How you use your time can be optimized, some activities use more of your brain and are made up of more skills that can be carried over to other aspects of life. Speaking from experience, a lot of my studies carry over not just to work but in games and my social spheres. Some actives are more complex and demand more abilities and you naturally rise to the occasion - best example is GMing. It takes more skills to GM than to play. In fact depending on how obsessed or sensitive you are about your performance there are a lot of areas that can be identified as its own sub skill.
Organization, role-playing, impersonations, acting, improvisation, extemporaneous speaking, writing, group management, some manipulation, tactics, rules mastery, probability, and a variety of subject mastery. There are even more...
As the GM you have to be better than the other players in many things. You are forced to be better and it eats at you. Fortunately visualization helps just like practice, so obsessing and running all the situations through your head adds to your hours of practice.
Upon realization of this, self improvement enthusiast gamers will find their round robin GMing is a great way to train and master a lot of skills. one of the more important skills is Visualization - the ability to run scenarios in your head. It is a very demanding task and each GM has his own way of doing it - some write, others talk it through, others meditate with music as a guide to emotional theme, and others listen to other people talk... Visualization is an important exercise, I realize I've been missing out of because of work.
Visualization helped me rationalize every decision because it brought up details that made certain activities impractical or how it would fail. Every rule change is accompanied by a visualization of worse case scenarios and how players can abuse it. When mapping a process or drawing up a mind map it aids visualization in bridging disparate concepts.
This discussion came about because of a thread in the GURPS forums of what you would invest in with 10cp in real life. Independent income was one of the first answers, and I surprisingly agreed after going through what I wanted to achieve:
10 Independent Income means 2000USD per month, or roughy 80,000Php
what advantages can be gained:
1) Less Sleep 4 levels - certain conditioning is possible to get into if you dont have a regular job or having PPP
2) A ton of Skills - skills can be learned, having money to learn them. Get an MBA, learn robotics and programming and networking, getting my certifications for all.
3) Fitness and better Physical Stats - can be achieved with the extra income - exercise, diet, a Trainer/coach and etc...
4) More free time to Network and make Contacts - Guanxi FTW
5) Appearance - healthier and some basic dental repairs. Appearance can make inferences to status.
6) Charisma/Social Skills - having more networks means being able to exercise social skills. chance to apply lessons in effective communication, leadership, etc..
7) Gain more wealth - invest via new found skills (MBA), make some CNC machines and other gadgets...
8) Not to mention get better care for my family :)
9) Memory room technique
10) languages and travel - live in china, hong kong, Germany, and Japan and learn the language there.
11) data collection - build my own database where I can store particular metrics that help in biz....