MonthMarch 2016

The Trick to Get Over Procrastination

Okay so it’s not really a trick. More of a technique… I don’t want to sound like one of those stupid clickbait ads that you see at the bottom of your screen: “The one food you should avoid!” with a picture of a banana… bull. Anyway, on to the point.

Procrastination is something that plagues all of us, and has plagued us since the dawn of time. I’m sure some neanderthal cave-people put off hunting or procreating for one more game of “throw the rock at the other rock”.

So here’s the technique: make an outline. Simple, no? This is something that we all ignored throughout high school and university, and something that actually makes sense to do. My justification is the following:

The reason that people procrastinate is because they’re faced with a daunting task that they don’t know how to approach, or because the task seems too large and they have trouble figuring out what the first steps might be.

The first step, then, before even starting the project, is to make an outline. Write a really vague skeleton of whatever it is you need to do, and it can start as simply as this:

outline1

Literally that’s all you need. Once this is done, you’ll be more motivated to come back to your work, and you also won’t feel lost when you start working on it. Next step is to start to fill them in, extremely vaguely.

outline2

Once this is done, when you come back to work on it you’ll have a very clear plan of what you have to do. Maybe you’re only working on topic 1 today. But look! That’s all you have to worry about because it’s already divided into parts that you should worry about now and parts that you can worry about later.

By the way, this doesn’t only apply to schoolwork. I only realized this once I got into the working world, and I find that this is most useful when I’m working on projects like writing out a PR plan, planning my company’s presence at a game expo, or creating a press kit for our game. In fact, what inspired me to write this was that I was about to start the PR plan thing… wait am I procrastinating? Cause I don’t have an outline! Geez. Alright back to work.

The Art of Hustle

Hustle is something that is an absolute must in the field of game development, and is equally important in all other fields of work. Especially when we’re talking about creative (see: subjective) work, it’s imperative that you or someone on your team has the ability to hustle.

2016-03-28-joggers

I found this definition of hustle, and I want to make it clear that this isn’t exactly what I mean… “Hustle: to obtain by forceful action or persuasion”. What I mean is that someone on your team will get the word out about your product by being everywhere, all the time, talking about it whenever they can, and opening doors to new opportunities.

This is pretty obvious to me, and I think it’s probably obvious to you too. A great fine artist won’t ever sell art without showing at galleries, networking, and making a name for themselves. A great accountant won’t sell their services without the same.

But why repeat stuff you probably already know?

Today, my message is that “hustle” can be learned. You might see someone at a networking event or a party and think that they know everyone and have a super easy time going up to random groups of people and joining conversation. This is probably true. What you’re also thinking (consciously or unconsciously) is “I guess they’re just naturally like that”, and I want to tell you that this is almost certainly not true! Those same people were in the exact same situation as you might be now, knowing nobody and feeling like it takes a lot of guts to approach random people and strike up conversation. What they did, what they learned, was how to hustle.

2016-03-28-networking

I’m going to keep it short since these posts are meant to act more as inspiration and food for thought than as actual lessons (cause what the heck do I know). My experience was going from someone who had trouble approaching people, starting conversation, pitching my product (game), and following up, to someone who is always out there, meeting people at these events with relative ease, and pitching my product without fear of judgment. I learned. I’m no master networker or super famous YouTube personality, but I can tell you that I’ve reached the point where I feel comfortable in these situations.

So what’s the trick? What’s the secret to success? JUST DO IT. Go up to people, be awkward, screw up your pitch. You’ll realize extremely quickly that

  1. Other people are also awkward.
  2. Other people also screw up their pitches.
  3. People are usually open to conversation, whether or not you’re “relevant” to their networking goals.

Just do it, go out there and you’ll see that after a few times, you simply don’t worry about what people will think, and your hustle will improve exponentially.

Side-note: if you really don’t want to do this, hire someone who can, because it’s damn necessary.