How to work smarter, according to the busiest Neopia
Does Illusen turn into a panicked mess when her glade gets overcrowded by questers? Does King Hagan turn soup-brained when he listens to random (and sometimes, wacky) bites of wisdom for a whole day? You’ll have to read on to find out, but it’s not too hard to imagine that these Neopians are like us when workloads become too heavy.
For as long as Neopia has existed, its various civilizations have come far in terms of pushing the boundaries of knowledge and unlocking the secrets to working smartly and efficiently. The robotic drills digging into Kreludor, the magical contraptions running in Faerieland, and the metallic equipment directing the heat and magma in Moltara are geared towards raising the productivity and improving the output of the average Neopian.
Despite these developments, however, much of Neopian folk still get overwhelmed when they get piles of deadlines and demands from trading post fellows, shop customers, Brain Tree and Faerie quests, and who knows what. Even I am a victim of this. My pen, notebooks, and post-its become useless and downgrade into tools to procrastinate over.
I asked some of what I consider the busiest figures in Neopia to give the readers a glimpse of what they do in a day, the techniques they use to manage their time, and some timeless advice on how to stay mostly sane while juggling some of the most important tasks that Neopians have come to take for granted.
Nigel the Stockbroker
Much of Neopia’s wealth is not in the bank. Much of it is in the stocks of the Neodaq, changing paws everyday. According to Nigel, the bourse’s most prominent broker, the volatility of the market and its several ups and downs are what keep him busy everyday.
“I’ll be honest, I lost some hairs when Virtupets (NDQ:VPTS) made that major slide from 1,000NP to 124NP last year for no reason,” he said, confirming his sensational breakdown over the market that made it into popular blind items in Y20. Despite the chaos of stock movements and angry investors, Nigel said he stays sane by thinking long-term.
“You can’t pay attention to every stock! You’re gonna go lab-scientist crazy!” he said. “I pick the Neggs in my basket. I research on the company’s performance first and make it go through my mental checklist to know whether it’ll pay off in the long-term or go bust after a few years.”
Firstly, I would like to thank Marina for gracing me with some of her break time for a brief interview. For the Faerie in charge of the Healing Springs, managing the Springs means tending to a daily average of 3,000 sick and wounded Neopets while maintaining its magical properties and “listening” to its healing thoughts 24/7.
“As everyone knows, Neopets have to wait half an hour before they can dip again in the Springs, because it needs time to recover. Its healing properties are as capricious as the water is free-flowing,” Marina said. She recommended hard-working and busy Neopians to take a break every now and then, and if possible, do it regularly.
“Even devices and Robot Neopets and Petpets need to recharge or they will completely run out of energy. Use that break to listen to your thoughts and feelings or rethink the way you are moving throughout the day. I find that listening to the Springs clears up my mind and boosts my own healing powers,” she said.
Bookie of the Food Club
My personal, daily visits to the Food Club have been always stressful; I don’t know how I manage to make all those bets everyday with the pirates loudly cheering, booing, and arguing in the background, but it happens.
I imagine it must be harder for the Food Club Bookie (frequently called Bookie) who talks wide-eyed Neopians into betting for the first time and books the tens of thousands of bets made every day. “I dunno how I do wha' I do everyday. I jus' win' it!” Bookie said.
“'tis true wha' they say, millions o' dubloons pass through me hands everyday. But I make sure t' keep focused on th' odds as they change in th’ noon or these dubloons might be fallin’ outta my hands soon!”
He added that he stays motivated by the fact that the Food Club is considered a staple for Neopia’s affluent yet rowdy bettor folk, which translates into more dubloons and rewards. The noisier the betting area is, the better for him!
Earlier in this article, I raised the possibility of Illusen, the honorable Faerie of Meridell, being a crying mess every time hundreds of questers overcrowd her glade. When I asked her about this, she brushed it off aside (but she did say she had a rough start) and instead offered a glimpse of how she controls the seemingly chaotic activity in her abode.
When I came to visit her on the first week of the month, a loose, serpentine crowd of Neopets, almost at a thousand, surrounded her glade. Two weeks later, Illusen asked me to return and that’s when I found that the number of questers was trimmed to a manageable fraction – almost at a hundred.
“How I manage the questers in my glade is not really a secret to anyone. It’s public knowledge that when a quester fails to meet my demands for a day, I won’t allow them to return until the next month,” she explained.
Illusen recommended to put a “filter” for tasks and stick to those that could give you consistent results. In her case, she only welcomed back the questers that came back everyday and fulfilled her quests under her terms.
The Faerie added that Jhudora has this system too. “Villains need excellent task management too,” she exclaimed and chuckled. I couldn’t reach Jhudora for comment as of the time of writing, because she (mistakenly) thought I had visited Illusen and did some quests for her!
Nowadays, King Hagan is not that busy, compared to his years spent strategizing in Brightvale war rooms to fend off Lord Darigan’s minions and the Darkest Faerie’s lackeys. The king is preoccupied by philosophizing random bits of wisdom he receives from hundreds of Neopians everyday and rewarding them with books and puzzles, in the hopes of expanding his vision of the kingdom.
“It does get overwhelming. The brains of Neopets, even those of scholars who are accustomed to processing knowledge, can only hold so much information,” he said, and added that his study breaks in the early morning are important to refresh brain power.
The king noted that only 15-25% of the knowledgeable nuggets will make it through scholarly judgement. How does he keep track of that? Everyday he has them written down by scribes (he also has his own notes), so he can review them later, he said.
The king emphasized the importance of keeping track of your tasks, lest one fall into the vortex of forgetfulness and error. ”When bad advice pervades my mind and my scholars’ thoughts, then it’s bad for the kingdom.”
How do you work?
So, do you work Illusen-style or King Hagan-style? Do you like it chaotic, rowdy, and noisy ala-Food Club? Or do you like an odd mix of the techniques mentioned above? Ultimately, it’s up to us to figure out how we can create excellent outputs in the most reasonable period of time.
Given the variety of working techniques these busy Neopians have shared to me (and I only covered five!), there surely must be no formulaic way to work better and smarter. What I’m certain about is that all of these Neopians built their own strategies to face the tasks that lie before them. Acknowledging that is a good first step!