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What helps you be productive? (with everything)

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#21 Cornstalks   Members   

Posted 21 October 2012 - 01:57 PM

Well, I decided to take a break after reading Hodgman's post, because I realize that's pretty much exactly what I'm falling into. For a full week I didn't visit GameDev, StackOverflow, Google News, Facebook, SFML/Box2D forums, and Google+. I uninstalled Chrome from my phone to help when I was stuck in a boring moment (but I reinstalled it today as it's been a week). Overall, I think that it was a really good experiment. I was more productive than I've been in the past, though I'm still behind in school. But I'm catching up.

After reading what azonicrider said too, I realized that going to bed late (like 2-3am) was really making my productivity suffer too. When I tried to be in bed around 10:30, I was waaay more productive the next day. Plus I didn't feel like a zombie so much. I wasn't perfect though: one night I had to stay up doing a homework project that was due the next day, and Friday night I got home at 4:00am... But most of the other nights I was pretty good and it really helped.

So all in all, I think the two most helpful things I tried this last week were going to bed early and getting up early, and not going into the Internet site browsing cycle that apparently we all fall victim to frequently.

Here's what I'm going to try this next week, and I'll let ya'll know next Sunday how it went: 1) Continuing to go to bed early and get up early (except for Friday/Saturday night). 2) Not visiting my "black hole" Internet sites (that's what I'm going to call them)*. 3) In the morning (or some time during the previous day), I'm going to decide on a realistic list of things (not an overly detailed list, just a "get these two assignments done and this paper written today" type list) I need to finish that day and not let myself do other things until they're done (and once they're done, I can do other "fun" stuff).
*I've thought about just letting myself visit each site once (and only once) each day, but I actually learned to really like the break. I missed GameDev the most, but I hate Facebook anyway and I'm not really into StackOverflow, so overall I actually really liked the break. So I'll try it again.

Some of you might say I'm trying to be a workaholic and I need to chill sometimes, but I do. I've still got a good social life and I still take moments each day to just mentally relax/not fry my brain. But I just got a new job (programming mobile apps) and as I transition jobs I've got a lot I need to do. And I'm behind in school, so this "experiment" is helping me catch up and rebalance my life. On to week 2!

Oh, and everyone, you've all been really helpful! If you've shared advice, it's been useful for me to consider it more seriously! And If all you've said is "Heh, I get in that infinite loop too," at least it makes me happy to know I'm not alone :)
[ I was ninja'd 71 times before I stopped counting a long time ago ] [ f.k.a. MikeTacular ] [ My Blog ] [ SWFer: Gaplessly looped MP3s in your Flash games ]

#22 Katie   Members   

Posted 21 October 2012 - 03:25 PM

How about, make your internet stop working for 50 minutes an hour? Then you won't be able to read your facehook thing all the time.

Personally, when I'm developing or writing stuff that needs to be done, I turn off the GUI and work in Emacs in an 80x25 text console. It's amazing how just having a cursor blinking at you being the only thing around focuses the attention.

#23 phantom   Members   

Posted 21 October 2012 - 04:05 PM

I use to get sucked into the FB-gmail cycle - in due to a slightly broken bit of brain chemistry its less a cycle and more an OCD like 'loop' of being afraid of missing out. (Seriously in the past I've closed the browser and then with a 'arrgh..' of frustration given into my crazy brain, reopened it and spent the next 15mins hitting refresh... not fun at all... *grumbles*... I suspect this is the same process which last weekend resulted in a run XCom-play-close-sit-run XCom-play-close-etc cycle which wiped out a whole weekend...).

In order to be productive I developed a mental 'line in the sand' technique where I would pick a time to start doing something, say 5mins from 'now' and then slowly shut down everything I didn't need to start on it, open anything I did need and finally, open up a music player, put on some headphones and start some music which, due to using it to code before, my brain associates with being productive.

Then just start - I find once I've done that process and battled (in some cases it really is a battle) past the first 10 or 15mins so that I'm doing something then I become focused enough that I'm productive AND can take a minute or two to check FB or email without dropping into the cycle.

But I am a crazy person so YMMV on the above ;)

#24 3Ddreamer   Members   

Posted 23 October 2012 - 02:19 PM

Love is my greatest motivator, by far, wanting to bless the gamers with an enjoyable game. The game technology is fun. I enjoy challenges. Being thorough by nature helps a lot.


Personal life and your private thoughts always effect your career. Research is the intellectual backbone of game development and the first order. Version Control is crucial for full management of applications and software.  The better the workflow pipeline, then the greater the potential output for a quality game.  Completing projects is the last but finest order.


by Clinton, 3Ddreamer

#25 Alpheus   GDNet+   

Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:34 PM


What was your name before?
External Articulation of Concepts Materializes Innate Knowledge of One's Craft and Science
Beginner in Game Development? Read here. And read here.
Super Mario Bros clone tutorial written in XNA 4.0 [MonoGame, ANX, and MonoXNA] by Scott Haley
If you have found any of the posts helpful, please show your appreciation by clicking the up arrow on those posts Posted Image

#26 azonicrider   Members   


Posted 28 October 2012 - 07:57 AM

Strange how none of you guys have Youtube in your sidetracked loops.

I've been learning to resist the urge to start-up Firefox or Opera, it all starts there.

Easiest way to make games, I love LÖVE && My dev blog/project


*Too lazy to renew domain, ignore above links

#27 Code Fox   GDNet+   

Posted 28 October 2012 - 08:20 AM

Youtube is my late night addiction. Especially love how off the suggestions can be from what your currently watching.

I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


#28 Madhed   Members   

Posted 28 October 2012 - 08:25 AM

I might throw in Wikipedia.
Nothing more irritating than to find out you have spent the last 30 minutes on a hyperlink-binge. Posted Image

#29 Drakonka   Members   


Posted 29 October 2012 - 06:12 PM

For me, coffee and actually sitting in a coffee shop. I also find that not having anywhere to charge my laptop and sitting in a coffee shop on just battery power helps me focus - it's a case of knowing that I only have a limited amount of time to sit there and work before my battery runs out, so I should make the best use of it.

#30 tstrimple   Prime Members   

Posted 29 October 2012 - 06:19 PM

Scott Hanselman has a great talk on productivity.

It's not what you read, it's what you ignore.

#31 ddn3   Members   

Posted 30 October 2012 - 02:22 PM

Good night sleep, music, coffee, routine and morning exercise. Also I don't eat a heavy breakfast something light like some organic trail mix ( a mix of nuts and dried fruits ). Seems to work for me. Also it's important to enter what i call "work mode", ie a focus attentive state for working.

#32 Comambo   Members   


Posted 13 November 2012 - 07:33 AM

Sound canceling headphones with music or a podcast going (preferably boring so I can zone out easily), drink coffee and/or energy drinks, close everything on my computer except the program I want to work in, then just work.

#33 ISDCaptain01   Members   

Posted 15 November 2012 - 02:35 AM

What I do is I make my self feel guilty of wasting time. I like to optimize my time to get as many things done as possible. I usually set a routine everyday and alot a specified amount of time to each thing I want to do. For example I spend and 1 hour everyday on my own personal programming projects. 2 hours to studying, 1.5 hours on games, 30 mins for working out. Thats my base day and doesnt include time at school. Every moment I waste, could have been spent achieving something. You just gotta have the mentaility "No, I wont let ANYTHING destract me, theres no time to waste!!!!!", although dont burn yourself out either, that will destory your motivation

Edited by ISDCaptain01, 15 November 2012 - 02:36 AM.

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