Time flies, even when not having fun

I am planning on adding a big update to Find the Gnome for over a year now. But life isn’t letting me, so I’m going to cheat.

The promise

The idea was simple: bring out Find the Gnome, and then add continues updates to it. Increasing (or maintaining) it’s value.

I had invested a lot of free time in Find the Gnome, so some other projects had to wait. Maintaining my house was one of the urgent projects that needed my time, so I made the promise to first fix my house and then continue on Find the Gnome.

Reality Kicking in

The reality is there are always things that need my time and attention. I don’t have that much spare time at hands because of other choices I made in life.

I’m a husband and father, and I want to dedicate a portion of my life to them. Plus I have to get a steady income for them and supply them with good housing and education. That’s already more that 40 hours/week of work and focus.

All my private and professional projects take way longer then anticipated, due to less focus and free time available than I foresaw. I hear from other fathers of young children that this is but a phase of life, and you have to accept it and just wait for better times to come.

For me another thing is on the line: I want to get into game development. I’m currently a software developer consultant in business software, so I need experience in the field of game development to be able to switch.
Combine all things said earlier, and you can imagine I’m having a hard time realizing my dreams.

Time well spend

So I’m currently looking for cheats, and this is what I did find already:

  • It is in our heads things get a meaning. This is and must be the fundamentals to build your business on. Sustainable business profit can’t be achieved without motivation. And in this self-motivation is the key, because all other forms of motivation are unstable to build reliable on.
    Why is this relevant? I came to realize my motivation is mostly based on what others think or what I ‘think’ other think. And those thoughts hunt me and deprive me of my joy in creating things. Like the thought that bringing out an update to Find the Gnome has a deadline. But goals like that don’t expire. You could argue that business wise it probably already expired 3 months after release, but lets be honest: a large portion of professional business objectives need passion and dedication and aren’t that profitable. Life has to be lived, and we need work to feel empowered and to have a meaning. Meaning is something we give to things, this is not something mathematically or scientifically connected to work. So when I think: ‘this update makes me proud’, it makes me proud.
  • Experiences can be gathered from a lot more sources than ‘professionally building games’. That is because tasks have two types of experience in it: the most obvious is the act of executing the task, this will get better and easier over time. And if you don’t do the specific task, your at a standstill. But the other one is way more subtle, and often overlooked when talked about experience: thinking on the task at hand. That thinking is often called ‘seniority’, but I think that is too simplistic. And I like to add that different tasks seems to need different ‘thinking spaces‘.
    Improvements to these thinking spaces seem to be more time related than action related, hence the ‘seniority’ often attributed. But there is more to it: these thinking spaces are only improved by self-reflection in combination with peer pressure. You need time to give certain thoughts way, but you can speed up the process immensely by adding peer pressure that is regulated by a healthy doses of self esteem combined with self-reflection.
    Why is this relevant? I can’t make time to focus on designs for a big update. But I can spend a few minutes to make a custom map for my favorite game, and on the way I learn from the community to improve my level-building-think-space (probably faster then when developing own tools first and having a small audience). I can’t spend hours to design and decorate large systems, but I can spend minutes decorating my house or combining new outfits and talk about it with my wife, improving my design-think-space (and learn to appreciate my wife more in the process :P).

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