notes in Evernote (another reason I find Evernote indispensable). How cool is that?
I’d highly recommend you have a go at running. Fair warning: it’s going to be really hard to start, but if you persevere you’ll be fitter, slimmer and more productive.
(Also, when the zombies come you’ll have a better chance of survival…)
Help Fellow Gamers
Have you had a similar experience? Have you taken up a hobby that makes you better at your job or gaming and gets you fitter and healthier at the same time? Share what it is in the comments below and help your fellow gamers have more fun while gaming!