3-Step GM PiXiE Kaizen

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1155

There’s a myth about game master time management.

Or even about time management in general.

Folks think it’s about time.

But in my experience that’s not true.

It’s about energy.

Doing campaign prep for 15 minutes a day will get more prep done over the long haul than doing it once in a while in bursts.

Consistency always wins.

You build momentum.

You keep your mental RAM full of ideas.

And you stay excited about your campaigns.

When we try to manage time, we just fill up our lives with tasks.

We get tired. Stressed. Burnt out.

But when we manage for energy, life changes.

I assert that if you perform energy management instead of time management you will have more fun at every game.

How do we do this?

One key factor is what we use for fuel. Eating well gives you more energy.

So does doing a dopamine detox.

And so does moving around and box breathing.

But today I want to share something quick and easy I do to get more energy between sessions.


It’s part of our PiXiE framework => Prepare, eXecute, and Evaluate.

Sometimes something doesn’t go right in our sessions and that causes us stress and anxiety.

And sometimes everything went great from our players’ perspective, yet our heads still rattle around with negative self-talk.

To maintain our excitement despite setbacks, spend five minutes after each session to do a bit of empowering triage.

Plus, Minus, Delta

We do this by asking three simple questions.

Open up Campaign Logger or your tool of choice and log:

  1. What went well?
  2. What did not go so well?
  3. What’s one thing we’ll change next time?

Q#1 “Plus” makes us feel good and indicates what we should keep doing because it’s working. Good job!

Q#2 “Minus” gets out of our heads circling worries, fears, and doubts. We make improvement tangible and thus possible.

Q#3 “Delta” puts us in control and gives us optimism and positive energy.

It’s ending with that positive energy that helps us have more fun at every game.

Through this approach we consistently improve.

Big change might not happen in one session. Or five.

But session by session we change something important, try it out, evaluate, and learn.

And as we see small changes make a difference we get excited.

We build that momentum.

And we discover setbacks no longer rob us of so much energy because we have the tools to become better GMs as a result. Try adding a Plus, Minus, Delta to your session prep routine and let me know how it goes!