The Holiday Blues
Author:|| Mr. Hexagon
Submitted:|| 15th December, 2010
The Holiday Blues
7 Simple Methods to Destroy Game Development Stress
Have you finished your Christmas chores? Probably not. You better hurry because it's coming soon!
It's that time of the year where finals at school, contests online, and Christmas shopping deals at the mall all gang together just to kick your butt.
You want to reduce stress as much as you can because it interferes with your time to create the sort of game you want to create. In a perfect world you wouldn't have any other obligations to wrestle with and you could spend entire days doing what you love. Yeah right. Fortunately, there are some easy things you can do to make your life less of a struggle and put game development back within your grasp.
1. Conquer Sleep
It's hard to fall asleep when there's so much that has to be done. I find myself turning over in bed for hours contemplating potential solutions to current problems.
How am I ever going to fulfill my obligations with so little time? You might think it's best to skip sleep altogether. Bad idea.
Sleep deprivation makes stress worse.
To relieve stress, it's best let go and just go to sleep. Meditation can help. Calm your mind until it's sleepy enough to sleep. Boring is good, in this case. Your interesting problems will just have to wait until tomorrow.
2. Stop complaining about it and do it
After your refreshing meditative sleep, get down to business. Waste no time telling everybody how hard it's going to be. Just do it.
Sometimes it's easier to come up with excuses than to actually do what you intend to do ( As you can see this person plainly did here: http://create-games.com/project.asp?id=1993&view=news&fid=4031 )
Even though you feel a little bit better making up a complaint, it's no where near as relieved you'll feel after you finish what you've started.
3. Don't worry, be happy
Worrying is in the same family as complaining, except worrying is worse. Both do not help your situation, but at least with complaining somebody actually knows about your situation. When you worry, your brain runs around in circles, leaving it tuckered out and useless for when you actually need to use it.
To destroy stress, you have to learn to accept uncertainty.
Go with the flow.
4. Take a chill pill, man
I'M GIONG TO KILL YOU, YOU DAMN PAPERCLIP!!1!
To a normal person who takes the time to spell properly, this may seem like an unjustified remark to a paper clip, but to somebody under stress, it's perfectly reasonable.
Blowing up over tiny things is perhaps the oldest tell-tale sign of stress there is. Anger management is the obvious solution here. However, anger management may cost more than a starving independent game developer can afford. Fortunately, there is an easy, more affordable solution: meditation.
Meditation is cool because you already have everything you need to have to do it. Its power is hiding within yourself, you only have to unlock it.
We'll cover this later.
6. Address procrastination
No seriously, you need to act now or the thing you're trying to do will never happen. A fast approaching deadline for even a task as simple as tying your shoe will continue to nag at you and grow into a monster if you let it live long enough. Tie your shoe and kill it as soon as possible.
There is no time like the present. Catch the snowflake before it snowballs.
Another solution here is goal setting. Goals can help you keep track of where you're at versus where you want to be. But be careful: setting more goals than is realistically possible is only going to cause more stress.
7. Focus your energy
You might find it difficult to keep your focus when you're under fire from every possible direction.
Solution: Divide and Conquer. Isolate your obligations and tackle them individually (read: one at a time). Their power over you in numbers will have far less effect on your nerves when they are by themselves.
Be an assassin. Sneak up on each and eliminate them in a cool, calculated manner. Then quickly move to the next.
How about you? We're all under stress--some of us more than others. We all have our own techniques for coping with it. Do you have any stress reduction techniques that help you stay the course and finish your games?