The fourth room has a studio kitchen, two sofas, a coffee table and a dining table (with a view of the sea-front traffic) but, most importantly, my gaming computer has pride of place above above a pseudo-desk/cupboard. I purchased, at great extravagance, a new gaming monitor. Two years ago I was on a 19 inch monitor; now I am on a 24 inch job.
Why tell you this?
It is significant for me that I have separated my work computer from my gaming computer. Too often, and for too long, I have sat at the same computer and alternated between the drollness of work-grind and the enjoyably distracting flashing of FPS games. I feel, like you might, that I do not sate myself on either satisfactorily.
To watch a film or to play a game is much the same thing. No work is allowed in my living room. I could, as I did in the past, crack open my laptop while watching some something. I don't quite know why I did that. Maybe it's the same reason that people I meet at young leaders courses talk about how they can't take more than 10 minute lunches.
I think I remember writing something about playing the kind of games that take little cognitive effort, or that are especially easy to enjoy, or are simply cinematic experiences. And that playing these games is often the habit of limited time and effort - why give a precious hour of evening time to something that might not work? Why play, for example, Empire Total War when I might not quite what they hell I'm doing? Or what worth giving an hour to a game like Tropico 3 that doesn't even load 2/3rds of the time?
Gaming time, like with film time, is not something that I plan into my day. I either do it, or I don't.
So what significance might this have? In the past four years, I have had periods where I have enjoyed working hard - 70 hour weeks and similar. Like with my running, this is not something that can be happily sustained. In fact, the body and the mind breakdown, or at least become susceptible to fatigues of apathy and ennui. Far more difficult, then, to attempt to live a moderation, working hard where necessary, living as a social being, and still making due time to hobbies that nourish your imaginative life.
My recent ambition is to see quite how I can balance my film watching, and my game playing, with my work and social commitments. To what extent am I willing to do slightly less work, and hence put myself under more pressure in the classroom, under the guise of enjoying a richer imaginative life? How much do I trust that if I plan to watch a film, or to play a game, that I will be eager to do so when the time comes?
Why even bother? I think because, left to my own devices, I tend towards the same limited range of games and films (and people!) Is that a bad thing? Perhaps not. And in the past, when I have tried to play games under the guise of scheduling them in, such as Oblivion, I have found them unfulfilling at best.
Like an esteemed colleague suggested, one often-underrated facet of time management is doing things at the 'right' time. There is little point grinding certain work out in the evening when an early morning, or lunchtime, provides the mind with the necessary impetus to just bloody get it done.