• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
alnite

Productive Hours

23 posts in this topic

I notice that I am the most productive when it's past 12AM (like right now) -- meaning that my brain is starting to stay calm and think cool, and that's the time when I can do most of my productive activities. It's a bit of inconvenience as it's past bedtime. I don't want to go to sleep because I want to do more work, but I have to because I need to be up for work tomorrow morning.

Once, I created this unusual sleep cycle just so that I can stay up at 12AM. I'd go to sleep around 6PM, and have about 2-4 hours of sleep. Wake up around 9-10PM, stay awake till 3-4AM, then fall back to sleep again to wake up around 8, and go to work.


What's your productive hours, and how does that affect your schedule?
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am also more productive at night, but I don't think that it's mainly a physical matter (indeed, I'm more tired), in my case it's because I have no interruptions in that time slot.
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Double post (why can't I delete a post from my phone?)
0

Share this post


Link to post
My most productive hours are when I'm at the office. It's not as much because it's a particular time of day but a sense of, 'this is what I should be doing here'. If I'm at home and there's a personal project that I want to work on I have to take myself out of the room where ordinarily I'd be playing games and watching TV otherwise I won't have the discipline to stay focused. The distractions don't have to be completely removed, I just need to be somewhere that feels like it's supposed to be a work space.

That being said, when it comes to programming, there's something about a mind when it isn't at what people would expect it to be at its optimal operating conditions that produces optimal results. [url="http://xkcd.com/323/"]This[/url] would be the classic example. I'm inclined to think that it has something to do with being in a state where you don't over think things as much as you would ordinarily. The result is that more work actually gets written down. The trick is to get enough things written down before you hit the point where everything you write down makes no sense.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm similar in that I find myself more motivated to work after midnight, but similar to japro my technical work isn't the highest quality. I tend to think best in that period, the most creatively, so it's good for design and writing and stuff. But something like coding I find I do better in the mid afternoon or evening.

I try to avoid chopping up sleep time, as quality and type of sleep are more important than just tallying hours. But I hate that my best work time is locked up when I'm at the office, so I often stay up late and do a flurry of work, and try to do more technical design work on a notepad when things are slow at my job.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Similar schedule (from the original thread) here. Although I do find that sometimes I'm even more productive going early to bed and then waking up early (6-7 am), calmly drinking coffee and then going to the PC.

That having said, the time at which I'm [b][i]serisously[/i][/b] productive is after drinking a tiny glass of licour or whisky (or any other beberage with high alcohol in a [i]small[/i] dose). It seems to grant me superhuman coding abilities. And I'm actually [u][i][b]not[/b][/i][/u] kidding. My brightest lockless and highly scalable parallel algorithms have been coded under the influence of alcohol. Not only I write more code in fewer time, but the code itself contains less bugs than usual.
The [url="http://xkcd.com/323/"]xkcd's joke about Ballmer's peak[/url] may actually be true. I don't do this often though.
2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
At night is when I seem to program the most. Take the past few nights. I stayed up until 5 AM then went into work at 10 AM then stay until 6. Seems to work well. I'm in the short sleeper group so it's never bothered me.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As soon as I wake up. This is so inconvenient because that is when I need to get my son ready for school, and get ready and go to work myself. Then, by the time I get to work, I can't focus any more :/

But for some reason, during that just-woke-up time, my brain works amazingly well, as long as I don't stop. It puts together things and solves problems in minutes that I would struggle with for far longer - even hours - at other times of the day (esp. after 12am).
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't really have times when I am most productive, but rather times when I am least productive (probably just splitting hairs). I found that I am least productive 1 hr before and after meal times. So 11am -- 1 pm is low productivity as is 5 pm -- 7 pm. This has a little bit to do with being hungry/full but it seems to be more a product of these being more social times of my day, i.e. I end up talking with people around those time. In any case, the result is that I find my mornings and evenings are the most productive times.

-Josh
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
doesnt really matter for me, though I dont get much done the hour or so after if Ive just travelled somewhere, (perhaps cause I normally bike/run & need my body to recover)
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unless you have something which can disturb you then 'productive hours' are nothing more than a learned habit and purely psycological.

I'm most productive when I decided to be and do something to adjust my brain so that it is happy to do so; this basically involves putting on some music + headphones and sitting down to do something.

This too is nothing more than an associative trick; I code listening to music, thus when I list to music I'm transported into the correct mindset to code.

