Yesterday I wrote about my method of keeping my goals in front of me using a scoreboard. On my scoreboard are a number of metrics I track and set goals for, including game development hours.
I have a day job. I have responsibilities at home. I have a family. So how do I find the time?
My friend Mike Grosso, teacher and author of I Am Drums, recently posted a video responding to the question “How do you find the time to write?” which I found quite insightful:
Mike talks about not watching a single episode of Game of Thrones, choosing to spend his precious time elsewhere.
The thing is, most people don’t do this. They spend their time on Facebook, posting on their friend’s feeds, checking on clickbait, and viewing cat photos for potentially hours. They watch the latest season of Orange is the New Black or Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt as soon as it is available, binging on the content. They go out with friends. They hit snooze on their alarms instead of getting up right away.
None of these are bad things to do, and when your friends are involved, it’s easy to justify spending time with them. You don’t want to be out of the loop when everyone else is talking about who got killed in the last episode of The Walking Dead. You also don’t want to be a hermit or lose important relationships.
But everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. How you spend those hours is your choice.
Mike chooses to write, and he manages to finish novels as a result.
I learned early on that trying to squeeze in time for game development around the rest of my responsibilities isn’t sustainable. Because I see it as a priority, I set aside time specifically to work on game development.
Now it could be argued that I don’t make nearly enough time for it to be productive, but each person has their own priorities and workload, and I’m always adjusting mine as I find ways to improve my efforts. I cut activities and put off others in order to focus on higher priorities.
And sometimes they are temporary changes. I go to Team Trivia with friends every week, and for two months I stopped going so I could use those evenings to work on game development. Sometimes temporary hermit mode means you get stuff accomplished. And when you come back to society, you have something to show for it aside from being able to say, “Hey, I finished watching Parks and Recreation finally.”
Thanks for the concise reminder about prioritizing where you spend your time, Mike!