The two workplaces you are most likely to pick up the common cold in a first world country would most likely have to be a hospital, and a school. For those who have been living in Australia in the past six months you would probably have heard that as soon as swine flu is discovered in a school the school is closed down to slow the spread. Imagine 1000 plus students all going to their respective homes, all meeting up to a hundred different people each day and passing by another hundred in close proximity, it is germ city. It is for this reason that I (a teacher) am today sitting at home with a searing pain in my throat and avoiding spreading my evilness to everyone else.
I now find myself in a dilemna, to my left is my awesome gaming machine, to my right is my crappy work laptop, and in front of me is my personal laptop I am writing this on. I have tonnes of work today, however I also desire to play Age of Conan (that I decided to buy last week). Ironically such a problem is not limited to myself. Another teacher at school with a craze for World of Warcraft has the same temptation as I do when he gets a sick day. So how can I get lots of work done and still take time for play?
The first solution I have is based upon a system I first heard about when studying for my end of high school exams. This is based upon 45 minutes of study, followed by 15 minutes of rest or play (there are reasons for these figures which I will not delve into). This system is fantastic becasue it is a round figure of 1 hour and gives you something to aim for. Naturally the usual MMOer sees that 15minutes is really not enough time to truly get immersed in an MMO, so while this might work for a game like Plants vs Zombies, it really won't help with quest running.
Sometimes it is worth saying "you finish this program writeup and you can play for an hour". A reward system works for many people, especially kiddies, however most people need some sort of authority to control it, there is little point in a reward system if you can not enforce it. Kiddies have their parents, but adults have difficulty because police really donot help you in this area.
This wass a system I used extensively in university while playign Eve: online. I would set up my ship mining an asteroid field and window it to a part of the screen, then set up my report I needed to write in another part of the screen, a casual glance to the game allowed me to check it and change it quickly for pirates or new asteroids while I still worked onwards. What a great idea... for Eve. It does not work in an MMO like AoC or WoW where you have to constantly move... and no, I will not 'cheat'.
There are several computer software and hardware systems that will time your play and work and then stop a program when you reach the time limit. I am not referring to an alarm, I mean the program STOPS. This is a system my brother uses extensively as he is a very focussed person when it comes to bright shiny things on screens. This of course poses a serious problem when you know lots about how such software/hardware works, such as myself and can easily just change it to what I want. it is like making the traffic lights turn green... if you could you would.
Okay, so this is the serious result to a serious problem... my argument for this is that it only works if you are not going to play for more than a week, toherwise you will be spending too much time reinstalling it anyway.
laptops are fantastic as you can literally move away from the problem. Sitting in a cafeteria with a laptop which has no games on and you cant help but start working. the problem is making sure it has no games on... and dont forget that if you have connection to the internet that it does have games on... damn wireless!
I have left the best till last, this is the one I will be using in 15minutes when I start work. See, my gaming machine also happens to be my television, Blu-ray player, and media centre. this means that if I stick a movie into the thing then I can claim that I can not play a game on it because it is being used, plus I can also watch a movie while working. My boss is happy because I get work done, and I am happy because I get to watch a movie. I also give myself a time limit of approximately 90-160 minutes between times I play a game so that I know how much time I have spent working.
Now I have a second problem... what to watch?