Life catches up with everyone at some point, be it a full-time job, children, or other responsibilities that pile up as we grow up. Every time you sit down to play, something else requires your immediate attention, and instead of adventuring in God of War Ragnarök you adventure to work, and then you realize the simple truth: you don’t have time for video games anymore.
With your free time gone forever, how do you find time for gaming with a full-time job or a family? How do adults find time for anything?
Luckily for you, it’s a common problem, and it can be solved. An all-ways-of-life team from All in! Games will share their habits and tips with you. Too many? Click here for a tldr version or scroll down to the bottom!
Event Manager: full-time job, married, parent of two
Scheduling is the key to finding time for video games. I work in a video game company, and sometimes I play at work, too. Another habit I developed is letting children watch as I do something family-friendly in a game, such as exploring in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. It’s fun for them, I have my gaming time, and everyone is happy.
Senior Producer: full-time job, married, parent of one, has a dog
In addition to my daily chores, I live in a village, and a trip to town takes around half an hour one way. As I spend a lot of time with my family, it leaves me only about 2-3 hours to play in the evening and on weekends when my son is asleep, so about 8-10 hours a week. That’s why I gave up on playing long AAA titles in favor of more varied and novel indie games. If I really want to stay up to date, I watch gameplay videos instead. I also stopped playing games which take more than 8-10 hours of the main story to finish, and my playstyle has changed—I used to be a completionist, but now I don’t do all side quests.
I’m lucky to have a wife who understands that gaming is important to me, and she sometimes plays with me in co-op. I can meet my friends in multiplayer games, too, as many of them are from other cities. I’m usually bad at long-distance relationships, but playing together helps me stay in touch in a natural way.
Social Media and Community Manager: full-time job
My method to find time for video games is to schedule gaming time on the same list as my chores in the Todoist app. Instead of wondering what else I should do today, I just go with the list. Usually, I aim to play two games at the same time and launch them in turns every other day.
During the week, my daily playtime can be two hours, and longer on the weekends. Multiplayer titles are also great for short sessions. If I don’t feel like it, I simply don’t play at all, no pressure. In addition, it helps that my job is connected with video games.
UX Researcher: full-time job, pet rats
Gaming time is precious to me, so I schedule my day to find it. I usually do chores until, say, 8pm or 9pm, and then I chill in front of the screen.
Digital Marketing Lead: full-time job, married, has a dog
Schedule, schedule, and then schedule some more. My way is to plan gaming time about a week ahead and book myself the time for it. If an AAA video game comes out, and I know it will take me a long time, I put it off until a better time, like a long weekend.
PR Lead: full-time job, partner
My partner and I try to play together as our quality time, which is easier because I work remotely. I think it’s important to schedule free time for yourself for mental health, so instead of going out or meeting people on the weekend, sometimes (or rather most of the time) I stay home. If all the chores are done and I have a few hours for myself, I select one of several things that bring me joy, including video games, but it can also be reading or watching my favorite show.
Another thing that helps me to get into playing is choosing games I played as a kid—I don’t need to learn anything extra, because I know how to play, and it’s kind of a security blanket, something familiar. But I do feel that if you are tired from looking at the screen for work, games might not be the best option, so it’s important not to force yourself.
Motion Designer: full-time job, partner, 2 cats
I play with other people online or solo at least once a week. The plans are usually for the weekend or far enough to schedule time. When it’s settled, I check what’s left to do at home and do chores as soon as possible to leave my evening free. In addition, I set myself a time limit, for example, 2 hours, so that I won’t stay too long at night.
My friends live far away, and playing together is like a digital meeting with everyone, sometimes we talk more than we actually play. It’s not a magic trick or anything, it’s all about scheduling and finishing your chores beforehand.
The most challenging part of it is planning time for my friends, especially my partner—I feel we should take advantage of our free time whenever we can, so I let her know when I’m going to play and make sure it’s okay with her.
Brand Manager: full-time job, partner, social butterfly
One of my methods to find the time for playing games is finishing work and chores quickly so that I have free time later. It also helps if the game is a co-op one, and I can ask a non-gamer to join in because they see how much fun I’m having—together time becomes gaming time, especially if the other person is your partner.
In addition, I think it’s important to have your space in a relationship, like reserving a few hours for yourself. It works for many hobbies, and to me, playing games is sometimes more meaningful than reading or watching movies, because it’s more engaging when I can influence the story.
Junior Producer: full-time job, partner, sports enthusiast
I think it’s super important to adapt your free time according to your life. It is entirely possible to balance training and family life satisfyingly while still finding time for games. Self-discipline is the key, and you need to decide how much you want to spend on a specific activity. If you work in game development, it’s a bit easier because you can play at work. What’s more, multiplayer titles are great for team-building activities, both at work and outside of it.
If you can’t find time for playing video games, take a moment to think about your priorities. Maybe you simply don’t need games right now, but if you feel you miss them, try to fit them into your free weekend schedule, pick your favorite title, and enjoy yourself.
How to find times for video games:
- Scheduling is the key. Apart from planning time for video games, don’t start anything too long unless you have some more days off.
- Share the fun. If your partner, children, or friends enjoy video games, find a way to engage them in the activity and combine gaming time with family time.
- Change the game. Big AAA titles are usually time-consuming, so you can try taking a look at short video games, indie titles, multiplayer, or games you can enjoy even in small chunks of time.
- Change your playstyle. Being a completionist is fun, but if you struggle to find time for video games, consider giving up on side quests.
- Pick up an old title. It’s easier to get into a game whose mechanics you already know, without the need to learn them from scratch.
- Find a job connected with video games. While it’s a bit different from playing for pure fun, you’ll probably need to keep up with the industry.
Nothing seems to work? Let go, for now. Sometimes there’s little you can do, and the important thing is not to force yourself to play. Focus on your other hobbies and wait—one day, when your life gets less hectic, video games may make a comeback, too.
If you have other ideas on how to find time for video games as an adult, feel free to share them on our Discord!
Disclaimer: the content given here is general information and isn’t meant as professional advice for serious gaming issues. If you feel that you or a loved one may suffer from gaming addiction, please seek professional help.