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Student life is tough, and more often than not, it’s easy to find a distraction. Whether it’s going down the YouTube rabbit hole, browsing Canadian online casino reviews, or mindlessly scrolling through social media apps, we’ve all been there. However, for many scholars, gaming is the biggest procrastination temptation.

There’s a couple of tricks that you can learn on how to play video games responsibly and maintain the work-play balance. Neglecting your studies will prove disastrous when exam season arrives, so get into the early habit of stability.

Kevin Cochran, our author, graduated at the top of his class when he was a student. He’s also a long-time gamer, making him the best possible person to show us how to balance video games and life. If you’d like to learn more about him, you can do so here

Make a Conscious Decision

When you have a free afternoon or anytime outside of class, the common question is, “Should I play games or study?” Many students will opt for the former, but it can become a problem when maintaining the habit.

The first step in achieving a balance is to make a conscious decision that video gaming isn’t a productive nor an essential task. However, that doesn’t mean you should cut it out completely. When you categorize gaming this way, you actively note prioritizing assignments and studying and that they need your attention.

Set Up a Designated Study Area

A technique that’s seen success across many universities and students is creating a designated study area. Set up a desk and create an environment to improve productivity. Don’t use this table and place for anything other than studying.

When you’ve decided on the space, ensure that it’s ready with everything you need. You’ll want to ensure that all electronic and gaming devices are out of sight. When you can’t see your console’s distraction, you start achieving the balance between studying and gaming.

Decide On a Gaming Time-Window

Another tip on how to balance between games and studies is to set a time-frame for gaming. You can decide on the length and when the optimal time would be. You can also opt to select how many matches you’ll play instead of a time-frame.

This trick takes discipline because it’s way too tempting to play just one more. However, there are ways around it. Set a time or an alarm in a separate part of the room or house. This will force you to get up and acknowledge that your time is up. Alternatively, you can ask a non-gaming friend to call you, ensuring you get up and take accountability.

Treat gaming time as a reward that you need to work for, whether it’s a treat at the end of the day or a full-on afternoon on a Sunday. 

Add Steps to Access Your Games

If your gaming system remains your kryptonite and you find yourself caving in to the temptation, try making it more difficult to access your games. You can do this by using a spare desktop if you have one or create a separate gaming profile on your computer.

Set passwords and various obstacles so that it becomes an effort to access games. Alternatively, you can pack your console and equipment in a separate room or hard to reach space. The aim is to make study work a more accessible option.

Pomodoro Technique

One of my favorite productivity methods is the Pomodoro Technique. All you need to do is set a timer for 25 minutes, and during that time, you work and study continuously. When the chime goes off, take a five-minute break. Make some coffee, take a brisk walk, play a quick mobile game, but get up and move away from your desk. 

After the break, set the timer again and repeat the process. After the fourth round, take an extended break (30 – 45 minutes) and keep your mind off academics. This is an ideal time to play a few games before you buckle in and do another round of Pomodoros.


Gaming is an easy escape for many students, but it shouldn’t distract from academics. Learning how to balance video games and life will help you achieve good grades while ensuring you get in a few matches here and there.