How to combine school and/or work with running a community

Oh how I sometimes miss the days of being a student. No nine to five, no bills to pay and way less chores to do in a week. Damn what did I have it good! During that period I had more than enough time to work on server projects and most of all, play the game. The first thing I would do whenever I got home was hop on Ventrillo, check the forums and launch (in my case) Garry’s Mod.

Fast forward to 2019, I’ve got a full time job, live together with my girlfriend and have this website + community (Angry-Mob.com) to run. Actually playing a game almost has to be scheduled into my agenda it seems at times. In this article I am going to ramble a bit on how you can combine “real life” obligations and your community most efficiently.

Real life always comes first

This should be a no brainer really. Don’t let your community (obligations) interfere with real life. Things like health, family, your partner, friends, work and school always come first! Before you decide to start a new community or begin a new adventure with your existing community, always check if “now” is the right time. For instance, let’s say you are a university student, launching a new server, two weeks before your exams is not a smart move. Speaking from my own experience, I always gave the “fun” things a higher priority. And let’s just say that I didn’t label school as “fun”…

When you are already running a (healthy) community it’s important to spend time with your friends, partner and family (no matter how boring those damn birthdays are). Your community will still be there whenever you aren’t online for one or two days. It goes without saying that you will need to able to rely on your staff. As mentioned in an earlier article, delegating tasks to your team is a win win situation.

Decide what your community means to you

It might sound kinda “out there” when you have to decide what your community means to you, but it’s important information. By having this information you can kind of estimate how much time, funds and energy will go into your project and how this is going to influence your daily life. Will it result in you having to perform tasks for your community from work? (I am totally not writing this article at work right now..) Or do you only have to spend, let’s say, one hour a day to keep things going.

Set clear goals and plan ahead

Planning ahead and writing things down is a key element in maintaining an overview on your community. This way both you and your team, if you choose to have one, can work more efficient and actually have time to play the game. After you have defined the personal meaning of your community, you can start setting goals.

For instance: This article has to be up on the 11th of April followed by a interview. The day after all winners of the giveaway should be presented and contacted via email. When I’ve done that, I need to contact certain parties and acquire new game keys for the upcoming giveaway (30th of April). All of these actions have to be done during the weekdays (after work I keep telling myself lol). This creates room for error and more than enough time to actually play some games this weekend and do “those” real life things.

I can hear you thinking; “but I just want to play on my server with friends”. That’s fine! if that is your goal, then by all means go for it! For me, and I know many others out there, having things organized and mapped out is a huge win

Most of all, have fun

I can bet your ass though that some of the “I just want to play on my server and have fun” folks are having a great time every evening. No matter how big your community is or how ambitious you are, you got to have fun. Without the fun it becomes a second job, which will burn you out within no time. Just know your limits and what the “real world” requires of you. It goes without saying that you HAVE to mess up in order to find your limits. So good luck with that!

How to combine school or work with running a community

  1. Real life always comes first

  2. Decide what your community means to you

  3. Set clear goals and plan ahead

  4. Look for opportunities. Both in your personal agenda as within the gaming world.

  5. Most of all, have fun!