I have recently been obsessed by Candy Crush. I know I'm kind of late to the party, my husband and friends have been playing it for ages, but in the last couple of months I started playing it.
You see as much as I love playing computer games, they're really not good for me and Candy Crush has helped me figure out why. It's a deadline/goal thing.
I'm obsessive about deadlines. I learnt in high school that leaving things to the last minute stressed me out completely and turned me into a short-tempered, raving lunatic which I hated. I would snap at my family and I swear my blood pressure would sky rocket and basically I was not a pleasant person to be around. Once I'd learnt this lesson, I began to be extremely organised. If my assignment was due on the 31st March, I would aim to complete it the week before.
This has carried on to my writing life. I always try and have the book/copyedits/proofreading done before the deadline, which really has just shifted my deadline forward, as I strive to meet my self-imposed date.
So how does Candy Crush come into it?
I didn't really realise what I was doing until I started playing Candy Crush. There are levels in the game and when you get to the end of the level, you get a game imposed three days until you can move to the next level. I play the game every opportunity I can until I get to the end of the level and then I can breathe a sigh of relief that I can have a three day break. Weird I know, but there's something about having to reach the next level that cries out to the obsessive goal oriented part of me and makes me have to get there.
I'm currently on one of those three day breaks and I'm wondering whether I can use it to give the game up. All I have to do is not click on that app and see that the next stage has opened. Perhaps I can fool myself that I've finished the game.
The good thing about this realisation is, now that I'm aware of what I'm doing, I can be kinder to myself. If I don't meet my self-imposed deadline it's all right because I have a few days up my sleeve to do it. It's ok if I don't hit my writing goal for the day, as long as I make it up by the end of the week. I don't need to get all stressed out about it.
That's a big relief.