Keeping Yourself Productive at Home
I really don’t have too much trouble staying focused, but I thought I would share a few things that I do in between the important things that I do. To start off I’m the kind of person that needs to have more than one thing going on at once. If you work that way too this story is definitely for you. This story also assumes that you’re working from home like most of the other people in the world right now.
As I said I need something going on off to the side. It helps to finish a micro-stressor and have something to pay attention to for a minute or so and reset. If you’re like me you’re a gamer too. I had been watching twitch off to the side lately and that’s nice but wouldn’t it be cool to have something to game on in small bursts? Find a good time waster game. These are usually games of the free to play variety.
Personally, I play Shop Titans on Steam. It’s a really nice idle game as most things are governed by timers you have to wait for. There’s a lot to do and they don’t hit you with it all at once. Between expanding your shop and going on quests to bring back items to use in crafting there’s a lot to do. There are various currencies that you use depending on the situation. You can use your guild coins to replenish your crafting materials or open grab bags to give you random items. There are loot chests as well, but if you keep it free to play I wouldn’t worry about them very much. The point is you don’t have to be actively engaged with this game.
One thing you’ll find with me is that I’m very invested in Twitch. I like to try to support all the amazing content creators out there. So how could I consider my planned distractions without adding some twitch broadcasts off to the side?
Here’s a tip: Go to the options in Shop Titans and set it to windowed mode. Next, close the game down completely by hitting escape and selecting “Yes” Next you’ll want to go to Steam, and click on “Library” at the top of the window. Right-click on Shop Titans and select Properties. Then navigate over to the “General” tab if you’re not already there. You’ll want to click on SET LAUNCH OPTIONS. In the text box provided enter:
-screen-width 1600 -screen-height 900
You’ll find a supplemental image on my Twitter to help you get to the launch options:
Now when you start up your game it will have a smaller resolution. I like to do things this way because it makes it easier to resize the window. Which, by the way, you can do like you do with every other window. Making it 1600x900 Just makes grabbing the corners easier.
What you’ll want to do now is resize it and add your other media. If you’re not into twitch I would look for a picture in picture “Mini-Player” extension for your browser. As for Twitch, there’s a picture in picture button in the bottom-right corner of the video. I also highly recommend Better Twitch TV. It has a lot of cool settings that make twitch more fun. Once you’ve got your picture in picture for your favorite media you can now organize your distraction space to fill up as much or as little as you like. The thing I like about Twitch is that you can converse live while watching whatever content you’re into. If you click on the little settings “cog-wheel” icon in the bottom right you can pop the chat out of your browser. Look below to find an image of how I set all this up.
I also suggest finding a second monitor if you don’t already have one. Some of you may be working from a laptop so you may want to make sure that you can use a second monitor with your device before purchasing a new monitor. Monitors these days are a lot cheaper than they used to be. That’s the thing about the second monitor though, you really don’t need the best just something that will display what you want with reasonable quality. Here’s a quick Newegg list of cheaper monitors that range from $100 to $200. Just remember the lower the resolution the less space you’ll have to play around with. In this case, I would go with something that has no less than 1366x768 resolution. I would also say you should probably get a monitor that’s at least 1080p (1920x1080) though as that’s standard, like I said, a little lower isn’t that bad. Since this is your secondary monitor refresh rates and response times don’t really mean much because you won’t be playing any fast-paced games on it. It’s really more for idle fun. Also if you’re shopping on a site like Newegg there are filter options on the left side that let you tailor results to your liking.
Without further ado let me show you my desktop setup for work:
As for the personal psychology behind this craziness, it is quite simple. I couple the psychological reward of playing a game with the relief of a break from work. Oh, and the twitch/youtube on the side is just something I do. I will say I end up spending a little bit longer working on things, but if you’re like me and you work for yourself I see it as a gain in productivity especially when you come back to what you’re working on recharged after spending a minute or two clicking on an idle game like Shop Titans. I call it micro-breaks doing things this way with this setup allows me to work on things while keeping myself distracted. I find I can go on longer working on things if I do this, and I decided to write a story on it to get you up and going with a pro-active-distractive work layout so to speak.
No matter what you do at home working I wish you the best. This layout might be a bit busy or too distracting for some. In that case, I would say take pieces of the elements and rearrange them to suit your tastes. If gaming isn’t your thing then you could set up youtube or any other streaming video service in a picture in picture mode. Let me just state the obvious: It’s a lot less of a hassle to just set up some music on your favorite streaming service, and I’m pretty sure you already do this so I wanted to provide an interesting alternative. As always have fun, stay safe, and thank you for reading. I’ll see you again soon.