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Breakfast Topic: Learn something new every day

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to

I learned a pretty important life lesson from playing WoW. Now, I am well aware that this statement makes me sound like a loon, like someone claiming his whole life underwent a reversal after reading The Secret and now everything is so much better and wonderful. I'm not saying WoW did that for me. But it has taught me something about time management and design goals, by way of dailies.

Specifically, dailies have shown me that if you devote a certain predetermined amount of time each day to the completion of carefully detailed and prioritized tasks, you will reap benefits and rewards over a finite and moderate time period, with better benefits and rewards over a longer time period. People who are good at time management and at prioritizing, and who do not have a tendency to procrastinate, are probably thinking, "Duh." But some of us poor slobs out there do have problems managing time and imagining the benefits that can come from consistently devoting time to specific activities, especially when those benefits won't materialize for a long time.

Personally, this really hit home for me the past few months as I was planning my wedding. I wanted to do most of the stuff myself, because there was no way I could afford someone to do things for me. I wanted to make my own centerpieces, guest favors, cake topper, wall decorations, thank-you cards, invitations, paper picture frames for souvenirs, bridesmaid's hair pieces and so on. I read enough wedding blogs to scare myself into thinking that making everything was going to result in a time management nightmare. So early on, I set out to prioritize and schedule my daily tasks -- just like planning out Sons of Hodir rep, accumulating Champion's Seals to collect all the pets or running through quest chains on the way to Loremaster. I allocated one to two hours every night in order to complete a set amount of work and determined the best way to space out all the tasks over the following months. I got everything I wanted to get done with two weeks to spare. Days before the wedding, I was stressing out because I had nothing to stress out over.

Some will find it silly that it took WoW dailies to get me to organize myself, but it really is just a very good time management model. What have you learned from playing this game? Leadership skills, perhaps? Diplomacy? How to be a politician, or a socializer, or a mediator? Or (dare I ask), an instigator?

Have you ever wanted to write for Your chance may be right around the corner. Watch for our next call for submissions for articles via Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to The next byline you see here may be yours!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts lets you ask and answer Warcraft questions

Reader Jesta sent us a note about his new website. He's a big fan of Stack Overflow, which is a big Q&A/advice site for programmers -- you show up, ask your question, and then other folks who might or might not be working on the same problem post their answers, in moderated and organized threads for everyone to read. Jesta decided this same type of thing could work for our little game, so he put together -- the idea is that you go there, leave a question about anything in the game, and then wait for your answer from other people browsing the site.

Stack Overflow actually has a little "badge" system where answerers can earn reputation points for answering questions correctly, and Jesta says that they're working on doing something similar for Epic Advice (though they'll probably have Achievements, as that's more Warcraft-y). But as of this writing, the site definitely needs more questions and answers, so if there's something bugging you about WoW (that our own Queue hasn't answered yet), or you consider yourself an expert and want to clear some things up, head over and give the site a look.

Filed under: Tips, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Quests, Classes, Forums, Fan art

Five tips for inventory management

So I've been leveling an alt lately (yes, despite the fact that it makes my skin crawl a little bit, I've been leveling a Paladin so I can tank and heal with dual specs when they show up), and my biggest problem isn't the XP, since Blizzard has nerfed the leveling time so much. It's not the quests, either -- between Questhelper and having done the 1-60 jig five or six times before, I'm all set for quests now. Nope, it's managing my inventory -- I'm questing so quickly that the biggest problem I have is just keeping bag space open.

So here's a few tips I've picked up along the way. Even if you're not leveling, maybe some of these will help. And I'm sure there are plenty of great ways to make sure your bags are clear that I haven't discovered yet (I know for a fact that there are plenty of addons out there that I haven't had an interest in yet) -- feel free to share your own tips in the comments below.

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Filed under: Paladin, Mining, Engineering, Enchanting, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, Odds and ends, Economy, Leveling, Making money

Forum menus tweaked, cleaner and easier to browse

If you've visited the main page of the official forums lately, you'll notice that things are a little different -- they've replaced the simple links to class, realm, and battlegroup forums with a dynamic interface. All the forums that were there are still there, but the navigation to them is a little faster and less cluttered. It's not Flash or anything fancy, so it should work just fine across any number of widely used browsers.

Something like this was probably inevitable, considering how much Blizzard's WoW forums have been multiplying -- there's one for every release, event, and topic Blizzard can think of. And considering they have only so many people running them, it means the threads further off the beaten path, especially realm threads, can run rampant with forum violations.

Not that that's a problem -- what's in those threads can be pretty entertaining. But Blizzard moderates the forums for a reason, and the more threads they have, the harder time they'll have moderating them.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Forums

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