5 Games That’ll Make You Rethink Your Time Management

5 Games That’ll Make You Rethink Your Time Management

Time is life’s most precious resource, and every day I’m glad I spend it on League of Legends.

Video games have been great at simulating real-life experiences, and help players find creative solutions to problems. From learning what life is like for the average taxi driver, to what it would be like to be a medieval potion seller. Some will even teach you how to build a computer. But on top of problem solving, video games are a great place to learn how to manage your time.

Learning how to do the most in a day before it hits night, talking to all your in-game friends before you run out of time, and preparing before a big event, these are all micro-decisions we make every day in our own lives.

Think back to how we used to balance university, parties, a part-time job and homework, it almost feels like a distant memory. Thankfully some universities are making this easier. For example, Victoria University offers a unique teaching model called the VU Block Model®, offering students the ability to study one subject at a time in four-week blocks.

All classes in the VU Block Model® are interactive, meaning you get that one-to-one support from a teacher and you don’t have to sit through lectures with someone’s gaming laptop fan blaring the whole time. Classes are three hours long, across three days, meaning you’ll get to have more flexibility throughout the week, letting you plan around your classes.

Here are some of the best video games that will make you reconsider how you block out your day.

Persona (Series)

Honestly, any game from the Persona series would slot in here. Each game is built around choosing how to spend your day, as you navigate the double life of being a student and fighting cursed monsters.

In the Persona series, you spread out days building friendships with your fellow classmates, attending classes, balancing a healthy diet of courage-boosting burgers and readying yourself for battle. It’s just like real life.

After spending enough time with the game, and getting a handle on how it manages time, your brain will automatically start problem-solving the most efficient ways to spend time during the day and to maximise how much you can do before nightfall.

If you’re like me, you might even start to think of days in similar morning, afternoon, evening and night blocks, and start arranging your days to a similar structure.

Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley is the quintessential game that you’ll start playing at 8PM and then you’ll look up at your clock and it’ll suddenly be 3AM. Ironically, this game has a lot to say about balancing your day, and making sure you get a good night’s sleep.

In Stardew Valley, you run the farm in a small isolated town. From day one, you’ll need to think about what you want to do in a day and how quickly it’ll take you.

There’s no end to the mountain of activities that you’ll have to complete. From cleaning up your farm, planting crops, talking to the townspeople, clearing the mines, fishing, finding lost items, I could go on. The catch is that you have to be back in bed by midnight to have a good rest, and if you’re still outside after 2:00am, you’ll collapse and lose a bunch of money.

Seasons also play a part in the game. You’ll have around 30 days to reap the most crops you can in a season before a fresh one starts. When the season cycle restarts, all your current planted crops die, and you have a hard reset. This means to get the most out of the game, you have to be thinking long-term on how every action benefits you until the future.

For an added round of stress, after an entire year of managing the farm, the ghost of your Grandpa will return to judge you and the progress you’ve made.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, you play as Byleth, a teacher at the fantasy academy, Garreg Mach.

The game lets you embrace the role as a teacher, meaning you’re not only thinking about how to max out your time in a day, but also manage your students’ personal growth.

Every month you’ll have “rest days” before the big combat encounter. On these rest days, you can choose to roam around and build stronger connections with the students. You can also choose to run combat drills to squeeze in some extra levels before the big fight. Or you can dedicate time to lessons if you want to quickly level up some skills.

Even when free roaming, you’ll be given an amount of activities you can do in the day. Whether that’s competing in tournaments, receiving lessons from other teachers in certain weapons or skills, cooking with your students, or inviting people over for tea, everything uses up a resource.

Without realising it, you’ll start to plan out your in-game month, putting days in blocks and considering how you can talk to as many people as you can, while also learning as much as possible. If that doesn’t sound like University, I don’t know what does.

Outer Wilds

Everyone remembers their first day in Outer Wilds. If you haven’t played the game before, spoilers ahead. (Play the game).

Outer Wilds is a game that takes place in a closed time loop. Every day after 22 minutes of in-game time, the sun will explode, destroying the universe. In this short span of time, you’ll have to explore worlds to uncover why the sun keeps exploding, and how to stop it.

Thankfully, each time you discover a secret about the world, and slowly unravel the mystery, it’s logged into your computer. So every day you’re making progress and learning more. But, everything that happens in the day works on its own internal clock, meaning something is always happening somewhere.

For example, one planet is made of sand that shifts revealing caves and hidden objects during different times of the day. If you miss the opening, you’ll have to reset the day to try again. Another is at the start, you’ll notice a ship rushing across the sun at the start of the day. To catch it, you’ll have to launch yourself at a specific angle, on a specific time of day to board it and learn more about it.

What I love about Outer Wilds is that it teaches you how to make the most out of the day, but that no day is ever truly wasted, and there’s always a tomorrow.

The Longing

All of the video games I’ve mentioned so far have you balancing tasks in a day, with a cap on how much you can do. However, The Longing subverts this and instead forces you to spend an agonising amount of time in between tasks just waiting.

In the game, you play a Shade, waiting for your master to awaken after 400 days. That’s 400 real-life days, by the way. You’ll spend countless hours in this game alone in your head, left to think about everything you wish you were doing instead, everything you could be doing with your time during the day instead.

It’s a sobering reminder of how precious time is, and how much we actually have to do the things we want to do.

If you’d like to take charge of your learning and make more room in the day, check out the VU Block Model® method to see if it’s for you.

Applications are now open if you’d like to get started learning soon.

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