Finishing One Thing A Day In Your Game Development Is Enough
Today I want to talk about something that’s really helped me in my life. It’s helped me be consistent, it’s helped me finish things, it’s helped me get shit done, and it’s helped me kind of evolve the way that I look at things. And that’s the concept of getting one thing done a day. Now, that seems pretty simple but I’m going to kind of walk you backwards and into how I came up with it, how it’s helped me, and how it could help you, possibly, in the future.
My journey started a long time ago. For a long time I had this overwhelming sense of guilt. And it was weird because like I grew up in an entrepreneurial family. But I had this sense of, “I should be working 24/7 no matter what.” If I wasn’t working, felt guilty. I felt guilty for taking time off. I just felt terrified that shit was going to happen; that bad things were going to happen. It was a lot of anxiety. It was a lot of messed up stuff in my head that didn’t really mean anything. But to me it was the world—-it was just crazy! And I spent a lot of time feeling this way. I spent a lot of time in the anxiety, a lot of time in the guilt.
Even when I was productive, when I was getting things done, I would be like, “Oh, I could do more. I only work 6 hours a day, I only work 8 hours today, I work 10”, and so on and so forth. That can scale to infinity! You could just you keep telling yourself that until you can’t work anymore and you’ve used up all your 24 hours of the day. Well, I wasn’t quite to that point, but I was overworking myself and I never let myself down, fucking height-wise. The stress was 24/7 because either I would be working stressfully, or I would be stressing out about working. It really was a bad time.
Then, I remember telling myself, “You can let go, pull back a little bit, relax a little bit—you don’t want to overwork yourself.” I have a video on burnout. I have a video on some of the negative effects of overworking yourself and being over obsessive. I just want to stress the concept of life, work, balance, and balancing your stuff out. And one of the things that I came up with was to get one thing done a day. And this helped me get through a lot of stress filled weeks that resulted in a mild depression.
There were times when I did not want to work on my project. There were times when I didn’t want to look at my project. When I was in the middle of a project or a deadline or whatever it is that I needed to get shit done, I told myself to get just one thing done a day, just one thing, just one little piece. And usually, I would have like a task list of like things that would take 10 to 15 minutes each to do, really tiny, actionable task lists. And I would tell myself, “I know you don’t feel like it Tim, I know you want to be lazy, I know you want to sit there and you don’t want to get out of bed, whatever it is. But you have to do one thing. You need to do your 10 minutes. Just getting in there, and do it. Get it over with.”
I found that by telling myself that I only had to do one thing a day on the days where I really was out of it, when I really couldn’t handle it, that would really help me. “Okay, I could just sit down for 10 minutes.” It allowed me to be consistent. It allowed me to build the confidence in myself that I am a consistent person. That I DO HAVE DISCIPLINE, even when I don’t feel like doing these things and working, I still worked anyway. That was a really good, conscious, mental belief, for me to ingrain in myself because I didn’t have that at the time.
It also allowed me to take the time that I needed when I needed it. Like if shit was really bad, and I needed time off, I could take time off. I could just do 10 minutes a day, and it would be fine. It was just 10 minutes. But what I found happening more often than that was I would do one thing, I would do my 10 minutes, and then I’d want to work 20 minutes. Then I’d want to work 30 minutes, then an hour, then two hours. And I would get in the groove usually by just starting with the 10 minutes. And this concept drastically improved my life because it removed all of the guilt, stress, and anxiety that resulted from like, “I should be working harder.”
That is such a general term. You can’t tell yourself, “I should be working more.” You need concrete, specific, actionable things if you want to move forward. It helps so much just to have these very specific, actionable items that you can either meet or not meet. And this one thing a day, this 10 minutes a day, really helped me because then I could be like, “Okay I’m successful, I did my one thing for today. No matter what, I wouldn’t have that have anxiety, I wouldn’t have to feel guilty because I did my shit. Whatever it was, I did it for the day.” It just removed this sense of overwhelming and pending doom, this guilt of not working harder, this feeling of like letting people down, of not getting anywhere, and this feeling of worthlessness because I hadn’t looked at my project for months.
It helped me with all of those different things, and I think a lot of people can can use it, and hopefully benefit from it because it helped me so drastically that it’s my number one thing these days. That’s how I think about my entire life whether it comes to YouTube videos or games that I make or whatever projects I’m working on for clients, whatever it is. It’s one thing a day, it’s MY one thing a day and I get it done. Many times I get way more than that done. I start with one thing and I’ll do 20 things.
I have late nights sometimes. I have overnighters and I do all that stuff. I work hard. But I know that I don’t have to, especially if I don’t feel like I am quite in the zone or whatever. And it helps me not only feel successful, not only get rid of the anxiety, but again it helps me stay consistent no matter what. I know that I’m going to move forward on my game every single day no matter what. I know that I’ll get a video on this subject for you guys every single day.
This idea has really helped me and I hope that it helps you too. If you’ve ever done anything like this or you have any experiences similar to this, please share your thoughts in the comments below because I love to hear from you guys.