The music thing also works well at work as it cuts out distractions, invokes the same mental status change and makes it less likely people will bother you with idle talk when you've got things to do.
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mostly 0930-1230 for me. If the S/N ratio is good enough I will also churn out some good effort 1500-1730. I've given up on peaking and I'm trying to improve on average performance, multitasking abilities and such.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This was a poll topic numerous time back in the day. One of the poll results was messed up but here are the other two:

[url="http://archive.gamedev.net/archive/gdpolls/viewpollfb1a.html?ID=573"]From which hours do you do your best work?[/url]
[url="http://archive.gamedev.net/archive/gdpolls/viewpollc6ef.html?ID=2460"]When are you most alert and creative for working on projects?[/url]
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='phantom' timestamp='1322087938' post='4887036']
Unless you have something which can disturb you then 'productive hours' are nothing more than a learned habit and purely psycological.
[/quote]

I can't agree with this. I'm not a morning person by any means, and regardless of how much sleep I get, I can't hold a thought for about the first 2-3 hours that I'm up. Even with caffeine, it takes awhile before my concentration is good enough that I can do anything. In the evening though, I'm wide awake and can focus, even despite distractions. Typically I can get more done from around 9 PM - midnight than 7 am-4 pm.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Nytegard' timestamp='1322144908' post='4887259']
[quote name='phantom' timestamp='1322087938' post='4887036']
Unless you have something which can disturb you then 'productive hours' are nothing more than a learned habit and purely psycological.
[/quote]

I can't agree with this. I'm not a morning person by any means, and regardless of how much sleep I get, I can't hold a thought for about the first 2-3 hours that I'm up. Even with caffeine, it takes awhile before my concentration is good enough that I can do anything. In the evening though, I'm wide awake and can focus, even despite distractions. Typically I can get more done from around 9 PM - midnight than 7 am-4 pm.
[/quote]If you're going to sleep after midnight and getting up at 7am, you are sleep deprived. One long sleep won't cure chronic sleep deprivation.

I think that while you may find concentration hard in the morning, it is still a learned habit. I bet if you were in a combat zone or some emergency, you would think fast as soon as you were awake!

If it really takes 3 hours before you can hold a thought, that would worry me personally. How much sleep, how good sleep, how much coffee you drink, yada yada. It shouldn't be like that.


1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='alnite' timestamp='1322042296' post='4886829']
I notice that I am the most productive when it's past 12AM (like right now) -- meaning that my brain is starting to stay calm and think cool, and that's the time when I can do most of my productive activities. It's a bit of inconvenience as it's past bedtime. I don't want to go to sleep because I want to do more work, but I have to because I need to be up for work tomorrow morning.

Once, I created this unusual sleep cycle just so that I can stay up at 12AM. I'd go to sleep around 6PM, and have about 2-4 hours of sleep. Wake up around 9-10PM, stay awake till 3-4AM, then fall back to sleep again to wake up around 8, and go to work.


What's your productive hours, and how does that affect your schedule?
[/quote]

Since I work at night my productive hours are during the day before work. I think it's just a matter of having time to get in to the mood.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='JDX_John' timestamp='1322173049' post='4887418']
I think that while you may find concentration hard in the morning, it is still a learned habit. I bet if you were in a combat zone or some emergency, you would think fast as soon as you were awake![/quote]I suspect the physiological affects of adrenaline and so on have a significant effect in that situation, and that it isn't simply "learned" or psychological.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Nytegard' timestamp='1322144908' post='4887259']
[quote name='phantom' timestamp='1322087938' post='4887036']
Unless you have something which can disturb you then 'productive hours' are nothing more than a learned habit and purely psycological.
[/quote]

I can't agree with this. I'm not a morning person by any means, and regardless of how much sleep I get, I can't hold a thought for about the first 2-3 hours that I'm up. Even with caffeine, it takes awhile before my concentration is good enough that I can do anything. In the evening though, I'm wide awake and can focus, even despite distractions. Typically I can get more done from around 9 PM - midnight than 7 am-4 pm.
[/quote]

It has nothing to do with 'how much sleep' you get, it is all about what you are use to doing; pure habit nothing more. This will have been something you came to over a number of years as such simply going to sleep early and getting up expecting to magically be able to focus isn't going to cut it.

When I was a school kid I would get up at 7am and be in school for 9am, my productivity already ready to go. Over the years I slowly got into the habit of getting up later and later until, in my early 20s, I was getting up at 2pm each day and if I got up before then, regardless of how much sleep I had had, I couldn't get my brain to kick in at all before it would normally. Once I got a job and was forced to work at 'normal' hours I adjusted this, it took a while and for the first few months I was basically useless before 1pm, but after a while I could crawl out of bed at 9:30am and be on the ball by 10am when I got into work.

Due to F1 times I spent a week getting up at 7am and going to bed at 11pm; my normal cycle is somewhat closer to sleep at 1 or 2am and up again at 8:30 to 9:30am. Every morning, despite getting 8h sleep, I would wake up and feel tired still and had to force myself to get up. My mantra for that week was 'you have had 8 hours sleep, feeling tired is just psycological' and two days in I had adapted and was just as productive earlier.

My point is it is possible to change your 'productive time' it is simply a matter of reprogramming your brain so that you can enter that zone; I use music to make it easier but simply forcing yourself to work would probably function just as well.

Now, I am of course assuming everyone can do this and I assume I'm not "special" in anyway... maybe due to the way I grew up I'm perticually adapt at adjusting my own brain and its internal chemistry to suite my needs.. however I suspect this isn't the case and I'm willing to bet with some practise anyone could do it, at best I just might find it easier than most :)
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm the same way. I'm most productive and creative at around the 11pm/midnight hours. I think it's a mixture of things.. the lack of distractions is certainly a big part of it. Definitely allows me to focus a lot easier. I've always been a night person, and I am not a morning person by any means.


