I find scheduling and organizing games is one of the biggest problems for gamers. Whether you are getting started or have been playing for years if the group cannot come together there is no game. Once the group has agreed to play, a major step in it’s own right, they must decide the whens, wheres, and the how oftens. As the game master your own availability is obviously a key factor as most of the time the game will not be able to proceed if you are not there.
Running games in college was a gift from an organizational perspective. I had a captive audience with regular schedules. I could run one game and play in several others at once. I even expanded into LARP. These days just because I want to play a game does not mean I can. The time I choose to play must be available. It must be practical.
I see scheduling my time honestly and efficiently to those choices as taking responsibility in life. I realize how much my actions affect my players and the other people in my life. If I do not give myself enough time to prep a session it shows, not all the time but your players can tell when you are not at your best. The storyteller being late will make everyone grumpy. If you are at a con then the players have paid money to play an event, if the GM is a no show the players are mad, the con organizers will be mad too and may not want you back. Emergencies happen but as soon as you know there will be a change in plans let all those involved know.
None of this is new information to me but being at a point in my life where free time is precious I grok the principles better than ever before. If I do not make a plan and stick to it nothing gets done. Finally, I must keep in mind the quality of my time. The times that I am working 12 hours/day 7 day a week will impact my productivity just a little bit, I have to remember that.
Being honest with myself on my capabilities, limitations, and what I can feasibly do in a set time frame is not only a mark of professionalism but also a standard of adulthood. I may not update this blog as often as I would like but the reflection that goes into it helps me as a gamer, a designer, and as a person. May help you as well.(49