TOO MANY SIDE QUESTS
You have just spent the last ten minutes behind a rock shooting arrows at a dragon as it flew around burning Imperial soldiers. This morning you were on a wagon headed towards death, and now here you are, face to face with your second dragon of the day. Today has been eventful for you. Although your last fifteen arrows missed, one of the soldiers manages to finally bring the beast down (but don’t worry you will get all the credit).
You walk out of Dragonsreach filled to the brim with confidence. The Jarl has just named you Thane of Whiterun, and everyone is now calling you “Dragonborn.” You don’t really know what it means, but it sounds important.
What is important is that you now have a purpose.
You are the hero of Skyrim and nobody is going to get in your way.
You make it two steps off of the Dragonsreach steps and you are ambushed by a couple of warriors who are desperately searching for a “Redguard” woman. You have a little extra time, and you are still bustling with confidence from your earlier fight, so you decide to help. Fifteen minutes later you are 500 dollars richer and desperate for another adrenaline high.
You begin accepting every quest that comes your way
Soon you forget about your quest to save Skyrim. Months pass by and you are now an Arch-Mage of the College of WInterhold, a professional thief, and a vampire, but something feels off. Wasn’t there something important that you were supposed to be doing. We are all on our own “main quest”. At some point in our lives we decide what means the most to us and we surround the rest of our lives around that. Whatever we decide becomes our main quest and it is something we are continuously working towards.
My main quest is becoming a successful writer. I’ve always had a passion for writing and I’ve always dreamed of making a career out of it someday. I am constantly trying to work towards that goal, but I often get distracted. I call these distractions “side quests”. Although I am not burning beehives for the Thieves Guild I am consistently surrounded by different options. Instead of writing I could play video games, or go out with friends, or pick up guitar.
Soon my main quest becomes shrouded by all of the side quests
I lose sight of my goals. As you get older and your options become endless and managing your time becomes essential. You have to go to work, manage relationships, and keep yourself fed. All while pursuing your main quest. You have to pick which side quests you can afford to do while still having enough time for your main goals. How are you supposed to make time for everything?
Prioritize your life
Pick what is most important to you and do those things. Make a schedule for yourself and stick by it. Doing homework from five until seven? Do it. Don’t go on social media, and don’t turn your television on until it hits seven o’clock. Your friends want to go grab a drink? Looks like you have nothing planned for Friday night. Following a strict schedule has helped me keep myself in check and my life balanced. I still go to work and maintain relationships, but I also have time set aside just for my personal work. Contrary to popular belief, people will not hate you if you tell them no. Remember that everyone is on their own main quest, it is okay to take time to work on yours.
Get some sleep
No matter what you tell yourself you are not immortal. Your body needs rest and if you want to get things done you are going to have to give it the rest it deserves. I know how easy it can be to “accidently” let the next Netflix episode play instead of going to bed, but that one extra hour of sleep can make or break you. Instead of relying on an espresso to get you through the day, rely on a good night’s sleep. It might seem like nothing, but the difference between six and eight hours can make a difference.
Believe in yourself
There are always going to be people more successful than you, so stop comparing yourself to them. The best thing about the journey that we are on is that it is OUR journey. Don’t give someone the pleasure of making your journey theirs. We only get to do this once, no respawns or checkpoints, so it’s your decision on what you want to do with it. You can make it your own, or you can spend the rest of your life being jealous of someone else’s journey.
Things are going to come up, your schedule is going to get messed up, and you are not going to get everything done that you wanted. That is OKAY. There is no way that every day is going to go how you planned and it is okay to occasionally fall behind. Just don’t let this become a reoccurring thing. Were your friends only able to hang out tonight? Rearrange your schedule and do your homework tomorrow. Just make sure you don’t make this a habit.
Our goals are not going to reach themselves. Often, we spend a lot of time waiting for things to happen and we waste what few hours we have in the day on nothing. Instead of working we spend thirty minutes reading Facebook posts and sarcastically replying to political tweets. We compensate for this by telling ourselves that we will get more done tomorrow, but we never do. The truth is, no matter how much time we spend murdering Mudcrabs, Skyrim isn’t going to save itself.
Unlike video games there is no walkthrough guide for life. Every decision that you make is yours to own. So, you can spend your whole lives chasing side quests or you can take a chance and go after the main quest you have always wanted.
You are Dragonborn.
FUS RO DAH!
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- I am not J.K. Rowling (Thankfully) - June 18, 2018
- Too Many Side Quests – Time Management for Dragonborn (and us regular folk) - December 19, 2017