I'm actually very fortunate, in that my job allows me to work a very flexible schedule (I work remotely 3-4 days a week, only in the office a day or two out of each week). So I tend to split my work hours up: I'll work 5-6 hours in the morning/day, and then later at night I follow up with another 3 hours usually starting at around 10:30pm. It works really well for me: I'm there most of the time to answer emails, calls, and collaborate during the day, but I do really focused development later on in the evening. I find that I get a lot more done with a schedule like this (instead of a standard 8-5 cubicle prison type schedule).
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='phantom' timestamp='1322271057' post='4887770']
It has nothing to do with 'how much sleep' you get, it is all about what you are use to doing; pure habit nothing more. This will have been something you came to over a number of years as such simply going to sleep early and getting up expecting to magically be able to focus isn't going to cut it.

When I was a school kid I would get up at 7am and be in school for 9am, my productivity already ready to go. Over the years I slowly got into the habit of getting up later and later until, in my early 20s, I was getting up at 2pm each day and if I got up before then, regardless of how much sleep I had had, I couldn't get my brain to kick in at all before it would normally. Once I got a job and was forced to work at 'normal' hours I adjusted this, it took a while and for the first few months I was basically useless before 1pm, but after a while I could crawl out of bed at 9:30am and be on the ball by 10am when I got into work.

Due to F1 times I spent a week getting up at 7am and going to bed at 11pm; my normal cycle is somewhat closer to sleep at 1 or 2am and up again at 8:30 to 9:30am. Every morning, despite getting 8h sleep, I would wake up and feel tired still and had to force myself to get up. My mantra for that week was 'you have had 8 hours sleep, feeling tired is just psycological' and two days in I had adapted and was just as productive earlier.

My point is it is possible to change your 'productive time' it is simply a matter of reprogramming your brain so that you can enter that zone; I use music to make it easier but simply forcing yourself to work would probably function just as well.

Now, I am of course assuming everyone can do this and I assume I'm not "special" in anyway... maybe due to the way I grew up I'm perticually adapt at adjusting my own brain and its internal chemistry to suite my needs.. however I suspect this isn't the case and I'm willing to bet with some practise anyone could do it, at best I just might find it easier than most :)
[/quote]

My main problem with this is that whereas you went to school @ 9 am, for me, from middle school to the end of college (middle school starting @ 6th grade), all my classes started @ 7:30. (Elementrary school was 8 am). And summer camps, jobs, etc., kept my schedule the same way, and all throughout that time, I was ridicuously tired in the morning. (And yes, I did go get 8 hours of sleep during that time). Not everyone is built the same nor has the same internal clock. It's similar to how people learn. Some people are visual learners, some people audial, etc.

Sleepyness is more physiological than psychological (i.e. the effects of melatonin). Yes, you can reprogram your brain, but in my opinion, only to a certain extent. I'd say a bigger issue with this though is rather than trying to force hours of going to sleep or staying awake, it would be more effective to regulate how much natural sunlight you receive during what are suppose to be your productive hours. This is something the corporate (officeless and windowless) cube culture is horrible at. The workplace is one of the least productivity inducive environments.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Nytegard' timestamp='1322315407' post='4887874']it would be more effective to regulate how much natural sunlight you receive during what are suppose to be your productive hours. This is something the corporate (officeless and windowless) cube culture is horrible at. The workplace is one of the least productivity inducive environments.
[/quote]

Intrestingly you don't really need natural sunlight, all you need is a light which can generate the correct blue wavelength of light to cause this effect as there are cells in the eye which react to those wavelengths and trigger the chemical release. Which explains why the lights at Codemasters are both the normal 'white' lights you find in offices but also have blue spot lights too.

(The 'blue light only' thing was something I saw on a TV program recently on colour; a bar in the UK decided to go with a blue light effect, which would fade up as the natural light went away. They noticed that at 10pm when they were expecting people to be winding down they were in fact waking up.)
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One thing that tends to help me focus is exercising right before I want to be productive, whether it's a jog around the neighborhood in the morning, or five minutes of running in place while watching YouTube videos. Actually, I've done some of my best writing/design work during my morning runs, in a little notepad---the physical exertion helps me empty my mind of most external thoughts so I can focus on whatever hurdle I'm trying to overcome at the moment.

For that matter---and this really depends on the kind of work you're doing---but I find it's helpful to always have a pad of paper handy, no matter the situation. I can't always determine when exactly I'm going to feel super motivated to work on something. Sometimes my best ideas come to me in the shower, which is why I have one of these: [url="http://www.amazon.com/Aquanotes-AquaNotes-Waterproof-Notepad/dp/B003W09LTQ"]http://www.amazon.com/Aquanotes-AquaNotes-Waterproof-Notepad/dp/B003W09LTQ[/url]
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0